Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Upromise- start saving for your children's college without having to think about it
One website I use is Upromise. Signing up is free, and how it works is this site advertises various businesses and when you use those businesses, they donate a percentage of what you spend to your account. Now by advertising, the businesses are trying to get your money, because hey that's what business is about. And I'm not sure, but they probably can write off the money they donate as a charitable contribution because it goes toward education.
To make this work for you, just buy the things you were going to buy anyway and get a percentage back. Spending a dollar to get 13 cents back doesn't make any sense. But if you planned on spending that dollar on something you need, why not get 13% back? Websites that I've used include The Children's Place, Old Navy, Barnes & Noble, Verizon, and 1800Contacts to name a few, but they have an enormous list to choose from. If you don't want to have to go to the Upromise site first every time you shop online, you can download a little gadget that alerts you whenever you are visiting a participating site. Thus you are saving money for college without thinking about it.
You can also get money back from what you spend at the grocery store if you register you Smiths's or Albertson's cards with them. There's not a huge payoff there, but a few free dollars back. The site offers rebates on hotel, travel, furniture, restaurants, purchasing a home, subscriptions, with rebates ranging between 1-20%. Plus they often have coupon codes that are not found in other places.
I've had my account for about a year and a half and have saved $500, which by the time my daughter gets to college will probably cover a semester's worth of books, if I'm lucky. But I still have a long time to save and really I would have spent money on those various things anyway, so why not get $500 back?