Financial Friday: SmartyPig helps you save for Conferences and more!

>> Friday, November 6, 2009

Several months ago I found out about SmartyPig. I instantly fell in love with the little guy as a professional nanny who wanted to save for goals ! Isn't he adorable? SmartyPig is an online "piggy bank" for all of your goals you want to save for. SmartyPig is FDIC insured as well and run through the West Bank of Iowa. Whether it be the INA Conference, a Nanny retreat, plane ticket home for the holidays, a new couch, or a new car...SmartyPig is here for you!

Today I am going to share with you how I have been using SmartyPig to save for my INA conference fees goal that can be sent in starting on March 1, 2010. I have been saving since June 2009. I will also be adding two more goals (Hotel payment goal & airfare goal).

First you will need to have a rough estimate of what it will cost you to attend the 25th Anniversary of the INA Conference, May 20-23, 2010 in San Francisco. There are many factors in this "price tag." They include membership fee, conference fee, hotel costs and airfare. Two of these are fixed expenses: Membership Fee ($95 for nannies) and the Conference Fee ($295 has been the past fee for members, you have been able to get a 10% discount for going with a group, or first time attendee). There has also been an optional outing normally that is about $30 in the past. I get the reduced conference fee of 10% off due to being a member of ADCAN and having 5 or more members present at the conference. I save $300 for the conference fee/optional outing.

No matter what the "price tag" of a conference is for you to attend, you are investing in your education and future. Sometimes it seems like the "price tag" is more expensive than others or out of reach, but you must remember to invest in yourself. Determine what your "opportunity cost" is for education in the nanny field for yourself. Hopefully SmartyPig will give you the opportunity to attend the INA conference or the other Nanny events in 2010.

The hotel is at the lovely Hyatt at Fishersman's Wharf at $115 a night with 15.5% tax and .13 city tax (max 4 people to a room) This brings one night to $132.96 ($115 + $17.83 tax +.13 city tax) This rate is good for three days before the conference and three days after.

Here is the tally of the expenses I have:
$95 Membership Fee (paid earlybird October 25 & saved $10-pay by November 30 & save $10)
$ 300 for Conference Fee (10% discount) & optional outing if one -payments accepted 3/1/10
$265.92 for the Hotel stay (Wed-Sunday- with ONE roommate-$531.84 total) due 5/1/10
$400 for the airfare ($349 for 1 stop/$465 non stop- DC to SFO found on Kayak) due 3/1/10
Total needed is: $965.92 not including Membership fee.

In June I set up my first goal with SmartyPig. $300 for the Conference Fee/optional outing. I had to make the initial $25 deposit. My goal is set to be met on March 1, 2010. Every month on the 12th, my bank account auto drafts $30 to my SmartyPig goal account. I receive currently 2.01% interest. I have reached 48% of my goal so far. The cool thing is that you can add to your goals at anytime, any extra money you have. You can also have relatives contribute to your goals as well. (click on photo to enlarge)

When my goal is met I can either have the money redeposited back into my checking account or receive a Mastercard issued from SmartyPig.

Let's set up your first goal: The Hotel expenses that are needed by May 1, 2010 (This allows time for money transfer etc)

You will set up all your information regarding your checking account and so forth in the beginning. Then you will create your goal. The SmartyPig set up is very straight forward and easy. You must do an initial deposit of $25.00 to start any goal.

Starting on November 12, 2010 -SmartyPig will take out $40 a month till May 2010 to reach my goal of $266 for the 4 nights at the hotel with one roommate. (click on image to enlarge)

You can adjust the amount taken out monthly by increasing your initial deposit or making your goal date much longer. At this time, you can not say that you want $10 out monthly then switch it to $50 in 3 months. To get an affordable withdrawl amount for the say the first two months, you can play around with the end goal date. You can change your goal end date/amount at anytime. You can stop your goal at anytime as well without penalty.

For more details on how SmartyPig works, visit How Does this Work? Make sure you check out the page on their Best in Class Retailers, where they will give up 6% interest to various retailers in the form of a gift card to them. You can set up up goals for other parts of your life besides the INA Conference and get some great interest rates on your savings goals! The best thing is that the Hyatt is on their list of Best in Class Retailers!!!!!!

Any questions, let me know. See you in May 2010 at the Hyatt on Fishermans Wharf!


Anonymous November 11, 2009 at 12:49 AM  

I'm so sad I can't afford to go.

I would need 3 more roomies, just so the hotel was way cheap.

Sucks that I am in Cali...but maybe one year it will be in So Cal.


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