“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.