Money Matters: Smartypig

stick-with-money-icon.png
6a0120a8a2f331970b017d417e1437970c-800wi1.jpg

This article is not endorsed or sponsored by Smartypig. I started with that disclaimer right up front to make it clear that I am writing this because I believe in what the folks at Smartypig are doing.  I did not write this article for money… and it is quite possible that smartypig will never read it.  I offer it up, instead, as a tool for you to start saving and put your money to work.

Smartypig is an online service that helps put you on the right side of the interest equation.  Instead of spending money on what you need/want and then paying interest to some company for the right to do it, you save money up front easily and then the interest is paid to YOU.  Not only that but if you work things out just right, you can get even bigger bonuses on purchases at retailers you already trust and use.

savour... a penny saved

How it works

You open an account with Smartypig. – Your account at Smartypig is safe and secure.  Your funds are placed on deposit with their partner bank and are fully FDIC insured to the limits set by current law.  You will be dealing directly with Smartypig for all of your account needs.

You set a goal (or goals) for yourself. – You can open your account with as little as $10 but your goal must be at least $50.  The maximum for a goal is $250,000. You can see that this offers plenty of room to grow for goals from back to school shopping to a down payment on a new home.

You determine the frequency of your contribution to the goal. – Smartypig has thought of everything.  You can set up recurring contributions from a checking or savings account or just make the contributions when you wish.  They even have a calculator to help you determine how much you will need to contribute each time to reach your goal by the date you specify.

You reach the goal and then decide how to redeem. – Here’s where it gets REALLY good.  After you have reached your goal there are several options for redeeming all the goodness you achieved.  You will have reached your goal and earned some interest along the way. You can choose to have the money put back into the account you use to fund the goal, have the money put on a Smartypig debit card to use as you wish, change your goal and keep growing, or purchase a gift card at one of their partner retailers and earn even more.  Several of these retailers will add up to 10% of the amount to the balance of the card.

Along the way

Put social media to work for you. – For those of you who are social media savvy and have a few good connections, you will love how Smartypig has incorporated the tools at your disposal.  Through social media you can share, if you wish, your goal and even get your friends, family, and followers to contribute.  Of course, your privacy is always protected and you have complete control over how much information people get.

Change as necessary. – If for any reason you need to make a change, nearly everything can be done through www.smartypig.com .  In case of emergency, you could even change your goal and request your funds.  It will take a day or two to get, but it is possible.

Make additional contributions. – So you’ve got a goal set up and even have auto-recurring contributions set up.  Let’s say your income tax check comes and you want to make an extra contribution.  No problem.  Just access the site and contribute manually as often as you wish.

More to consider

Smartypig Cash Rewards Card – To make your life easier, Smartypig even offers the option to place your goal funds on a debit card, of sorts.  This card can be used anywhere that VISA is accepted, and to make it even better they will even give you cash rewards when used at partnering retailers.

Refer a Friend program – If you decide you love it (and I think you will) you can even earn rewards for referring your friends.

Mobile app – Keep track of your goals and savings with the Smartypig mobile app for iPhone and Android.

On a personal note

I am a proud member of Smartypig and have used it several times to save for upcoming events and purchase items from holiday shopping to a new computer.  Like everything, this may not be for everyone.  Also, there are probably some legal disclosures that I left out.  That’s not my job, but the fine folks at Smartypig have all the necessary legal mumbo jumbo over on their site.  Head over to www.smartypig.com and check it all out for yourself.

smartypig.jpg

Lastly, I am probably an idiot for not working the referral angle somehow with you, but I am really not in it for the money.  I so strongly believe that you can benefit from saving first and spending later that my reward will be you visiting Smartypig and telling me what you think.  Leave your comments below or on our Facebook wall.