The SmartyPig Blog

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

I recently started a “Family Trip Fund”. For more than 7 years, I have been unable to take my family on a trip. I have always been a single mom of 4 children and working two jobs. Now that all my children are teens, I promised myself that I will get this goal accomplished. I tried saving money through my local bank but every time an emergency occurred I would run to the ATM and get the cash. I am hoping that saving money through the SmartyPig will now allow us to reach our goals. Once I see this fund growing then I will push myself to open more for individual and family goals. – Wanda M.

I started saving a $100 a week last month now it’s growing fast no goals right now but it looks good. – Richard

Gotta say adding $ to my various SmartyPig goals feels pretty damn good. Maybe I could get used to this saving thing #TravelFunds - Casey

SmartyPig IS my Car Payment

I drive a 2003 Elantra that everyone gives me a hard time about. It’s in ok shape, but in AZ, paint suffers due to the sun and I drive 40-50 miles a day. Overall, it’s been a fantastic car. It currently has 149,000 miles.

Back in 2012, on a road trip over 4th of July, my friends jokes about the car were non-stop. I have a great job so people expect me to have a better/newer/nicer car. Which obviously I don’t buy into. As we were in Vegas I told them all to put their money where their mouths were and I made a smarty pig goal… The goal is called, “new car in 2-5 years.”

It’s still an open goal and no one has contributed, but I started funding  it after that trip. I call it my monthly “fake car payment.” I started with $400 a month and this year changed it to $500. As you can see, I’m at 60% to goal, with an original goal of $18k. My plan was to always get a new car once my student loans were paid off, but my Elantra is still doing fantastic and getting to 200k is still a goal, but honestly I have many more years ahead to reach it. The great news is, I’m already off to great start. I was even almost tempted the other day when I was getting an oil change and the dealership had a new 2014 Elantra for 12,900 and said they’d deal with a cash buyer! But nope… My car is fine… And I’ll just keeping saving $500 a month! I figure that if I continue at the same saving level, and change the goal amount I could have nearly $40000  by the time I hit 200k miles and will want a new a car. Who knows, instead of a cheaper car, maybe I will buy something exotic, like a new Tesla.  Think that would be fancy enough to meet everyone’s expectations? Then, no more gas and I could pay cash!

You can find my goal here: I’m smartypig.com/loves/Stephanie

Thanks SmartyPig! – Stephanie B.

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

I’m helping my son save for a new car. I’ve granted him access so that he might also watch his goal increase. We aren’t yet halfway there, but we have a few years to go before he’s hitting the road! – Paul

I’m saving for a vacation. I haven’t been to the beach since college and I’m desperate to go. Some months I contribute several hundred dollars and some months I contribute none. Either way, it’s working! – Cynthia

SmartyPig is helping me save for emergencies! – Sara

I’m a new SmartyPig user and not saving for anything in particular yet. I contribute $100 a month. Keeping it separate from my other savings and checking makes it feel like extra money I totally forget about! -Drew

Five Unexpected Ways SmartyPig Can Make Your Life Easier

By Susan Yoo-Lee

SmartyPig is such an awesome platform for saving money. I’ve been a longtime user myself and I can say that it has allowed me to save money without even realizing it (thank you, automated deduction). But did you know that SmartyPig can do a lot more than help you save?

SmartyPig can make your life easier by saving time, energy and, yes, of course, MONEY! Here are five ways to use SmartyPig that you’ve probably never even thought of — this may be your AHA moment!

1. Classroom Fund. If you’ve been a room mom, you know the pain of trying to collect all the budgeted money for the classroom at the beginning of the school year. The funds are used for classroom parties, teacher’s gifts, field trips and more. While it seems like an easy feat, trying to track down working parents and asking them to send cash with their children is actually quite difficult. To make everyone’s life easier — including yours, the room mom and your kids — you can create a goal of your budgeted amount and add that link to your Classroom Shutterfly page, Facebook group or email for parents to access 24-7. Life just got so much easier!

2. Fundraising. Stop going door to door asking for money, unless you like doing it the old-fashioned way. Whether it’s raising funds for your Cancer Walk or collecting money from Girl Scout cookies, you can do it all online by creating a goal for your fundraising efforts. Send a link via email and share it on your social media platforms. By doing this, not only will you save everyone’s time and energy, you can stop taking bookkeeping notes on a pad of paper and just look at your screen to see who’s donating to your efforts — and watch those funds grow.

3. Taxes. Yes, you heard me correctly. We just made it past another tax season, but I’m sure if you owed any money to the government, it left an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth. At the beginning of the year, it’s wise to take a look at how much you make and how much you will owe in taxes by the end of the year. Unless you are claiming zero on your tax returns and you expect a return, you should always be prepared to pay up, especially if you’re self-employed. Set a goal for how much you expect to pay in taxes at year’s end and have a set amount go into that fund every month. That way, you won’t feel like you’re getting sucker-punched at tax time. If you get a raise mid-year, add a little bit extra to that goal.

4. Gift Registry. Don’t ask for gift cards. Don’t ask for silverware. Ask for money. Well, you’re not asking for money straight out, but ultimately that’s what you’re getting at. Whether you have an upcoming wedding, your child’s birthday party or a graduation party, change things up this time around by setting up a goal that everyone can be a part of. If you’re getting married, why not set up a goal for your wedding cake or the photographer? Instead of asking for wedding shower or bridal shower gifts, you can kindly ask people to contribute to your goal. Not only does this make your life easier, but it has sentimental value for guests since they can have a part in creating those memories with you. The same applies for children’s birthdays and graduation parties.

5. Recycling. If you want to teach your kids the value of a dollar, there is no better way than helping them earn money by recycling cans and bottles. Every month, the kids can collect recyclable trash and exchange it for money. Set a small or large goal, and every time they collect money from recycling, you can match the amount and put it toward their goal. The kids not only get excited to see their funds grow, but they also start becoming more conscious about the environment.

Have you ever used SmartyPig in an unexpected way? Share your ideas in the comments!

Susan Yoo-Lee is the editor at Savings.com. She founded Mommas in the House in 2009 when she was pregnant with her 2nd child. Currently, you can see some of her published work on LHJ.com, More.com, WomansDay.com, AJC.com, ClarkHoward.com, US News & World Report, Military.com, LearnVest.com and more.

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?`

We asked readers to name their goals and they sure let us hear it!

Check these out:

  • Vacation to Hawaii
  • Convertible
  • 60th Birthday Party (I’m only 50!)
  • Triplets!
  • Taxes :(
  • A New Roof
  • Honeymoon & Wedding in Bora Bora
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