Monday, July 26, 2010

Saving to buy things

Remember how your elders would tell you to save in order to save? As in, "this money should never be spent"? Reality check: that's hard to do. Sure, I save money (all I can); I even save to save it. But then I need (ok, want) to buy something, and there goes my savings. That's normal, but the problem is I never spend my money on the reason I'm saving my money.

After discussing finances with my wife - an exciting topic for us both - I ventured online and discovered It's a dream service for penny pinchers, like myself. The site facilitates saving towards financial goals, and provides the literal and proverbial "bucket" to separate your monies.

Now, I already use - a financial management service that is entirely useful towards monitoring my spending across various accounts. (Thanks Malaney!) It also offers goal oriented savings, and will track your progress like SmartyPig. The difference is SmartyPig actually gives you an account, a temporary one, to fund your goal. If Mint had this ability (they suggest regular third-party savings accounts), I wouldn't use SmartyPig; but Mint only tracks money.

On top of giving you a bucket to put your money in, SmartyPig rewards long time planners with APY of 2.15%. My wife and I are saving for a home - which takes some time to fund - and that kind of benefit really appeals to me. Plus, I don't have to leave my favorite bank to do it. The fact that my money comes back to my account, means I'm not in bed with SmartyPig longer than I like.

This is not a tutorial on using SmartyPig (the are plenty of tutorials online), just a hearty applause to the digital age. I learned that my money doesn't have to be tied down to a bank or risked in a nervous stock market. Today, I can shop for the things I want and not harm mine or my wife's future finances. Good and finally!

Ah hem, lest I forget... SmartyPig also lets you receive public contributions. See the bottom of my sidebar, if you'd like to try that out! (wink) Many, many thanks in advance!!


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