SmartyPig Offers A Social Savings Solution

Want to save up for a new house, car, or computer, but don't have the self discipline to set aside a bit of your paycheck every month? SmartyPig is an online banking service designed to help.

Here's how it works. You set up an account, tell SmartyPig how much you want to save, and when you want to save it by, and the service will tell you how much you need to set aside each month. You can then set up an online savings account with a pretty decent interest rate to start saving. Like ING Direct, HSBC Direct, and other online bank accounts, SmartyPig offers higher interest rates than your typical neighborhood bank because the company doesn't have the same administrative overhead costs as a bricks and mortar operation. SmartyPig also partners with a real bank (West Bank), and the accounts are FDIC insured.

In addition to helping you setup a savings account to reach your goal, SmartyPig offers one more feature. Other users can pitch in to help you save. Say your friends, relatives, or coworkers really want you to have that big screen TV so that your football parties aren't as dull as your charades shindigs. They can transfer money from their accounts to yours for free, or make contributions with a credit card, which will be subject to a 2.9% processing fee.


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