…and this little piggy got a 2.15%APY at smartypig.com! I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s hard to think about savings when there are so many competing expenses in our lives. However, every time I turn around, someone is talking about stashing away 3-6 months in an emergency fund -and I keep putting it off. If you can pick up anything from my site yet (besides that fact that I was boy crazy in 1983), it’s that it has to be a good deal for me to get interested.

Smartypig.com is a free online piggybank for people saving for specific financial goals – like an emergency fund, or something more fun like a vacation or an iPad. Currently, the APY is 2.15% (for less than $50,000), which is one of the most competitive rates in the the country (it’s also FDIC insured).  I set up an account for our emegency fund in under 10 minutes and you can link it to any checking or savings account. What’s even better is that you can share your goals with friends and family members through social networking sites like Facebook, which could be really helpful if you are saving for a wedding, education, or if a child is trying to save up for a big ticket item.

Also, don’t foget to check with your local banks as they are offering some competitive incentives to get people saving. Currently USBank is offering the free S.T.A.R.T. savings plan that gifts you a $50VISA gift card when you save your first $1000, and then another $50 gift card when you hold that balance for 12 months. A local credit union here in St. Louis, First Community Credit Union, is offering 3.01%APY for their free First Rate Checking program; however there are membership and special requirements that apply.

There’s no amount too small to get started toward your financial goals. I promise it wasn’t too painful to set up – and I know that I’ll squeal with delight when I achieve my first one.