If you had to pick one song to be the soundtrack for your life, what would it be? That’s the question I recently asked the readers of the Money Smart Life newsletter. Here’s what I wrote:
What’s Your Theme Song for Life?
See, music reminds us of where we’ve been and inspires us towards where we want to be in life.
Do you agree that the songs of our lives have a deep connection with our psyche? That they have an incredible power over how we feel and even act?
As you’ve probably experienced, those emotions can dredge up memories of past failures … but can also give us and hope and motivation for the future.
Those fears and hopes are what will guide our life decisions. So whether you’re trying to get out of debt, retire early, start a business, buy a home, or do anything related to money – your success will ultimately be decided by those emotions and how you channel them.
– You have to really WANT to succeed
– Or you may be totally terrified of failure
Without fear chasing you or hope pushing you, chances are you’ll eventually run out of steam. That’s why, if you want to sustain your life goals, it really helps to figure out your theme song.
What’s My Theme Song?
I got some great responses to my email but I had several people say they weren’t really sure about their song – even more just asked what my theme song was.
Thanks to everyone that responded and I apologize for my bad form. I should have shared mine first before asking you to unveil your theme song – so I will in minute.
Before I go into mine, I just want to say that it doesn’t matter the original intent behind the lyrics of the song you choose – it’s what the song means to you. It’s the picture you form in your mind when you hear the tune and the words combine. It’s the emotion the song tugs out of you that scares you or inspires you.
If you like your theme song those emotions can motivate you to continue striving for what you’re chasing. If you don’t really like your soundtrack maybe it’s a sign that you should think about some changes.
Life Goes On
My theme song right now would probably be Obladi Oblada by the Beatles. The key lines for me are:
“In a couple of years they have built
A home sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard”
That pretty much reflects what’s happened as our family grew from 2 to 4 people over the last few years. Now our kids are the most important thing to us and our lives have changed to reflect that.
My wife left her job to stay at home with the kids. I switched to a job with regular hours so I could be at home more. Our evenings and weekends revolve around the kids. All of our financial decisions are based on creating a home and family where they can thrive.
Not only that, the title of the song is quite appropriate. We don’t get many breaks these days; life goes on at a rapid pace. I feel like most days are somewhat of a blur with my job, our kids, and running Money Smart Life.
Of course I occasionally feel like adopting a different theme song for a night, maybe Nothin’ But A Good Time : )
The Evolving Soundtrack
One thing is certain, your theme song will change over time. For example, right out of college mine would have probably been All About the Benjamins Baby. At the time my wife and I were really focused on our careers.
We both worked long hours and went back to school at the same time to get our Masters degrees. We maxed out our retirement accounts, saved & invested as much as possible, hired a financial planner, bought real estate – just really focused on getting ahead at work and building wealth. Don’t get me wrong, we did have a good time together as a couple but we definitely worked pretty hard.
That was also the decade of the Internet boom and I spent so much time working on the computer, another appropriate song for me at the time would have been the parody All About the Pentiums – “paying the bills with my mad programming skills” : )
So What’s Your Soundtrack?
So think about it for a few minutes, then try and choose the theme song for your life. For more ways to help guide your money adventures, you can join the free newsletter – just enter your email address below to request access:
How to save money on your cell phone bill is something I covered a number of years ago but recently I emailed a friend that works at Sprint and he offered some more tips on ways to lower your phone bill.
For those of you that don’t use Sprint, sounds like tip #2 might work with any major carrier. You can also ask if your cell provider has anything like tips #1 and #3. Below are the three tips my friend emailed me:
1) Employee Referral Discount – At Sprint, we offer an Employee Referral plan that is typically about $10/month less than the rack rate offer. All you need to have is an employee to offer it to you.
2) Compare Carriers – Similar to what you said about saving on your cable bill, you can call in and threaten to leave for a competitor. The wireless phone business is super competitive right now and none of the 4 major carriers want existing customers to leave for a competitor so almost all will offer the customer some sort of a discounted offer to stay.
3) Cell Phone Bill Optimizer – Sprint has something called Sprint Plan Optimizer that will evaluate your voice, text and data usage over the past few months to see if you’re on the best plan for you.
If you’re currently on a $99 Simply Everything plan, but only use 400 minutes a month, it would be smarter for you to switch to our $69.99 plan that gives you 450 minutes with unlimited text and data.
Most people get on a plan and assume they have to stay on it for the life of their 2 year contract, but they could be overpaying.
