SmartyPig is running a new contest called “Race out of Debt.” The winner will get $4,951. Why $4,951? Well, it seems that’s the average American’s credit card debt as of this Summer. Sound like a lot? It’s actually down 13% from last year! So to celebrate bringing our debt down, SmartyPig is going to make one contestant super happy.
One of the more interesting and innovative ways to save up for specific goals is to make use of SmartyPig. SmartyPig is a free online savings tool that allows you to save for for specific financial goals. Whether you want to save up $500 for back to school shopping, or $5,000 for a family vacation, it is possible to use SmartyPig to reach that goal. The concept is fairly straightforward, and works simply.
First of all, it is important to note that SmartyPig is not a bank. SmartyPig accounts are held through BBVA Compass (As of Aug 1st, 2010 SmartyPig account will move from West Bank to BBVA Compass, the 15th largest bank in the US). They are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 (drops to $100,000 on January 1, 2014 unless things change). You can set up as many goals as you want for yourself and your family. In order to start at SmartyPig, you need the same items that you would need to open a regular savings account:
There are a number of different kinds of bank cards a person may come across in the course of their financial life – ATM cards, debit cards, credit cards, and prepaid debit cards.
All of these, as one may gather, work differently – and how they differ is an important thing to know in order to wisely use each kind of card.
The Different Bank Cards You Might See Continue Reading
In today’s difficult economy, it is more important than ever to pay attention to the little details of personal finances.
Money kept in a typical savings accounts will earn very little interest, with many banks today paying as little as one tenth of one percent.
A certificate of deposit (CD) is one alternative that pays a better interest rate than a passbook savings account.
What is a Certificate of Deposit or CD?
You need a safe environment to keep your money that also allows you easy access to it.
This is where a checking account can help.
A checking account is an account that you have with a bank.
They hold your money and allow you to withdraw it, buy things with it and pay bills with it. The bank will issue you checks, a debit card and/or an ATM card. Your ATM card can only be used to withdraw cash from an ATM (automated teller machine) and your checks can only be used to make purchases or pay bills; your debit card can combine these conveniences and do both. Your debit card can be used like both a check and a ATM card. You can use it to make purchases at a store or online, as well as to draw cash out of an ATM. You may also be able to set up automatic withdraws in your checking account so that your bills as paid on a certain day each month, automatically.
I’ve had a high interest savings account with ING Direct going back to 2003.
I was at my parent’s house doing my taxes on their computer with Turbo Tax. At the end of the session an ad popped up with an offer to sign up to ING Direct’s online savings account and get what I recall a $50 bonus. I had heard of them before but being 2003 I was skeptical of online banking. But since ING Direct required only a dollar to sign up I figured it was worth doing for nothing more than the $50 bonus.
Online investment company ShareBuilder (owned by ING Direct) is offering up 10 free investment credits to new and existing customers who set up an Automatic Investment Plan before January 31st. This is a great way to start investing for the New Year! Normally automatic investments are $4 per trade.