The SmartyPig Blog

Saving for Fun

“It’s OK to put some money aside for something fun,” says Justin Krane, founder of Krane Financial Solutions, an investment management and financial planning firm in Calabasas, California. ““People want a sense of now. If you have a balanced (approach to saving), you can get it.” It’s a very true statement and one SmartyPig helps users like the one featured in this article achieve each and every day.

Nicole Roberts uses SmartyPig to it’s fullest potential; automatic, timed savings depots, thoughtless saving just out of reach, and the ability to save for many things at once. SmartyPig not only makes saving easy and painless, it’s super fun, too. Starting goals and reaching them is rewarding – and the spending? Well, that’s the best part. Plus, the feeling of buying that new T.V. or taking that beach vacation completely debt free is not only fiscally smart, but it takes satisfying to a whole new level.

Wishing you successful (and fun!) saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman,

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

I use SmartyPig for my big annual bills: car insurance, home insurance and Roth contribution. I feel the sting of these large bills a lot less when it comes out of my bank account periodically as opposed to all at once. – Spencer

I save for everything with SmartyPig! – Sam

SmartyPig has sent us on vacations and last year paid for all of my holiday gifts. This year, I’ve been taking the cash I’ve saved here and there and using it for 2015 gifts. Can’t wait! – Sarah

Do as I say, Not as I do


Little eyes are always watching; noticing the card you use to check out at the grocery store, listening in on financial discussions in the home and trying to keep up with the Joneses at all costs. It’s important to teach your kids financial basics, but it’s also important to NOT teach them a few other things. The finance folks at MSN Money discuss, ‘11 financial habits you don’t want your kids to learn from you‘ in an article this past week.

We all do our best to teach our kids the importance of good financial habits; maybe it’s an allowance or discussing the saving needed for a vacation, but are we unknowingly teaching them the wrong habits too? Do you use credit cards when you could use cash? Do you not discuss budgeting or let others in your family think that debt is “ok”? And my favorite, not saving or setting goals, like we do at SmartyPig. Take some time to discuss budgeting with your family this week. And while you’re at it, start a new SmartyPig goal with your children and encourage them to help contribute! It’s fun and educational.

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman,

Your Best Holiday Yet



It’s here! 59% of retailers have already started their holiday promotions. From record holiday “pins” on Pinterest to an anticipated 6-8% raise in online sales, the holidays are expected to be bigger than ever this year. And while the bulk of this shopping and Pinterest browsing takes place on your mobile device, so does overspending. And experts anticipate we’ll see some of that too.

This year, don’t get behind, get ahead. SmartyPig is the place to get your holiday shopping in order. It’s not too late to start a holiday goal or contribute to one you already have. And when it comes time to buy gifts for those you love, don’t forget to cash out to one of dozens of Retailer Gift Card providers offering up to 11% cash back. More than one-third of consumers took on debt over the 2014 holiday season. Resolve to make this the year you see January with a zero balance sheet.

Wishing you successful saving (and shopping!)

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman,

The Laymans Guide to a DIY Smart Home

Todays Guest Post:

David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about home maintenance and DIY home repair. He’s also knowledgeable about topics like how to improve social presence and building a reputation online.

Smart homes are no longer a thought of the future. They’re here, it is the future. But having one for yourself might seem like an expensive quest. But saving to convert your home into a “Smart Home” isn’t as hard as you think.

Smart technology has allowed people to utilize phones and tablets to connect with friends and family all across the globe. With a simple tap on the screen, we can share pictures, videos, text messages and a plethora of other social communications. This evolution in tech development has taken traditional single-purpose devices, such as cell phones, and turned them into a portal to the world right in the palm of your hand. We can now access our bank accounts on our phones, giving us daily access to our savings goals. And with apps like SmartyPig, you can start saving for that smart home.

SmartyPig is easy to use for anyone. With it, you can set a goal to save up for some new high tech to install in your home so you can start the movement toward a smarter living space. SmartyPig isn’t just for tracking your goals though like most other budget apps. SmartyPig is a free online piggy bank that you can contribute to automatically and then once you have reached your goal, you can cash out with a Retailer Gift Card that gives up to an 11% cash boost.

Once you have your goal set up with SmartyPig, the next logical step is to give it some time to rake up so you can begin purchasing apps and other appliances to turn your home into a smart home. Just imagine having the ability to unlock your home’s back door by pressing a button on your tablet. It could be accomplished by attaching a web-connected mechanism to the sliding door hardware that would allow it to lock, unlock, open, and close. Imagine having the capacity to effortlessly adjust the temperature in your dwelling from anywhere in the world, simply by using an app. Research and development on this subject has sparked the growth of several companies whom are dedicated to manufacturing products that could eventually convert your house into a modern smart home.

To begin converting your dated house into an automated abode, let’s focus on two common utilities that can become more cost-effective by installing automation devices: HVAC and sprinkler systems. Your home’s heating and cooling system can be fully automated by install a Nest thermostat. Easily control the temperature by way of an app and Nest will eventually program itself to predict exactly what condition is most comfortable in your home at any given moment. The system is completely plug-and-play and has the potential to save you money on heating and cooling expenses throughout the year. By optimizing itself to be used only when the right conditions are met, the worry of wasting financial resources is completely eliminated. As an added bonus, Nest has begun to expand its product line by adding an array of products to help you continue building your smart home. With the implementation of a smart thermostat, your home is one step closer to becoming fully automated.

In respect to sprinkler systems, there is a company based in Colorado that has come up with a solution to wasteful water usage. With the current water crisis in California, this subject is especially critical to address. The Colorado company, Rachio, has created a WiFi-connected sprinkler controller that allows the user to control every aspect of their lawn’s watering system from a smartphone with internet access. It is estimated that roughly fifteen million homes across the United States have underground sprinkler systems and a large majority of them are structured to operate on a timer. The drawback to these outdated systems is that whether or not your lawn needs watering, the system will initiate on the prescribed time and will not stop until the set stop time. Just as a Nest functions on an algorithm, Rachio’s Iro device only allows the distribution of water when your lawn actually needs it or when you command it to begin operating. It works by communicating with an online weather service and collecting information on current and future weather conditions. Based on actual need, Iro will activate, disperse water throughout the lawn, and shut itself off when finished. This can be a completely hands-off solution to watering your grass, but you still have the ability to override the system via the app.

Before deciding that updating your home is going to be too big of an investment, look into SmartyPig and these other cool options. SmartyPig will help you save up for those little gadgets and installments that you need to make your home a fully autonomous smart home.

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