Cell Phone Discounts
Since I’m currently getting a discount through my employer, I asked him if I could get both my employer discount and the employee refferal discount at the same time. The answer was no, you have to choose either the employer discount or the employee refferal.
One other note, the Employee Referral plan is for new customers only. Do you have any tips on ways to save on your sprint or other cell phone bill?
ShareBuilder Review 2014
ShareBuilder is an online brokerage, offering discount stock trades via automatic investments for only $6.95. This online discount broker makes it simple and afforable to start investing.
Even if you don’t have much available to invest each month ShareBuilder helps your investment go farther. It’s dividend reinvestment and fractional share purchase abilities help compound your investments and the cheap stock trades help keep your costs low.
To help get you started there are frequent ShareBuilder promotions where they offer an investment account bonus when you open a new account.
ShareBuilder & Capital One 360
Years ago I opened an high yield savings account with Capital One 360 and ever since I’ve always admired the company for its innovative approach to making saving simple with the online bank account.
When Capital One added the self-directed online brokerage service of ShareBuilder it upheld its reputation for innovation and continuing its tradition of putting money management tools into the hands of the little folk, like me. The ability to link your ShareBuilder account with your bank account is an added bonus.
ShareBuilder Investing Services
Undoubtedly what makes ShareBuilder stand out from every other online brokerage is automatic investing. Based on dollar-cost averaging and heralding back to ShareBuilder’s start as an offshoot of a DRIP (dividend reinvestment program) company, with automatic investing you schedule weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly automatic deposits of a specific dollar amount you set from your bank account into your ShareBuilder account to apply toward building your existing portfolio of stocks.
With automatic investing, you don’t have to wait until you have enough money to buy full shares of stock, you can buy partial shares with whatever you can afford. By slowly building up your portfolio this way, you benefit from dollar-cost averaging.
The idea is that regular, recurring investments help you avoid making buying/selling decisions based on emotion. You may miss the lowest price to buy in but you’ll also avoid sinking all your money in at the highest price as well.
Of course, if you’d rather buy full shares in real-time trading, you can do that at ShareBuilder too, executing market orders on the spot and taking advantage of any immediate buying opportunities. Although primarily a self-directed online broker, ShareBuilder does provide phone trading too, if you’re just not yet comfortable doing it online.
ShareBuilder Investment Products
At ShareBuilder you can invest in mutual funds, individual stocks, and exchange traded funds (ETFs). ShareBuilder gives members access to over 170 no-load mutual funds. You can also open or roll over an IRA – Roth or Traditional – and roll over your 401(k) into a retirement planning account. Certain accountholders can also engage in options trading, including advanced options services like Early Exercise, Automatic Exercise, and Assignment.
ShareBuilder Fees & Commissions
When you set up your ShareBuilder account you are given the option of making individual trades or setting up an Automatic Investment Plan.
You can buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs and pay per trade. The current rate per trade is $6.95.
Using automatic investments you can also invest money into ETFs, mutual funds, and stocks but you set it up to buy shares on a regular schedule. The pricing for this approach is different, you’re only looking at $3.95 for each investment.
Here’s a chart of ShareBuilder Fees:
|Automatic Investments |
(Stocks, Mutual Funds, and ETFs)
|$3.95 per investment
|Real-time Trades||$6.95 per online trade|
|Options Trading||$6.95 + $0.75 per contract|
|Mutual Funds - |
No Transaction Fee Program
|$0 - online only (fee if you don't hold fund for at least 90 days)|
|Mutual Funds||$19.95 per online trade|
|Phone Trades||$19.95 Real-time and Mutual Funds trades|
No matter which pricing program you’re enrolled in, investing in any of 500 different no-load mutual funds costs $19.95 per trade online. But with ShareBuilder’s No Transaction Fee (NTF) program, you can invest in any of 400 different funds, including ING Mutual Funds, for no fee at all.
Options & Phone Trades
Options contracts run $6.95 plus seventy five center per contract but personally, borrowing against my portfolio for any investment makes me a little nervous. Still, I’m glad its available so cheaply for those who need it or feel more comfortable than I do with it.
Phone trading, another service of which I wouldn’t avail a self-directed online broker, costs $19.95 per transaction for all members. Express Funding, an impulse-based move I also try to avoid, costs the real-time commission plus $6.95 per trade.
