Today’s guest post brought to you by Ashely Dull. Ashley graduated magna cum laude with a journalism degree from Florida Atlantic University and currently works as a finance editor for BadCredit.org and CardRates.com. Her writing has been published on major news networks such as ESPN and CBS, among numerous other sites and print materials.
You’ve seen the ads – Get your FREE credit report here! – only to be asked for a credit card after you’ve already provided all of your personal information.
The truth is there’s only one website out there that provides a full, free credit report once annually from all three bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) and that’s annualcreditreport.com.
But that doesn’t stop marketers from telling you it’s free, when you’re really signing up for monthly credit monitoring services after your “free” trial ends. Many have fallen into this trap because of failing to read the fine print and don’t realize it’s happened until their card is hit with a random charge for $24.95.
When working towards a savings goal with SmartyPig, it’s important to check your credit reports and monitor for any fraud or negative marks that could be adversely affecting your credit. Bad credit not only means difficulty obtaining loans, but also higher interest rates which make it harder to save when you’re paying more than you should be. Knowing the information on your credit report and your credit score is something every individual should be conscious of.
The experts at BadCredit.org saw a need for a resource for consumers to see exactly what each credit report and score website offers and at what cost, so they created this consumer guide and wanted to share it with SmartyPig users.
This guide will ensure you’re not another victim of a “free” credit report scam, and that you’re not spending unnecessary money on a credit report that could go towards your SmartyPig goal!
Bad financial advice is everywhere. The problem is, how to know what’s good and what’s bad? Well, the experts at Business Insider give us a few “tips” to avoid in an excellent blog this month. Let’s discuss:
One we hear often: retirement or kid’s college. It’s debatable, but with the current economic conditions experts urge professionals to feed their own retirement accounts first, and their children’s college funds second. No one wants to be on their “kids payroll,” so let’s get our own retirement situated and then pay for their schooling. Bonus if you can do both at the same time! Next, retire as soon as you can? Working a little bit longer is good for many reasons; social, financial, physical. Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you should. Give it a year, or two! Lastly, you need a financial planner no matter what. We chat here often about great online and print resources. If you do your homework, you won’t have to pay someone else to do it for you.
Wishing you successful saving,
Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman, SFoss@SmartyPig.com
We asked our users; what advice would you give a new SmartyPig user? Here’s what they said:
Start small and increase savings slowly. You will be amazed at the savings! And when you increase slowly, you will see big rewards but the impact on your budget will feel small. – Sharon
Get the mobile app! I gave up drinking soda…well, cut down. Every time I won the battle at the vending machine, I’d whip out my phone and transfer $1.50 to one of my Smarty Pig goals. I was drinking 3-4 bottles of Mt. Dew a day. I know. Sickening. At the end of the first month, I had transferred $140 to one of my goals by not even trying. Little stuff adds up so quickly. The mobile app makes it really easy to put it in perspective. If you would have told me to save $150 a month I would have been like yeah right! Where!? I would have never thought cutting out my vending machine soda addiction (down to a bottle of Mt. Dew once or twice a month now) would save so much money. It doesn’t seem like you are spending a lot when it’s in the form of quarters. – Adia
SmartyPig makes saving so easy, it feels fun! – Pat
My husband turns 40 next year. He’s not a big one on birthday parties, but I’ve decided to throw him the greatest bash ever. I’ve been saving just a bit – $20 or $30 a month, and will have a few hundred to splurge with come 2016. SmartyPig has helped me save for all kinds of things though! This is however, the first “fun” item i’ve tried. I’ll tell you, he or I doesn’t feel a twinge when it’s gone and it will really add up. Thanks SmartyPig! -Liz
It’s one of my favorite holidays; independence day, the 4th of July, America’s birthday. It’s a day to celebrate our country and our freedom. To me, freedom means a lot of things. A big part of that is financial freedom. SmartyPig can help you reach financial freedom too. Saving for goals big or small is a very freeing feeling. Just say NO to credit cards. We encourage you to include adding a new SmartyPig goal to your celebratory activities this weekend. It will feel great, we promise!
Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman