Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saving for College...One shopping trip at a time!

Since my last post was all about babies and their many expenses, I thought it would be fitting to talk about college savings and how my family is using our shopping trips to help save! Back when I was still in college I learned about a program called Upromise. Since I understood how expensive college can be for parents, I opened my own Upromise account and started saving for the day that I had kids of my own. Now that Caeden is here and those college worries are real, I have really focused on this simple way to save money for his college education and all it costs me each week is just a little bit of my time. So what is Upromise? It is basically an online service that allows you to turn a small percentage of your online purchases, dining out expenses, grocery bill, and even vacation expenses into savings for your child's college! Upromise has partnered with many companies who have agreed to allow parents to bank a percentage of their spendings on select products. So how does this work?

The first step is to head over to Upromise and set up an account. It doesn't take long and before you know it you are ready to save. The next step is to add your shopper's cards to the account and start adding grocery eCoupons. These eCoupons do not work the same way that the ones from Kroger or Cellfire do. Here is an example: This week as I prepare for my shopping trip I will go to Upromise and browse their grocery eCoupons for the products I will purchase at Kroger. I know I am getting Pop Tarts and it just so happens there is an eCoupon on Upromise for "Save $1.00 on 2 boxes of Pop Tarts" so I add it to my card. When I go through the check out and purchase my Pop Tarts, the $1.00 savings does not come off of my bill, but instead is added to Caeden's savings account on Upromise!

The idea is very simple and it is great to be rewarded for purchasing products that we would ALREADY be buying in the first place! This is also the way it works for online purchases. The next time you wish to purchase items from, head over to Upromise and access this website from the Upromise website. This way whenever you checkout at Wal-Mart, a percentage of the money you spend online will automatically be banked into your child's college savings account. There are hundreds of online stores that have partnered with Upromise so make sure you are making your purchases through this website so that you get the college savings added straight to your child's account.

Upromise also many other ways that you can save for college including a special credit card that instantly gives you 1% savings on all purchases. Thanks to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University my family no longer uses credit cards and we haven't for the past 5 years! It is very freeing to be able to pay for our purchases with cash, but if you use credit cards responsibly this may be a great option for a credit card. If you are already up to your ears in credit card debt and are looking for a way out, check out Dave Ramsey's website. He truly changed our lives :)

Okay now that I am off that tangent I hope you can see how purchasing everyday items can help you start a college savings account for your child. Even if you do not already have children, you can go right now and start a Upromise account for them! Who doesn't want to save even more at the grocery checkout line each week or through our online purchases!? It will take a little time to load those eCoupons each week, but over the course of 18 years you could have a small account full of money for your child to use when college comes knocking at your door! Watch for tonight's post on the Kroger Mega Sale savings for the week! I know I am excited about my shopping trip this week...hope you all are too :)

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