ShareBuilder Research Tools
Investor education is a key focal point of ShareBuilder’s ever-evolving services and one of the highlights of membership. Beyond its set of deft search tools – including the Stock Finder, Mutual Fund Finder, and ETF Finder – ShareBuilder also has a Fund Compare tool, which does just what it sounds like. It lets you track market moves with Market Mover and identify the highest rated stocks with the Stock Grade Finder. And, of course, you get a Watch List to keep track of possible investments you’re considering.
Some of the research tools I’m most fond of, however, are the ones that don’t just help you locate good investments but manage your entire portfolio and advance your understanding of what makes an investment good (or bad).
For example, there’s the Portfolio Builder that first analyzes your personal investing style and risk tolerance, then helps design a personalized portfolio to match it that you can then, if you choose, integrate into your Automatic Investment plan.
I also love the What If You Had Invested tool that lets you see how you would have done if you had made a different investing choice at some point in time. No other investment tool I’ve found online lets you learn from your mistakes without first having to suffer making the mistakes. It also allows you to see if you’ve smartened up enough in your understanding of investing to start making those riskier choices you didn’t trust yourself until now to make.
As well, I appreciate the Retire My Way program for planning your retirement. Not only does ShareBuilder let you open IRAs, but it helps you a personalized action plan around your retirement goals, current resources, investing style, and risk tolerance.
Then there are the stock reports. Probably the number one reason why I would recommend the ShareBuilder Advantage plan over the Basic plan is because Basic members do not get access to these invaluable resources for helping investors make smart investing choices that aren’t guided by sheer impulse and hype.
ShareBuilder is ideal for the hands-off investor who just wants to set the wheels in motion and then forget about it, letting their portfolio grow on its own with no severe impact on their lives in the interim.
It can also be good for periodic investors who are meticulous about their investing decisions and want versatile and advanced online, real-time research tools at their disposal. Plus, the cheap trades are hard to beat. If ShareBuilder sounds like a good match for you, check out their latest ShareBuilder promotion.
What are your big plans for 2011? For years, I’d start out January 1st full of good intentions but my momentum always seemed to fizzle out by mid-February.
Then, right after graduating from college, I finally got serious about following through and started to see real results. Almost all the success I’ve had in life can be tied back to setting and executing on big goals. Of course some of it has been luck but I’d like to think the goal setting and hard work help make the luck a little easier to come by.
Everyone sets New Year’s resolutions but most people don’t achieve them. Before you create your resolutions this year check out these articles on how to set awesome goals and how to actually reach them.
I want to end with a little bragging. Before the holiday season started I made a decision not to eat any cookies, candy, or any kind of desert this year. I’m proud to say I’ve made it this far and once I get through tonight I’ll have achieved my mini-goal!
I feel like I’m on a roll and am toying with the idea of continuing it on into 2011, no treats for me. Anyhow, I hope you have a fun and safe time celebrating the New Year tonight!
Blue Cash from American Express is one of the top cash back cards, click here to see if you qualify for it’s rewards. Review last updated, September 2011.
Credit cards can be a useful financial tool for those that access credit responsibly; they can actually be used as a way to make some extra money!
Our Rewards Card
I checked the American Express website today and saw that our rebate credit came through this month. We earned a cash rebate of $560 for our purchases, not too shabby. In years past when we put big chunks of money such as major home improvements and vacations on our credit card we’ve earned over $600 in cash back!
How Do We Get Hundreds in Cash Back?
We use our American Express Blue for almost everything we buy. Some places don’t accept American Express because they charge higher merchant fees, which is why they can afford to give us cash back. We have a backup Visa Chase rewards card for cases like these that offers cash back as one of their rewards.
When I say we use plastic for everything, I mean everything! I hate spending money but anytime I have to I pull out the credit card. Over the course of a year all these purchases add up and earn us hundreds of dollars cash back.
Why a Rewards Card Works for Us
Credit card cash back is some of the easiest money I’ve ever made. We don’t have to do extra work, just spend money like we normally would. However, rewards cards are not for everyone. This strategy works for us because we have the cash to pay for the things we buy on credit and pay off our balance in full every month.
We also make sure to pay our credit card bills on time. The cash back agreement says if you make one late payment you forfeit your rebate for the whole year. Each month our statements shows how much cash back we’ve earned to date. Our total annual rebate appears as a credit on our statement one month following our card anniversary. Since we get a credit on our card as opposed to actual cash we also have to make sure we don’t spend extra money the month we get the cash back. If we did this we wouldn’t really be making any money on the cash back. We make sure we don’t change our spending habits the month we get the credit.
