Author Topic: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals  (Read 7891 times)

MacGyverIt

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
  • Location: Not in a tropical, underpopulated location. And that's just wrong.
  • What Would MacGyver Do?
Wanted to bring smartypig.com to everyone's attention. It seems like a pretty good savings vehicle for short to mid term savings goals. Unlike my bank's money market account (for non-investment $$) at .2% the smartypig.com account at least avails a 1% interest rate.

What's especially motivating is you can establish a specific "bucket" for each savings goal and even go so far as post your goals on Facebook or other sites and people can contribute. (I have no plans to ask the world to contribute to the material costs of a bathroom upgrade but to each his own....)

Any better options out there based upon your experience?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28260
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 09:02:01 AM »
I've used it. It's decent. Would recommend to someone saving for a goal or just looking for a slightly better rate on their cash.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

darkelenchus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 290
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Akron, OH
  • True wealth comes from good health and wise ways.
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 12:04:10 PM »
This is the service we settled on for saving our money for property taxes. We'll probably use it for other savings goals.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 12:09:51 PM by darkelenchus »

MacGyverIt

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
  • Location: Not in a tropical, underpopulated location. And that's just wrong.
  • What Would MacGyver Do?
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 07:16:45 AM »
This is the service we settled on for saving our money for property taxes. We'll probably use it for other savings goals.
The higher interest savings vehicle you referenced in the other thread---
Thanks for the responses, guys. We went ahead and opened a high-yield savings account after reviewing our options. Investing the money for the short term turns out to be too much hassle for too little return, at least with the way things happen to be right now.
--- was this a local bank or something available online? As Arebelspy mentioned, the smartypig account seems to be good for certain goals and I haven't found anything that renders more than 1% interest if I'm only planning to park it there on and off in the short to mid term.

crunchy_mama

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 07:50:03 AM »
We get 4% locally up to 30k.  I know there are other banks nationwide that offer similar options but I'm not sure how many.  We have a few qualifications but they are easy to meet for us, ie online banking, automatic payment and min debit transactions.  Otherwise we have an Emigrant Account for shorter term savings but it is only earning .60% at this point, when we originally signed up it was at 5%.

darkelenchus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 290
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Akron, OH
  • True wealth comes from good health and wise ways.
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 09:08:38 AM »
This is the service we settled on for saving our money for property taxes. We'll probably use it for other savings goals.
The higher interest savings vehicle you referenced in the other thread---
Thanks for the responses, guys. We went ahead and opened a high-yield savings account after reviewing our options. Investing the money for the short term turns out to be too much hassle for too little return, at least with the way things happen to be right now.
--- was this a local bank or something available online? As Arebelspy mentioned, the smartypig account seems to be good for certain goals and I haven't found anything that renders more than 1% interest if I'm only planning to park it there on and off in the short to mid term.

It was the smartypig account. Given the really low interest rates right now, 1% is "high-yield."

darkelenchus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 290
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Akron, OH
  • True wealth comes from good health and wise ways.
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 09:11:00 AM »
We get 4% locally up to 30k. 

Wow. That's pretty darn good. We couldn't find anything even close to that high when we looked at local banks & credit unions. In fact, the best we found offered .8%

SunTzuWarmaster

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2012, 09:45:07 PM »
I get 3% locally up to 25K with essentially the same limitations.  Old Florida National Bank, for what it is worth.  My parents get 3.75% at Florida Central Credit Union (which is sadly an hour away).

I use www.mint.com for tracking against saving objectives.

I would recommend that you look at your local credit unions for good interest rates.  Note the difference: 3% on 10K is $25/month.  .8% on 10K is $6.67.  $18/month is a sizable thing to turn down for not doing some research.

richschmidt

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Location: Valparaiso, IN
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2012, 11:10:48 PM »
I've looked for those high-interest accounts a couple times in the past year or two. There's nobody anywhere near us offering 3-4%. Nobody.

We use ING Direct to save for goals. It was getting 1% a year ago. I think it's down from that now.

jimmygibbon

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • Ennvoy Mineral Cosmetics
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 01:58:14 AM »
I too am finding it very difficult to find a "high" yield savings account scenario. I am in Wisconsin and am a member of Landmark Credit Union which currently offers .0015%.  The lion's share of my savings is at ING earning .0080%.  I have done numerous online searched but have yet to find anything close to 3%.  Are there any Wisconsinites out there who can recommend local institutions with better rates?

