Save For Specific Goals With SmartyPig.com

“Saving up.” It’s nearly an alien concept in this “buy with debt” world, but into that breach steps SmartyPig. The site lets you set and save for specific goals in their online savings accounts at a competitive 3.9% APY savings rate. There’s all sorts of built-in graphs and widgets to track your progress, but then you can make it social, if you like, by making a page where your goals public and having friends and family or other random people on the net (export to Facebook, etc) track and root for your progress, or even contribute to your goal.

The funds are FDIC-insured and deposited in West Bank, which has been in Des Moines, Iowa since 1893.

If you decide you need the cash and want to stop saving up with SmartyPig, you can close your goal (“break the piggy bank”) and withdraw or transfer your money.

If you’re looking for something with built-in restrictions and tools that will both help and force you to save up for specific purchase goals, instead of whipping out the plastic, SmartyPig could be worth a shot.

Smarty Pig [Official Site]

The site has been around for a bit, here’s a few other people who’ve written reviews about it worth checking out:

Get Rich Slowly [Get Rich Slowly]
SmartyPig Review: With Less Fees, Are Piggy Banks Back? [My Money Blog]
Social Networking Meets Savings Accounts: SmartyPig Launches this Week [NetBanker]
Some people had trouble with the sign-up, but I was able to clickity-click and get rolling within minutes.

Comments

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  1. stageright says:

    Oh, fees!

    Oh, Restrictions!

    I don’t have time to review it in full, but a quick look shows lots of ways for smarty pig to steal your saved cash. Pass.

  2. tamsue73 says:

    I signed up for travel advantage and got scammed! I canceled before the 30 days and 40 days later it came out of my account! 120.00 taken out of my bank account! I called to talk to them three times and they hung up on me! They said I also signed up for shoppers advantage which I didnt and that I didnt cancel it! How can I cancel it if I never signed up for it! I got hooked up with travel advantage through choice hotels! I called choice hotels to tell them my concerns about travel advantage and told me they couldnt do anything about it!!! I will never stay at a choice hotel ever again! PEOPLE DONT EVER SIGN UP WITH TRAVEL ADVANTAGE OR SHOPPERS ADVANTAGE!!!!

  3. azntg says:

    Alternatively, you can arrange a transfer from the Smartypig account to an existing checking or savings account.

    I was going to say that if I can only redeem my savings as a Mastercard Debit Card or retailer gift card only, it would be a serious dealbreaker (former could potentially be loaded with fees and latter could be problematic if the retailer refuses to honor gift cards for any reason).

  4. veryape says:

    I would rather have my money mailed as a check

  5. no.no.notorious says:

    I’m sure it’s a perfectly fine program…but mentally, can’t give my money to a ‘savings program’ with a cute cartoon pig as the logo. it feels a little too ‘play school’ for me to take it seriously.

    me personally, i didn’t realize how much i was making as a waitress until i logged everything into a spread sheet. i was surprised. i’m sure this could help some.

  6. MeOhMy says:

    I like the idea. I always wished ING would let me “earmark” funds without having to actually open add’l accounts.

  7. ratattak says:

    not to sound like a dick, but this article has a little bit of wrong information:

    After you meet your goal, and only after you meet your goal, you can “break the piggy bank” and withdraw or transfer your money.

    On the Web site it clearly states that you can withdraw at anytime at no penalty:

    20. What if I need my money in my SmartyPig savings goal before I reach my goal?

    SmartyPig savings goals may be closed at any time without penalty. You will have the option of receiving your current savings plus interest on the SmartyPig MasterCard® Debit Card, the gift card of a best-in-class retailer partnering with SmartyPig, or you can ACH the funds back to your existing checking or savings account. Each redemption option is free to the customer.

    FAQ’s: [www.smartypig.com]

  8. ShabanaTalos says:

    My name is Mike Ferrari and am the co-founder of SmartyPig. First off, thank
    you so much for the mention on your site! I wanted to point out a couple
    quick things I thought might be valuable to your readers. On SmartyPig, you
    are actually free to close your goal at anytime. You do not have to wait
    until you reach it. You are not penalized in any way when closing a goal
    early. Funds are held with our banking partner and are FDIC insured up to
    the maximum allowed by law. And we offer three redemption options to receive
    your funds: 1) ACH your funds back to your bank account. 2) Place your
    funds on a SmartyPig MasterCard Debit Card (which is reloadable) or 3) Place
    your funds on a retail gift card like Amazon.com, Best Buy, Home Depot and
    get up to a 5% cash boost on top of your interest and principal. Cash boosts
    vary by retailer. All options are provided at no additional cost. Please
    feel free to email me direct anytime with any questions at mferrari (at)
    smartypig (dot) com. Thanks again!

    • fivepoint says:

      @ShabanaTalos: Mike, glad to see you on here!

      Everyone else, this website is amazing! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It gives you a whole new perspective on saving. Instead of adding to savings once and a while, it lets you add funds to your savings like you would any normal monthly bill. Instead of living month-to-month and spending any extra cash you have on hand, SmartyPig give you a useful, easy-to-use, logical and FUN way to save money consistently!

      Some of the coolest parts:
      3.9% APR
      Remove funds at any time, no penalty
      Unlike your normal savings account, you’ll actually use it.
      Share your ‘goals’ with friends and family members. They can contribute if they want to.
      Integration with sites like Facebook, etc.
      Beautiful intuitive interface. No clutter. A pleasure to use.

      The people at SmartyPig do a great job… now only if I could convince them to hire me as a consultant, things would be perfect. ;)

  9. Rachacha says:

    I think that the big question is, Can you put lipstick on SmartyPig? (Sorry, it HAD to be said).

    • mike says:

      @Rachacha: I dunno. Let’s ask Mike Rowe. He worked on a pig farm. ;-)

      This is a very neat idea. The fact that it has a high-yield rate is awesome! I’ve always wanted to put a goal monitor on my web site just to show off.

  10. Fist-o™ says:

    I predict that this web site / company will fall off the radar after this initial press release, to be cataloged among the hundreds of web sites that eke by on meager usage.

    I HAVE been wrong before; I just can’t remember when. ;)

  11. dewsipper says:

    I just had to find out…
    “Funds are deposited with West Bank, Member FDIC.”

    With that said, maybe it just might fly.

  12. bria says:

    I have a question, if anyone’s bored.

    I have a “relationship savings” account at 5/3 Bank that has a 1.5% APY. I can take money out anytime, transfer, the whole deal. I have CD’s but I’m interested in SmartyPig.

    Would I be better off putting that savings account in SmartyPig? What are some possible downfalls?

    Thanks to whoever answers this!

  13. fivepoint says:

    Yes you’d be better off. You don’t lose ANYTHING, but you do gain 2% interest and a far better online experience. You can even send a link to your parents/relatives and let them contribute to your fund if you want to!

  14. verified101 says:

    Great it’s not good for Canadians and here I was all sold on the idea.