I measure ALL of my personal success by setting and reaching goals. I have to. Whether it’s saving for the down payment on a new home, losing weight, or completing a degree, goals are the best way for me to get where I’m going. I’m currently training to run a half marathon, and I have a four-month old at home. How am I making it happen? I wrote my plan down. I follow my plan religiously. It’s as easy as one, two… don’t even need a “three.”
In an article this week Visualeconomics.com quoted the smart folks at Harvard Business School stating: “When people write down their goals, they are 80 percent more likely to achieve them.” What were they talking about? SmartyPig. Why? Because we help people set financial goals and reach those goals. Period. And we are currently working feverishly to expand our product line to ensure that no goal goes without the tools necessary to make it happen.
“It is possible that SmartyPig and other banks that allow you to set specific goals by naming your savings accounts accordingly are on to something,” the article reads. And we could not agree more. At SmartyPig we help you set it and never forget it. We provide you a place to state your goal, encouraging you to share it via social networks (a little peer pressure goes a long way), cheer you on by charting your progress toward your goal, and reward you with huge incentives when you cross the finish line.
Remember, the first step is simply just deciding where you want to go. We’ll help you get there. Right now, I gotta run! Seriously!
Sarah Foss, Smarty Pig Media Mad Woman
Hello, everyone. I’m Shawn O’Brien here at BBVA Compass. My role is to be a conduit for ideas between SmartyPig and us. For those of you who don’t know BBVA Compass, we’re one of the leading banks in the U.S. with operations primarily in the Sunbelt region. While we rank as the 15th largest commercial bank in the U.S., we prefer to focus on our mission rather than our size: Building a better future for people – which is one of the many reasons that attracted us to our new friends at SmartyPig. The team at SmartyPig is all about helping each of you build a better future by assisting you in achieving your savings goals and rewarding you like never before for doing so.
Since we began our journey with SmartyPig, we’ve grown increasingly excited about our collective ideas and how we can provide even more information and services to help you manage your money as smartly as possible. With that in mind, I asked if I could write a guest blog in hopes of starting a dialogue so that we may share the resources we have available at BBVA Compass and eventually build additional solutions to meet your needs.
Initially, I’m hoping you’ll help me out by visiting our website at www.bbvacompass.com. It offers many tools to assist you with your savings goals. In the smart money choices section of the BBVA Compass Website, you’ll find expense worksheets, payoff calculators, savings calculators and even budget worksheets with suggested percentage allocations. We’d appreciate it if you would give the tools a try and let us know what’s useful, what’s not, and give us your thoughts on how we can make these tools better for you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Best of luck with your goals!
Senior Vice President, BBVA Compass
You want a new laptop, fancy road bike, maybe even an engagement ring. You know you don’t have the scratch to pay for it, so you pull out plan B, the credit card. Queue frightening music. But, wait… Why not ask about, ummm, Layaway? This debt-free concept is making a huge comeback and with good reason. Just because you can’t afford that expensive item today and don’t want to use your credit card, doesn’t mean it’s out of reach. It just requires careful money management and a little planning.
Jessica Dickler from CNNMoney.com writes: “There are no interest charges or fees for the service, and the number of payments can be customized.” Remind you of anything? You eye a new item that exceeds your current cash position, you start putting money towards the item with intentions to pay in entirety, and your credit card stays put safely in your wallet? You got it! SmartyPig! Only difference is that while stores are moving toward having you save up for the things they sell while they hold your money, at SmartyPig you get paid a high interest rate while you save and cash back of up to 14% when you go to shop.
SmartyPig – Simple, Smart… Layaway.
Wishing you successful saving!
Sarah Foss, SmartyPig Media Mad Woman
Why do some individuals find it so difficult to ask for help, especially when it comes to money? Laura Rowley from Yahoo.com Finance put together an interesting piece this past week, answering that very question. How many of us get help with the math on our credit card debt, or even bother to ask questions about the unbelievably high interest we pay? Many individuals fail to understand the concept of these rates and put themselves in a hole by only making minimum payments.
It’s a hole that becomes difficult to get out of. And without a closer look, you’ll never know just how hard of a hit you’re taking. Negotiate, explore and always make sure to read the fine print and you’ll be rewarded.
At SmartyPig we’re trying to help reverse the credit card mindset of “buy now, pay later” for people who have goals. And our “Race Out of Debt” contest is going to reward one lucky person with almost five grand to help him or her get back on solid ground with regards to plastic. But when a couple thousand dollars of credit card use can lead to more than 10 years of monthly payments, the real reward lies in learning how to save and spend smartly. It will change your life. You can do it. All you need to do is take the first step and ask a lot of questions along the way.
Wishing you luck in all of your savings goals!
Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman
Are you one-half of one of the millions of American couples who have differing financial values? I know I am. It’s been said that most couples have one “spender” and one “saver.” And while I won’t go so far as to say that my husband and I are polar opposites, we do have differing ideas of where and how money should be spent and saved. It wasn’t until we learned our family was growing that we buckled down and got on the same page.
Liz Pulliam Weston over at MSN.com recently put together an informative take on how to “Rein in the Spendthrift Spouse,” that advises couples on how to approach those difficult financial conversations they eventually have to have. First and foremost, ditch the negativity and attitude. Yes, my husband has chosen to spend, in my opinion, an obscene amount of money on football tickets this year. But I’ll take a deep breath, talk it out, and try to help grow our financial relationship. It’s important to him, so it should be important to me… But it’s still obscene. Second bit of advice: Set goals. He and I might not agree on whether 50-yard line tickets are necessary or whether I really need another pair of shoes, but we do agree on our child’s college fund contributions and our annual vacation destination. What do they all have in common? They are goals we can set and smartly save for.
Using SmartyPig’s goal-oriented savings plan has made these types of purchases simple and smart. Not only can we watch ourselves get closer to our goals by contributions and competitive interest earned using SmartyPig, our family members can also contribute. And when it comes time to book our trip, we also have to option to put our money on a Travelocity or American Airlines gift card and receive cash back to help get more value out of our vacation dollar.
So next time you and your partner sit down to discuss your financial goals, keep these tips (and the many more Pulliam Weston provides) and the benefits of SmartyPig in mind to keep you and your other half in financial agreement. Or at least heading in that direction!
Best of luck with your goals!
Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman