How do I withdraw only part of my money after reaching my goal?

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My savings goal has been reached, but I only want to withdraw part of the money. How do I do that?
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Posted 7 years ago

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Mike Ferrari, Co-Founder

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Official Response
@lindy,

At present, you cannot make partial withdrawals from a SmartyPig goal. If you wish to withdraw your funds, you must stop the entire goal and withdraw all funds.

Thanks for the question!
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That seems like a very poorly designed system for a savings account! So, I will have to withdraw the whole amount, set up a new goal and redeposit. SmartyPig has attractive rates, but gets an "F" for product design.
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Mike Ferrari, Co-Founder

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lindy,

SmartyPig is not like a traditional savings account. SmartyPig is a savings solution that is designed to help people save for specific goals. With that said, your comment is certainly a valid one, and has been a suggestion by several other customers. Partial withdrawals is something we are absolutely considering in the very near future.

Thanks again.
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I agree with Lindy...that option would be great as I have $100,000 with SmartyPig and may not want to withdraw all of it at once if i do not have to !!!
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Dude. Chill out.

Smartypig it not like other "Internet banks." It was designed as a tool to help people achieve specific savings goals and it works wonderfully for that. You are trying to make it do something it wasn't designed to do.
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To be fair I would add an option where you can withdraw certain amounts of money AFTER you have reached your goal so therefore it still serves its purpose.
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Mike Ferrari, Co-Founder

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@highsavingsrateisallthatmatters,

First let me say thank you for the honest feedback. SmartyPig is and always will be about helping people save for specific goals in their life. Presently we require an initial deposit and a monthly recurring contribution until your goal has been met. This is on our home page, terms, FAQ and features page where we have videos of the goal creation process. We do this for our customers who want to abandon the credit card mindset of "buy now, pay later," for our customers who want their children to learn the value of saving, and for everyone else who simply has a goal they want to strive for. Of course, once you reach your goal, you are free to let your funds stay in SmartyPig and continue to earn one of the best APY interest rates in the country (although not the highest, as you indicated - you can find that here http://www.money-rates.com/savings.html and you can continue to add money to your goal, up to $50,000 a day. This flexibility helps our customers who are saving for their first home, college tuition or medical expenses that they know are coming, will be costly, and their friends and family want to help them by using our social application. To some it might be gimmicky. To others it can help make a difference between realizing a dream or not.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, in the near future we will be adding more flexibility and options to the frequency of recurring contributions and allowing users to set their own contribution amounts. As well as allow customers the ability to transfer funds from one goal to another. As you have noted, SmartyPig is unlike any saving product that exists in the market today. And I certainly don't shy away from suggesting that SmartyPig may not be for everyone. If you are looking for a traditional savings account, one that allows you to move money in and out anytime you want, SmartyPig is not for you and I recommend visiting the link above to find a solution that best fits your needs. That said, by looking over the recent press we've received here http://www.smartypig.com/press/in-the... you can easily see that the people who are trying to make themselves fiscally fit, and have goals and want to stick to them, SmartyPig can be a big part of the solution.

If you truly do have questions regarding the legality of what we're doing, I fully encourage you to contact West Bank CFO Doug Gulling at 515.222.2300. West Bancorpartion is a 115-year-old publicly traded company. (NASDAQ: WTBA)

Again, many thanks for the feedback.

Mike Ferrari, co-founder
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ATTENTION MODERATOR: The above two posts by fivepoint are abusive and are in violation of your Community Guidelines. I ask that you remove them.

Fivepoint acknowledges and admits in his own words that he is attacking another member, he says "I'm not one to normally attack the intelligence of others on the web... but honestly, "highsavingsrateisallthatmatters" how stupid do you have to be"

Fivepoints other post is abusive language with the taking of the lord's name in vain. ie "jeez" which is a derivative of Jesus Christ. He is using it in a disparaging way and I ask that you remove the post.
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Anthony

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wow. adults acting like kids... the economy isnt the only thing going down hill...
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Gary

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When I've reached my goal and withdraw funds, I'm given the option to put a portion on a retail gift card or on a SmartyPig debit card. I don't see why there can't also be an option to redeem a portion to my funding bank and leave the rest in my SmartyPig account.

