The SmartyPig Blog

New to SmartyPig? You Must Know This…

Starting small is ok: ) – Davina

Divide your emergency fund into 3-5 goals. – Grant

When you sell stuff on craigslist/ebay/etc immediately put the money in your smart pig account. Don’t spend that $5! – Sarah

Pay homeowners and car insurance all at once by saving the monthly cost throughout the year (autosave monthly with SmartyPig).

Treat your smarty pig contributions like a payment rather than savings. You’ll be more committed to pay a bill than save. Set up bi weekly payments to be taken 2 days before your paycheck. The money will come out the same day your paycheck hits. – Stephanie

Save up for larger payments like a Roth contribution by paying yourself in smaller increments throughout the year. It makes the larger payments less daunting! – Victoria

Save every dollar you can spare. It’s worth it. Make goals and keep them. – Iramis

Girl Power

downloadMillennial women are taking over the world? Do tell. The savvy folks at Bloomberg tell us this week that women 18-33 are indeed pacing to the top. They say, “In the 1960s, only 7 percent of women earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they were 33, compared with 12 percent of young men. Three generations later, women are 20 percent more likely to graduate college—and men only 9 percent more likely. ”

Not only are women earning more degrees, and faster, they are also making moves in the workplace with more women holding employment by 4%. That same number for men is decreasing by 10%. And finally, that wage gap we all hate. It’s closing in, slowly but surely, to women now making 78 cents to a man’s dollar. With all of this improvement, I have to wonder – are women also saving more? Making better financial investments and choices? We’d love to hear what you think, on our Facebook page or Twitter.

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman, SFoss@SmartyPig.com

Safety Net

“Over the last three years, the number of people who spend less than they make and save the difference, and who say they have adequate emergency savings, has declined,” says Ann Carrns of the New York Times. “Roughly two-thirds of Americans say they have adequate emergency savings, down from 71 percent in 2010.” That’s a big jump, so what gives?

The latest Annual Savings Survey covered the above statistics and also stated that regardless of income, Americans who have a savings plan with a specific goal are more likely to save for emergencies. Emergency goals are a leading category here at SmartyPig. Speaking from experience, emergent funds seem to be the easiest to dip into. It was certainly an emergency last Wednesday at my local clothing boutique. Lucky for me, my safety net is kept with SmartyPig, which means no impulse spending and an always-intact emergency fund.

Don’t get caught without a safety net this year. Stash your funds with SmartyPig, rest easier, and be prepared if you need it (but, we hope you don’t!)

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman 
SFoss@SmartyPig.com

The Right Formula

606px-PETN-structural-formula-2D-colour-codedThere are various percentages swirling around the personal finance world about how to budget your money – 40/30/30, 60/30/20, and so on. The folks at LearnVest have discovered the secret sauce, so to speak and tell us this month why their 50/20/30 formula works. Grab your bills, your budget, your calculator and take a seat for this one.

First, spending. Your fixed costs: mortgage, utilities, car costs, and go. This bucket also includes things like your Netflix bill. Needless to say, this category fills up fast. On to 20; financial goals. This is your savings, paying down credit card debt, and special goals like a home downpayment or vacation. Lastly, flexible spending. This is where folks can get themselves into trouble. Groceries, gas, eating out and entertainment. It helps my family to budget each amount separately and any overflow goes into the following month (for extra fun!) We challenge you to give this a try and then tell us about it!

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman, SFoss@SmartyPig.com

Tax Fear No More

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You may count yourself as one of the “lucky” 75% of Americans that received or are receiving a tax refund this year. The other quarter of Americans are pulling out their check books and paying. But, what if you can’t pay? Yahoo finance discusses that very important question this month in their blog on those unfortunate few that can’t afford their IRS dues.

First, don’t panic. There are options. You can ask for an extension and earn yourself more time to gather the money. You can apply for an installment agreement, sort of like a payment plan for your taxes. Lastly, you can look for an alternate payment method. After you get yourself through this year, we suggest you start thinking about NEXT year. Yes, today. And save for your taxes with SmartyPig. Many of our savers do it, and earn 1% interest while they’re at it. They aren’t facing fear in April, and you don’t have  have to be either!

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman, Sfoss@SmartyPig.com

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