As you may have read, I'm planning on getting married next year. We'll be paying for this all by ourselves, so we have to be cost-conscious.
My fiancée has already started thinking about what to put on her bridal registry, and she told me some of her married friends had signed on with travel agents so they can collect contributions to a honeymoon.
This sounded like a great idea to me, as a honeymoon will not be in our budget most likely. But, I've never dealt with a travel agent, as I like to plan things myself. So signing up with one of them is out of the question for us.
I searched for a similar type of site that collects money for a honeymoon, and I found many (Google "honeymoon fund"). But all of them had exorbitant fees just to donate to the fund, which I found unacceptable.
Then I came across SmartyPig, which is in a beta phase. With this, you can set up a savings account (that currently gives you 4.30% APY) and establish a goal for it (the amount you want to save and the deadline).
Friends can contribute to your goal for just a 2.9% processing fee, which is reasonable. It also requires the owner of the account to make systematic deposits. When the goal is reached, you can take the money saved in the form of a gift card or check.
I set up my account last week. I had a couple of questions, and the customer service has been great so far (the co-founder actually resolved one for me).
Some functionality has been not been available when I needed it, but this is understandable since it's a new company in a beta phase.
Tom Valenti is a marketer and project manager who currently works for a financial institution in New Jersey. Read Tom's blog at http://thriftyhomeowner.blogspot.com or learn more about him at http://tomvalenti.com.