savin' and smilin'

Posts Tagged ‘piggy bank’

Smarty Pig: free, easy saving

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2009 at 6:33 pm

I am aware that I have been posting about pigs a lot lately, but this site deserves some recognition.

2368926366_ee82229e77 Smarty Pig acts as an online savings account, but is more goal-oriented. Say you want to save up for a really cool gadget, like an iPhone or a Wii, but there is no way that you can afford such a purchase right now. Or, say that you really want to save up some cash as a safety net, but you just can’t seem to stop spending it on fast food and pointless purchases.

Fear not, for Smarty Pig is here!

This site is original in that it allows users the option of making their accounts public or private. Public accounts are encouraged, because they allow your friends and family to donate to your online “piggy bank” to help you reach your goal.

In order for Smarty Pig to work, it suggests a monthly payment which is then deducted from your bank’s checking account. If you don’t agree with their suggested amount for the monthly payment, you can choose your own amount. But either way, you are not responsible for making the payments. It is an automated system that helps you reach your goal.

If this system makes you feel a little uneasy, take a breather. The site is protected by McAfee and is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. So if anything goes wrong, you’re safe. Plus, I’ve heard through the grapevine that Smarty Pig’s customer service is phenomenal, so I’m sure they could answer any inquiries relating to their service.

Along with being absolutely free and super easy to set up, Smarty Pig has an annual percentage yield of 3.09%. This is a pretty high savings rate — several times the national average from the majority of sources I’ve looked at. So, Smarty Pig saves your money and gives you money … I’d say it doesn’t get much better than that.

keep a piggy bank, change adds up

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Think piggy banks are just ceramic collectibles? Think again.

Along with savings accounts, piggy banks can be a great source of extra cash. Keep your pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in a piggy bank of sorts, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the result a month or so later. I have several small wooden boxes and containers on my desk in which I store my spare change — from jean pockets, the bottom of my purse, etc. Whenever I need a couple of dollars, I search through my change containers and find some quarters; however, change can be heavy and obnoxiously loud to carry around. So, here are a few solutions:

Wrap the coins and bring them to the bank — This is a kind of old-school method, but it still works just as well. It can also be a fun lazy Sunday activity. Simply sort your coins and wrap them in paper coin wrappers according to the dollar amount. Banks carry the wrappers for free, but you can also purchase some for cheap at stores like Office Max or Staples.

Bring the coins to a Coinstar machine — Coinstars are very helpful in that you can throw all of your coins into the machine and have them sorted automatically, but the downside is that Coinstar takes a percentage of your total to complete the service. However, if you don’t have the time or patience to wrap your coins, it can be a great alternative. Check out Coinstar to find a service near you.