The SmartyPig Blog

Multi-Saving Made Simple

I’m caught in a triad of savings goals today, with two vacations and a pricey new bike making up that list. One vacation in January, a second this summer, and the bike? Well, that’s a ways off. Needless to say, I’ve struggled a bit with prioritizing my saving. Lucky for me, personal finance expert Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar tackles this tough task by answering the question: “How exactly do I save for multiple goals at once?”

Hamm being the smart man that he is, suggests you begin by selecting a bank to best facilitate this process, like SmartyPig. “With SmartyPig, you actually create savings goals within your account. You can create as many as you’d like,” writes Hamm. And once you’ve created your goals and know the timeframe in which you’d like to reach them, well, then begins the difficult part. Except, Hamm zaps most of the difficulty out of that task with simple formulas and tips for priorization. Check them out for yourself here. Personally, I will be using Hamm’s method for prioritizing by closest deadline. Which means I will be skiing in a few months, but probably not cruising on a new bike for a couple of years. But at least I know what (and when) to look forward to.

With Hamm’s method for computing and SmartyPig’s sure-fire saving system, you are now well on your way to hitting all of your goals easily!

Wishing you successful saving.

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

 

 

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig

The minute my fiance, Frank, and I got engaged we knew that meant one thing. Saving money. Unfortunately, I’m completely terrible at that. Call it a lack of willpower. I started looking up ways to save money that didn’t involve just a traditional bank savings account. I wanted more bang for my buck and an easy way that Frank and I could both put money in together. I found a website that listed a bunch of cd’s, online savings account, etc, that offer above average interest rates. I saw SmartyPig on the list and was immediately intrigued – mostly because of the name. Then I researched hard on SmartyPig and found pages upon pages of great reviews plus finding out it was FDIC insured helped calm down any thoughts I had about it being a scam.

Setting up an account was easy breezy, almost like applying for a credit card. Thanks to SmartyPig we were able to easily save up to pay the deposit for our wedding venue. Once it came time to write the check, I transferred the money out straight into my bank account and the funds appeared in 2 business days. I can’t tell you enough how much I love SmartyPig. Because it is online and entirely separate from my checking, once I put money in I know it will be saved. No temptation of taking it out for something else. We are still currently using SmartyPig to continue saving for the rest of our wedding payments. Once that is done I plan on using it to save for a house! – Nadia S.

Don’t Pull the Trigger

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A cute pair of boots on markdown, and my budget goes out the window. We all have triggers, you know, the ones that make you forget about reaching a savings goal or “cutting back”? The big question is, how do we avoid the triggers that make our checkbooks beg for mercy. The smart crew at LearnVest examines eight of the biggest budget breakers and provides tips on how to avoid, or at least get back on track.

Getting back to my boots…”Is the deal really that sweet if it’s for an item you don’t need? Sure, getting a $300 designer lamp at 50% off might be a steal — if you’re in the market for one and budgeted for it. Otherwise, you just dropped $150 for no good reason.” Do I really need another pair of shoes? The answer is always no. The same goes for triggers, “on vacation” and “keeping up with the joneses”.  Also a big spender, job hunting and outfitting a new home. Buying the wardrobe for a potential job or the furniture for a new house can get spendy quick. It’s best to wait. Get the job, live in the house, take some time and down the road make the necessary purchases.

Patience is a virtue, and it’s also a savings goals dream.

Wishing you successful saving.

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

Cash in Your Pocket

‘Tis (nearly) the season where you’re buying presents for everyone but yourself. Why not change that with SmartyPig’s Retailer Gift Cards? When you buy a Retailer Gift Card for yourself or someone else, SmartyPig will give YOU up to 11% cash back.

Retailer favorites include Amazon, Macy’s, Overstock, Bath & Body Works, Foot Locker, Gap and so many more. And we have restaurants and entertainment too, like Maggiano’s, Olive Garden and Regal Entertainment Group.  (See the full list of Retailer Gift Cards here.)

Saving with SmartyPig truly knows no bounds. And now you can save even more when you spend your holiday shopping dollars the SmartyPig way!

Happy saving – and shopping!

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

Money Mistakes to Miss

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Financial advice for those in their 20′s and folks nearing retirement is abundant to say the least. So when I saw an article highlighting those of us in our 30′s, I was all over it. Some people have it figured out by these precious years, many are just getting started and few have even misstepped and started over again. In short, it’s an important decade when it comes to financial decisions.

Yahoo Finance lists the mistakes I, as a 30-something,  should definitely steer clear of. First? Not saving for retirement, and alternatively, not saving for your children’s education. College costs have risen 1,000% in  in the last 30 years, and the cost to retire isn’t going down either. It’s important to set aside donations for both of these goals, the most important decade is now.  This is also a popular time to get married, have children and buy new homes. It’s important to purchase the roof over your head within your means and also discuss all big purchases (now and those down the road) with your spouse. And lastly, as unpleasant as it seems, discussing and preparing a will is just as important as taking the aforementioned life steps. Financial plans for the present and the unknown are never measures you’ll regret taking.

Wishing you successful saving.

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

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