May 22nd, 2012 at 9:34 am
There’s something to be said about saving up for something and buying it outright. Remember when that was the norm? Today, it’s so darn easy to just put what you want on your credit card and pay it down later. Instant gratification but at a cost: interest. And for some, a hard to pay down balance that results from a little too much, and too easy, instant gratification.
When I was growing up, my mother was a big fan of Christmas clubs and she would religiously deposit her monthly allotment into an account that enabled her to provide abundant gifts for our family of 11 on a pretty meager household income. I learned alot from that but I will admit, the old credit card has gradually replaced my willpower to save with the ease of buying it right now.
So what if you want to save up for a family vacation, a new car, want to start a slush fund and you have trouble sticking to a regular savings plan, or aren’t good at tucking away cash in a cookie jar? Well of course there’s an app for that. It’s called SmartyPig and it enables you to save for your goal using the convenience of automatic bank withdrawals. If you’ve ever done this for a 401K, automatic investment or health savings plan you know that if you never see it in your account, you really don’t ever miss it. And how great is it when the money is there when you need it?
To get started, simply go to the SmartyPig website and set up an account for yourself or if you want, your kids. Start with at least a $25 deposit and set up a recurring transfer from your checking or savings account. While you’re saving, you’re earning interest and your account is FDIC insured. When you reach your goal you can either have the amount transferred back to your bank account, or take it in the form of a retailer gift card or a prepaid debit card that incidentally, has a cash back option on its purchases.
SmartyPig also has a social media feature which allows you to post your goals on Facebook or Twitter so you can share it with your network for possible contributions from your family and friends. Not sure I’m a big fan of this, but in this era of sharing just about everything, it’s only logical that the option would exist.
For those of us who may not have the discipline to put a little bit aside regularly for that big purchase, this is a pretty convenient app. It’s easy to set up and then let SmartyPig do the work. And for added convenience, there’s an Android and iPhone app so you can monitor your account activity on your phone. I’m a big fan of taking care of routine tasks automatically, so this one is appealing. I like the name too.
Would you consider an app like this?