Avoid the Cash Back Mentality
One trap people fall into is thinking of cash back as saving money rather than making money. A person using the saving money approach might think, “I can buy this item I really want because I’m saving money on it with cash back.” The reality is you’re only getting 1 – 6% cash back on your credit card so you’re not even saving enough to pay for sales tax. If you look at cash back rewards as a way to make a little extra money by using a credit card to buy as you normally would then you’re less likely to make foolish spending decisions.
When you’re choosing a card, your spending habits will help you decide which one is the best for you. In the case of this card, you have two options. The Blue Cash Everyday card doesn’t have an annual fee and pays 3% back at supermarkets and 2% on gas and in department stores. The second option is called Blue Cash Preferred and it does have an annual fee. However, it pays a higher cash rebate, 6% on groceries and 3% for gas purchases. So if you use the card for all your grocery shopping trips like we do, then the Preferred would likely pay off the best. Like I said, how you use the card will determine which makes the most sense.
Why I Love Our Credit Card
I’ve given credit cards some negative coverage in the past and decided it was time for the other side of the coin. Credit cards are not evil. It’s the misuse of cards that causes many people debt problems. There are many advantages other than cash back rewards to using credit cards that I’ll talk about in the future. If you use credit cards responsibly they can make you a little money and make your life a little easier.
If you’re one of these people, give American Express Blue Cash a try! Of course, if you don’t have a disciplined approach to using credit then I would recommend not using it at all.
The payroll tax cut comes as part of the federal tax cut extensions that address the Bush tax cuts which were ending.Â To make up for the expiring Making Work Pay tax credit, the 2011 payroll tax cut reduces the amount you contribute to Social Security by 2% next year. It won’t impact your federal income tax bracket but it will increase your paycheck on the first $106,800 you earn.
Payroll Tax Cut Tips
After the IRS announced the payroll tax cut the Wall Street Journal put out a summary of the tax cut.Â Some are calling it a holiday rather than a cut because it’s only temporary.Â Regardless of how many years it lasts for Smart Money magazine and the New York Times offered up some suggestions on what you can do with the money from the payroll tax cut
Payroll Tax Holiday Challenges
The payroll tax break could be a challenge for accounting departments.Â Since the taxes are withheld from your paycheck by your employer, they will have to make quick changes to update the amount of the the payroll taxes withheld.Â The IRS has given accounting departments until the end of January to put the payroll tax rates into place.Â If there are any issues with the wrong amounts being withheld, your employer has until the end of March to make necessary corrections.
Another issue is the question of what the decrease in contributions will do to the Social Security system.Â We’re already worried about Social Security running out of money as baby boomers start retiring in mass, some are worried because a payroll tax cut holiday only makes the issue worse.
Payroll Tax Rates
So how much can the payroll tax cut save you?Â It depends on how much you currently earn but as an example if you earn 50,000 a year, your paycheck should go up by $83 a month.Â If you make 100,000 a year then you’ll see an extra $167 each month in your check.Â Kiplinger created a payroll tax calculator to make it easy for you to figure out what the benefit will be to you.
The maximum benefit for a single earner is a $2,136 a year.Â For a married couple both working, the maximum annual benefit is $4,272.Â If you’re self employed, you can reduce estimated tax payments to account for the payroll tax cut.
I hope you’re having a merry Christmas!Â Our four year old son has made this one of the most enjoyable holidays in a long time.Â His excitement and wonder have been contagious.Â It’s neat to think back to a time when even the smallest things could be so exciting.
He didn’t get that many presents because we’re not into buying tons of gifts but we’ve worked really hard on teaching him to be thankful.Â He seems to be appreciative of his presents so we’re happy about that.
If you’re taking it easy today, I put together a big list of personal finance articles you can check out in your down time. Today’s roundup leads with a Christmas section followed by some articles on charity and year end financial topics.Â Enjoy!