If it's a matter of not wanting people to do this too often, then set a minimum transfer amount limit, or a limit on the number of transfers within a specified time period the same way that a money market savings account puts a limit on the number of transfers that you're allowed to do.
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Totally agree. But one way to leave a portion of your funds in Smartypig and withdraw another portion is to create another goal under your prime Smartypig goal. Then, you can transfer funds between them. For example,
let's say your original goal is "Down Payment to Buy a Home." You've put $4500 into into it. If you want to be able to take a portion of that out, create a "subgoal" under that account. Transfer some of the $4500 into it - say $1,000. Then you can withdraw the $1,000 and leave the rest ($3,500) in Smartypig.
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Amy O

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I would also like to have partial withdrawls available. While I understand SmartyPig's reasoning here, there are some kinds of savings goals (emergency fund, car repair fund, etc.) where you don't know the exact amount you need to withdraw.

Right now, when I need a partial withdrawal, I use a workaround. Here are my steps......

Let's say I have $500 in a "Car Repair Fund" and when my car breaks down the repairs only cost $350.

1) I change my "Car Repair Fund" goal to $350

2) I transfer $150 from the "Car Repair Fund" to some other goal, like "Vacation"

3) I close the "Car Repair Fund" goal and send the $350 to my bank account.

4) I open a new "Car Repair Fund #2" goal, and transfer BACK the $150 which temporarily sat in the "Vacation" account.

Kind of a pain, but it works for now.

I do love SmartyPig very much and recommend it to all my friends. I think some of the "hoops" you have to jump through to use SmartyPig make it psychologically easier to save. But if you're looking for a partial-withdrawl workaround, this does the trick.
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Judie Holtz Welch

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I agree, I've had to do that too. And you're right, it IS kind of a pain, but again as you said, it does make it harder to just take money out on a whim!
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Amy O

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I would also like to have partial withdrawls available. While I understand SmartyPig's reasoning here, there are some kinds of savings goals (emergency fund, car repair fund, etc.) where you don't know the exact amount you need to withdraw.

Right now, when I need a partial withdrawal, I use a workaround. Here are my steps......

Let's say I have $500 in a "Car Repair Fund" and when my car breaks down the repairs only cost $350.

1) I change my "Car Repair Fund" goal to $350

2) I transfer $150 from the "Car Repair Fund" to some other goal, like "Vacation"

3) I close the "Car Repair Fund" goal and send the $350 to my bank account.

4) I open a new "Car Repair Fund #2" goal, and transfer BACK the $150 which temporarily sat in the "Vacation" account.

Kind of a pain, but it works for now.

I do love SmartyPig very much and recommend it to all my friends. I think some of the "hoops" you have to jump through to use SmartyPig make it psychologically easier to save. But if you're looking for a partial-withdrawl workaround, this does the trick.
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David Salazar

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Yeah I think smartypig would be wise to work something out to withdraw partial funds.
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Melissa Bailey

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I agree. I want to setup a savings account for each of my young children that they can access when they turn 18 (in 14 and 16yrs from now)... once the money is saved, it'd be nice if it could be withdrawn in encriments... say $5k for their 1st semester at college, another $5k for the second semester and so on... and Im not interested in a college savings plan per se... I want my kids to utilize the money how they see fit (with my guidence of course) at 18... say a down pmt on a house, or a trip to europe or to buy a car or start a business, etc. I imagine SmartyPig invests our money and thats why we have accts without fees and a very decent interest yeild... so it makes sense for their business model to include long-term and/or high dollar savings goals to their portfolio of services as well as short term goals for tv's etc. I'd love to see the change. Until then, I will continue shopping for a product thats right for me, my family and our financial goals...
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dcoulson

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If you're looking at a 10+yr window before you need the money, a savings account isn't the place to do it. SmartyPig does not invest money nor is it a substitute for long-term investing strategies.

