Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Saving Money for College

As I mentioned yesterday, I do a fair amount of thinking about my financial goals. I wonder if I'll be able to meet them. I try to think of new ways to save -- but of course, also still have fun and having fun doing it! All of this thinking and planning isn't something that is new to me.

In fact, knowing that a lot of financial goals take many years (even decades) to reach and knowing that one goal is that I hoped to marry and have kids and that those kids would go to college, I started thinking a bit about saving for college several years ago...before I even met my now fiance! Of course, I wasn't going to start allocating a part of my savings to children that I didn't have -- after all, I have so many other "real" things to save for. However, five years ago I came across something called Upromise.

Upromise is a rewards program that helps people save for college. It's free to sign up, so I did. My thought at the time was that if it wasn't going to cost me anything, why not? If I never had kids of my own, I could give it to someone else -- now, it would be my nieces and nephews. However, at the time of registering, I didn't have any of them. But, I figured in 18-20 years I would know someone who was going to college who could use it. So, why not sign up? After all, it was free money!

There are several very easy ways to save with Upromise. In fact, I've blogged at Save 4 Fun about some of them, including restaurants, travel, shopping online at stores like Target and Macys, and shopping in stores like Bed, Bath, & Beyond. You can also save at grocery stores, drug stores, and gas stations, among other places.

All you have to do is register for a free Upromise account. Then, link your store loyalty cards and/or credit/debit cards to your Upromise account. They do the tracking for you when you shop at a partner company and/or buy a partner product. With online purchases like at Target.com, you get credit when you link to Target's website through Upromise's website and make a purchase.

During the month of April, Upromise is running a promotion. When you open and activate a new account by shopping online, Upromise will put $10 in your account! What a great way to get started! (I wish they were offering that when I joined.) If you already have an account and are saving for a specific child or children, ask your friends and family if they would help you save too. They can open an account and then designate your child(ren) as the beneficiary. You'll save even more!

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2 comments:

Flea said...

I think UPromise is a great way to save for our childrens college fund. I even went 1 step further and signed up for the Citibank UPromise card, so now I'm earning more money in the account.

Betsy said...

Yeah - I've thought about the Citibank Upromise Card, but I haven't gone that far yet. But it's something I may consider getting in the near future...as the possibility/reality of kids draws closer and closer.