A note from Bookly CEO Zach Olson
When I first started my business, I had no idea that I even owed quarterly estimated taxes. Fortunately (or more like unfortunately!) I didn’t make enough profit in my first year in business to be penalized for my ignorance and failing to pay. By the next year, I knew my obligations and also that I’d better come up with some ways to save money or Uncle Sam would catch me short. Being a web worker, I turned to the internet to help me save up for my goals. These are two apps I’ve used with success.
Smarty Pig is a free online piggy bank for people saving up for specific goals. For years, I set up a “Quarterly Estimated Taxes” goal in my Smarty Pig account, told it to take out a set amount from my business checking account every month, and then cleaned out the funds every three months when quarterly estimated taxes were due. This set-it-and-forget-it approach worked like a charm for someone who was once prone to spending all the money in her bank account! On the downside, I don’t get all the features out of Smarty Pig if I use it to pay my quarterly estimated taxes. If I were saving up for something specific, like home repairs or holiday gifts, I could redeem my savings in gift cards with special cash boosts up to 11% more than what I actually saved. Another downside is that it can take several days for Smarty Pig to return funds to your account via ACH transfer, so you can’t let tax deadlines sneak up on you.
SaveUp is an app that uses the concept of gamification to make the sometimes-boring act of saving toward a goal more fun. The chance to play a lottery style game and win prizes every day keeps you logging in when you may otherwise not want to check on your money. While SaveUp doesn’t actively help you transfer funds into a savings account like Smarty Pig does, it does make the act of saving fun and may get your mind on something that may not be top-of-mind at other times.