My 4yr old has money in an ESA and a regular investment account. Since I have 14yrs before she needs it, I can tolerate the increased risk of investing and get a better return than 2%. I suspect college isn't going to cost $10k/yr in 2024... :-)
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WorkingDaddy

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@dcoulson: why ESA over a 529 savings plan?
Just curious...
http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/p...
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dcoulson

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At the time, there was not a 529 that had all the trading options of an ESA... I can do ETFs and stuff in the ESA. That said, this year I can't do an ESA so 529 it is. Going to bookmark that schwab one :-)
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Melissa Bailey

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Would you mind sharing with me what long-term savings products are out there that have high returns? Im totally new to investing. I've reached out to my mom and 6 aunts and none of them had any suggestions where/how to save long-term in a way I can start with a low balance ($200 or so) and make monthly contributions (say $100/mo) at a high yield and have the money not be specifically for college. I'm sure there are smart things I can do for my kids financial future if I get started right now, but I dont know where to begin. I've searched the internet and I havent come up with much. I have a feeling Im not searching the right key words... using "high yield savings acct" etc. Im nervous to go to a financial planner or investment person bc I dont have any good referrals or have no idea what is a fair rate they charge.
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WorkingDaddy

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http://www.depositaccounts.com/ might be helpful. There, if you select "Savings Account" then "Personal Savings Account", you'll find SmartyPig has has the highest rate these days. Now if you don't plan on touching the money for some years, then I think what'd I do is put that $200 and $100/mo into a SmartyPig account until you have the minimum needed to open a CD with rates higher than what SmartyPig's savings offers. (The above web site is great for shopping for CDs too.)
Repeat these steps as often as you like. :)

Maybe later on, consider looking into investments like ETFs, Mutual Funds, etc. As dcoulson said, it's possible to lose money in these things - especially if there's another economic crisis. But I think you have plenty of time to look into those kindsa options. Step one is to just get started with the savings and get started early. But I think you already know that. ;)
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dcoulson

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I use Sharebuilder for most of my investing, but there is Schwab, TD Ameritrade and others out there. You can open an account and automatically contribute $100/mo into it through the year. You will need to do some research as to what investments you contribute to and how you allocate the funds - Some have minimums (usually $1k and above), but many do not. Pretty much anyone you use for investing will have online tools and resources available to assist in allocation. If you want to do something basic, $100/mo into the ETF SDY is a good start. It tracks the S&P500 dividend paying stocks, which typically has a good yield. You can also check out Vanguard mutual funds, although many of those have a minimum $3k contribution (you could do $100/mo into SDY then move it into a Vanguard fund once you get to $3k).

Investing is not saving, and you can lose money. It's vital that you have plenty of cash available elsewhere so you don't have to pull money from investments if you have an emergency.
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Melissa Bailey

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Thank you fella's! This is exactly the information I am looking for. I will look into the suggestions from both of you!! Thanks and happy holidays to you :o)
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brent.pearson

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I just closed my account, partially because of the inability to transfer money between goals and withdraw part of a goal (primarily because of the lack of a joint account option, but I probably wouldn't come back if these capabilities aren't added).
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WorkingDaddy

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Guess I'm not following. You *can* transfer funds between goals. And withdrawing part of a goal entails transferring the funds you want to keep over to another goal, then closing/redeeming the first goal - as Amy O outlines above. How these things are connected to lack of join accounts escapes me.
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brent.pearson

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Didn't realize I could transfer between goals. That's good. But the main thing I want is to be able to simply withdraw some of the funds in a goal (transfer them to my external checking account) without closing the goal.

I just mentioned the lack of joint accounts note that this wasn't the main reason I closed my account, but that it did contribute to my dissatisfaction.
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WorkingDaddy

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"But the main thing I want is to be able to simply withdraw some of the funds in a goal (transfer them to my external checking account) without closing the goal."
I find myself desiring that myself from time to time. So I just set up a "dummy" goal with $25 in it and let it sit (no contributions). Then when I want to withdraw a part of another goal, I transfer the desired funds from that goal to the dummy goal and close out the dummy goal. (Then create another dummy goal.)