- Cheap Christmas? The Christmas Consumer Price Index Is Down @ The Digerati Life
- A Non-Consumer Christmas: Simple Gifts for Kids and Grown-Ups @ Get Rich Slowly
- Bah Humbug! : 3 Ways to Be More Like Scrooge @ Million Dollar Journey
- Sometimes the Best Gift is the Memory @ Being Frugal
- Has Gift-Giving Gotten Out of Control? @ Money Crush
- Three Ways To Bring The Magic Of Christmas Back @ PF Firewall
- Why the Magi Were Wise Gift Givers @ Personal Finance By The Book
- Finding a Charity to Support in 2011 @ Five Cent Nickel
- Giving Back During the Holidays @ Personal Dividends
- Out With The Old, In With The New: Give to a Charity @ The Simple Dollar
- Charity Spotlight: Teen Challenge USA @ Dough Roller
- Forced Donations: A Nuisance or a Necessity @ Frugal Confessions
Taxes & Year End
- 2010 Year End Tax Strategies @ Suns Financial Diary
- 5 Smart End-of-Year Money Moves @ Frugal Dad
- Time To Sell Year End Capital Losses @ Money Reasons
- Flexible Spending Account Deadlines @ My Money Blog
- Gifting Tax Rules for 2010 and 2011 @ Good Financial Cents
- Five Year-End Financial Moves for a Better New Year @ Generation X Finance
- Frugal Ideas I’ve Always Wanted to Try @ Bargaineering
- The Golden Rules Of Haggling @ Beating Broke
- A Minimalist Lifestyle @ Ultimate Money Blog
- Homemade Christmas Gifts @ Canadian Finance Blog
- 6 More Ways to Cut Holiday Spending @ My Dollar Plan
- Negotiate to Get a Better Deal @ Bible Money Matters
- Your Relationship With Money @ Consumerism Commentary
- Video Review: Suze Orman Speaks at Google @ Fiscal Fizzle
- How to Start Tracking Your Expenses @ Eventual Millionaire
- Safeway Home Delivery Service Reviewed @ Lazy Man & Money
- Car Insurance Risk and Reward @ The Wealth Artisan
- Teaching Kids About Money Management @ The Money Crashers
- Why Dollar Cost Averaging Works @ Investor Junkie
- Creative Ways to Improve Your Resume @ Free Money Finance
- Top Three Dream Jobs of 2010 & Why TheyÃ¢??re So Popular @ Studenomics
- What To Do When You Hate Your Job @ Saving Money Today
- How To Get A Raise At Work @ Moneyed Up
Thanks to the following sites for including our posts:
- Federal Income Tax Brackets@ Don’t Mess With Taxes
- Credit Card Promotions for Holiday Shopping @ Realm of Prosperity
- The Best Cash Back Debit Cards @ Prairie Eco Thrifter
- Scottrade Review @ Financial Highway
After announcing the Angies List membership giveaway yesterday I had some questions over email about which locations the membership could be used in. So I put together a list of Angies List cities where members submit their reviews of local contractors. It’s a pretty big list so I’ll put it at the end of the post.
I also wanted to mention that in order to sign up for an Angies List membership, you have to fill out your name and address so you can recieve the welcome packet. They also send out their monthly magazine via the mail as well.
Since I’ll be getting the gift memberships for you I won’t know your address at the time I buy it. I’ll just need your email address and cell phone number if you win so Angies List can contact you to confirm your membership and put your address in the system. Here’s the city list:
|Boise||New York City (Tri-State Area)|
|Cedar Rapids||Norwich/New London|
|Colorado Springs||Port St. Lucie|
|Des Moines||Rochester (MN)|
|Eugene||Salt Lake City|
|Fort Collins/Greeley||San Luis Obispo|
|Ft Walton Beach/|
Panama City Beach
|Savannah/Hilton Head Island|
|Grand Rapids||Southwest Florida|
|Kansas City||Twin Cities|
|Lafayette (IN)||West Palm Beach|
Update:The giveaway has ended but Angies List recently lowered their membership rates. In addition, they frequently offer promo codes that give you a discount on the price. I’ve been keeping track of them, check out the Angie’s List membership discounts.
Angies List is a service that we’ve used to find quality contractors to do work on our home; such as electricians, plumbers, exterminators, foundation work, etc. I won’t go into all the reasons that we use the service, I wrote more about that in my Angies List review.
We actually don’t use the service as much as we used to because we’re finding such good people that when we need more work done we just call them back up. I guess in a weird way that shows the service is actually working. But occasionally something will come up and we head back to Angies List to find the right person for the job.
Angies List Reviews
One thing to note is that although we use it for home maintenance and repairs, it’s not just for home owners. Angies List has member reviews on health care providers (doctors & dentists), auto repair & service, appliance repair, animal boarding & grooming, child care, and about 300 other categories.