Jimmy

richschmidt

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Location: Valparaiso, IN
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 05:15:07 AM »
I too am finding it very difficult to find a "high" yield savings account scenario. I am in Wisconsin and am a member of Landmark Credit Union which currently offers .0015%.  The lion's share of my savings is at ING earning .0080%.  I have done numerous online searched but have yet to find anything close to 3%.  Are there any Wisconsinites out there who can recommend local institutions with better rates?

Jimmy

ING Direct's Orange Savings account earns 0.8%, not 0.008%. https://home.ingdirect.com/orange-savings-account

I'm guessing your credit union money is earning 0.15%. That's still a lot less than 3%, but not by as much as you'd written here. :)

CptMrPants

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 09:45:25 AM »
In response to it being hard to find high yield checking accounts, check out this website-

http://www.depositaccounts.com/checking/reward-checking-accounts.html

I am currently running my rental properties through a credit union, half the state away that gives me 3.01% APY up to $15k.

So using that site, I see there is another bank that will do 3.66% APY up to $25k AND 1% above $25k.

You have to jump through some hoops to get that rate, but it's nothing onerous.


richschmidt

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Location: Valparaiso, IN
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 10:22:08 AM »
In response to it being hard to find high yield checking accounts, check out this website-

http://www.depositaccounts.com/checking/reward-checking-accounts.html

I am currently running my rental properties through a credit union, half the state away that gives me 3.01% APY up to $15k.

So using that site, I see there is another bank that will do 3.66% APY up to $25k AND 1% above $25k.

You have to jump through some hoops to get that rate, but it's nothing onerous.

I don't remember if it was that website or another like it, but none of the ones listed there are open to me.  Their location or profession or connection requirements don't fit.

Congrats to those for whom these are available!  :)

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4862
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 10:24:22 AM »
I'm sure some of those would work for you, because several of them worked for me and I don't meet just about any requirements.

shadowmoss

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1158
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 12:40:23 PM »
On the SmartyPig website they offer a pre-load MasterCard with some rebate, and also gift cards to various retailers that they say they give 11% back if you buy from them.  I do some buying from Amazon, which is one of their retailers.  So, if I put say, $100.00 over there, and buy an Amazon gift card to pay for some things I'm going to order anyway and get 11% back on that besides 1% on whatever money I leave in the account, it sounds good.  What am I missing?

I also went and checked out the site referenced where they show who pays best interest on savings accounts.  There is a credit union in IL that looks interesting.  However, I don't have so much money that I need to put accounts here there and everywhere. 

I'm at ING now, with .8% interest on my savings and checking, so I'm not real bad off on opportunities, just looking around.  Thoughts?

Edited to add:  I'm living in Honduras right now, but my mailing address is WA.  That is one reason I'm not sure about the CU in IL, whether I could swing it not living anywhere near it.

TLV

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Bellevue, WA
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2012, 12:46:18 PM »
gift cards to various retailers that they say they give 11% back if you buy from them.

That's up to 11% - be sure to check how much it will actually be (here) so you're not disappointed.

Amazon, for example, is only 3% - and you can get 3% on any Amazon purchase just by using their credit card.

Also, the other major caveat with SmartyPig is that it's not very liquid. You need to set your "goals" to finish at least 2 weeks before you want the money out, because it will make the last transfer on the "finish" date, but you can't "close" the goal for about a week after a transfer, and then it takes several more days after that before you get the money into your main account. (At least for ACH transfer - I never used the gift cards).
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 12:51:02 PM by TLV »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28260
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Smartypig.com - decent savings vehicle for short/mid term goals
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2012, 12:55:19 PM »
the other major caveat with SmartyPig is that it's not very liquid. You need to set your "goals" to finish at least 2 weeks before you want the money out, because it will make the last transfer on the "finish" date, but you can't "close" the goal for about a week after a transfer, and then it takes several more days after that before you get the money into your main account. (At least for ACH transfer - I never used the gift cards).

As long as the money's been in there over a week (i.e. you don't move it in and want it out two days later - which would be silly, why move it in the first place?), you can close a goal at any time, you don't need to set it to finish at all.  I set all my goals to finish like 5 years from now, even if I'll only have it in there 2-3 months.

The several day transfer time is a good thing to note though.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.