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mikelas (SU1)

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That's what I do too, WorkingDaddy, but it's a bit hassle of a workaround if you think about it.
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WorkingDaddy

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100% agree. And there's probably no technical reason why the experience of the SP community can't be improved upon in this area. But I suspect SP is focused on other things these days - like maybe an Android app or whatever. So hey, as in life, we just try to do the best we can with the cards we've been dealt.
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Lunia

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Honestly, although I understand the concept of saving for specific goals, I have to agree that the implementation is poor in certain cases. If I saved up several semesters' worth of tuition, why can't I withdraw one semester's tuition? It doesn't take away from the fact that the system works. It can't be that expensive to let me do that 2-3 times a year. And Smartypig does not have the best interest rate out there anymore, so let's just say the temptation to leave is greater when you have to worry that you constantly need a filler goal in order to take out part of the funds.
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WorkingDaddy

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I think the "Rolling Goals" suggestion ( http://getsatisfaction.com/smartypig/... ), if SP implements it, would help here, if I understand correctly how rolling goals would work.
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elemdoubleu

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I would really like to be able to withdraw part of my goal. I have goals for things like gifts, donating to charity and travel. For these goals, I want to save a certain amount each month, but I don't necessarily want to take it all out of my account at once when I buy a single gift, donate or travel-- actually, I hardly ever do want to take it all out at once.
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WorkingDaddy

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@elemdoubleu: as you see, you're not alone. But perhaps Amy O's suggestion (above) would work for you.

Say your gift goal is $150 but the gift cost $125. So transfer $25 to your travel goal and redeem the remaining $125 in the gift goal. Rinse, repeat for the travel goal or whatever..

The idea being that wherever you over-saved, you use the extra funds to give another goal an extra boost.!
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elemdoubleu

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Thanks for the response @WorkingDaddy. This would work in some cases, where I did oversave for a defined goal and am actually done with the goal; however, in most cases (gifts, donating to charity, travel) I just want to redeem part and use the rest for the same purpose at a later day. For example, I just want to buy a birthday gift for someone, but want to keep the rest of my money in the gift fund for Christmas gifts. I guess one month when I have a little extra, I can create a bunch of dummy goals that I can transfer to at later points for redemption, but that is a hack and it really would be nice if we could redeem part of a goal.
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WorkingDaddy

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I have quarterly bills and I'd luv to just add to one goal each payday and then take only what I need each quarter. But alas, you're right, @elemdoubleu, that's not possible.

Don't know if it helps, but for gifts, rather than one goal, I have a slew of gift goals (one for each birthday, one for each anniversary, a separate goal for Christmas and one each for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day). So in this way, redeeming the whole goal works out well. YMMV. :)
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Seeing as this has been an outstanding question for 5 years already, I'm guessing it's not going to be changed. But after recently needing to withdraw some money from my emergency fund, I saw how annoying this process is with SmartyPig. I would hope that I never need to withdraw my entire emergency fund in one transaction, so being able to do a partial withdrawal would be very helpful.
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Mike Ferrari, Co-Founder

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Derek, at present we have no plans for implementing partial withdrawals. Thanks for your feedback though. It has been something we continue to discuss.
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brent.pearson

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Right, that was just something smartypig claimed to be "absolutely considering in the very near future" over 5 years ago, as an obvious move to retain customers, with no plans of notifying them when they decided against implementing partial withdrawals (most likely also over 5 years ago).
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WorkingDaddy

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The complete process of considering it ("Partial withdrawals is something we are absolutely considering in the very near future."), removing it from consideration, and then updating the SP community with "we have no plans for implementing" took about 5-1/2 years.

There might be room for improvement here.
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The easiest alternative then would be to be able to fund a new goal from an existing goal. It would make shuffling money around between goals much easier.
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WorkingDaddy

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Very true. And fortunately, we're already well into the waiting period to hear back on this idea. ("Transfer exsisting goals to new goals..").
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veda

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And another scenario to consider is if you're saving up for a trip, a deposit might need to be withdrawn at an interim time during your savings goal. I would continue to save until trip time, but I need to pull out only a certain amount early for the deposit.

Another example, weddings aren't paid for all at the same time. You might have to withdraw periodically as services are provided or purchases are made.

It's not cheating on the savings concept, but if this savings approach is meant to help people save up for things, then practicalities should be considered. The only way to get around this now is to create a savings goal, wait for it to fund, transfer the money, then close it. Obviously you have to do this ahead of time to allow for all the processing. Smartypig is great, but please consider building in more flexibility for practicality.