The also offer a feature called Angies List Big Deal that’s in a way like Groupon. They offer big discounts from local businesses on services like furnace maintenance, salon service, computer tune-ups, carpet cleaning, etc.
I just wanted to tell you about those features so you won’t avoid the giveaway just because you don’t own a home.
Free Angies List Membership
We’ve gotten a lot out of the service and I’ve written a lot about it so I thought it was time to give some of you a chance to try it out. Every day next week you can win a free Angies List membership if you’re a member of the Money Smart Life newsletter.
It’s a one year Angies List membership and I’ll be announcing the winners via the email newsletter so you have to be signed up for it to win. The email newsletter is free you can enter your email address below to request access and enter to win:
SmartyPig is an online savings account that helps you save up for specific goals and can give you a form of cash bonus once you meet them. The SmartyPig interest rate is competitive, the savings tools can be useful, and the bonus you get on gift cards from Macy’s, Travelocity, Amazon, and other retailers can help boost your savings.
Here’s a look at the basics of how SmartyPig works.
SmartyPig Account Opening
To get started with SmartyPig you open a savings account online, filling out information that you would to open any bank account. Just like money in a bank, your funds in SmartyPig are FDIC insured. They also earn interest; currently the rate is pretty competitive for online savings accounts. Once you have your SmartyPig account opened then you fund it with at least $25, via ACH from an existing bank account.
Right now there is no way to have joint ownership of a SmartyPig account, which would be nice for couples saving together. SmartyPig does have a “co-ownership” option but it would be nice to have joint ownership of the account.
SmartyPig Savings Goals
SmartyPig is set up so that you identify savings (or spending) goals, and set a time frame for achieving the goal. The system then automatically figures out how much money each month will need to go into the account in order for you to reach your goal within your stated time frame. You can choose how often you want money moved from your established bank account into your SmartyPig account.
If money gets tight for a while, SmartyPig does allow you to stop making automatic contributions. Then once your cash flow picks back up you can restart those contributions. You can also change your contribution amount whenever you’d like so scaling back your savings is an option.
One thing that would be nice is if you could setup ACH transactions from other sources so you could have part of your paycheck regularly deposited into your SmartyPig account.
When you reach your goal, you can take your money out of SmartyPig, and use it towards what you’ve been saving for. One thing to note, you cannot partially withdraw money from your account. If you decide you want some of the cash before reaching your goal, you have to take everything for that goal out.
Since this is an online account, it can take a while to get your money. Standard ACH times apply like any online savings account, so don’t put any money in the account that you would need to get out in a day’s notice.
SmartyPig Gift Cards
If you choose to receive your money in the form of a gift card from one of the retail partners, you get a cash back bonus on your card. The cash back percentage ranges from 2% all the way up to 11% depending on the gift card. So, if you achieve your savings goal of $1,000, and choose to put those savings onto a Macy’s Retailer Gift Card (which pays 11%) you can get a gift card with $1,120 on it.
SmartyPig Rewards Card
The SmartyPig rewards card is a pre-paid card that you can fund from your bank account or from your savings goal. It seems like funding it from your savings goal would actually be working against your goal. Even though you’re earning cash back, you’d be depleting your savings balance.
Of course, if you fund it from your bank account then it could be worthwhile. You earn cash back when you shop with the MasterCard debit card at certain stores. The amount of cash back depends on the store; it varies from 2% up to 10%. The money you earn can either go right back on your card or into your SmartyPig goal.
SmartyPig Friends & Family
SmartyPig lets you announce and update your savings goals to your friends and family through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Another cool feature is that you can send out emails with a link to a specific savings goal that other people can contribute to.
This could be perfect if you’re having a baby shower or wedding shower and were trying to save up for one big item, rather than asking for lots of smaller gifts. Another good use would be for kids or grandkids who are saving up for something big, like college or even just an Xbox. They could email those goals to aunts, uncles, and grandparents at birthdays or gift giving holidays.
Something else to note is that the system’s been around for a few years and has made a lot of improvements based on feedback from its network of users.
SmartyPig is a great tool to use if you have a specific savings goal in mind – it helps you take saving seriously.
The features like the higher interest rate, gift card bonus, and rewards card help give your savings a boost, so you have financial incentive to save. The ability to define your goals publicly and keep others up to date on your progress also gives you social motivation to save.
Opening an account and getting started is free, so if it sounds interesting and you think it could help you with your savings goals then give it a try.