Upromise–Are U maximizing your college savings?

With college costs on the rise, many parents are at a loss these days as to what they can realistically do to start saving for college. Since you are visiting this website, you are already hip to the fact that coupons can help slash your grocery budget, often by 50-90%. Now that you have that area under control, maybe it is time to start looking at saving for college.

Upromise is an amazing program that helps you save for college simply by doing things you do everyday, like purchasing gas or going out to eat.  For every qualified purchase, a percentage of that total goes into your Upromise account.   If you are already signed up for Upromise, or even if you have never heard of it, here are some easy to understand instructions to help you start maximizing your savings with this wonderful program!

1. First off, this program is for everyone:

  • Don't have kids yet? No problem. If you are planning on kids in the future you can start saving now. As with stockpiling, it’s necessary to save now so that the money is there when you need it.
  • Don't have kids but have your own student loan with Sallie Mae? (This is where I fit in!) This program is still for you. Upromise savings can be applied to your current Sallie Mae student loan balance.
  • Don't have kids but want to help your family members? Have grandchildren, nieces, or nephews? Upromise allows you to use the savings you acquire toward someone else's college costs. You could be everyone's favorite family member!  This could have a lot of perks, especially during the holidays.

2. How it works:

  •  Sign up online.
  • Once you have an account, link your current savings cards (CVS, Winn-Dixie, etc.) to your account by entering the number on the back of your card. If you shop at Publix, simply go the customer service counter (pick up some coupons while you are there!) and ask for a Upromise savings card. Link this number to your Upromise account as you would your other store cards and have your checkout person swipe it when you shop at Publix. It's that easy!
  • While online, go to the coupons & deals tab at the top of the Upromise home page. There you can link coupons directly to your store savings cards. These coupons do not take the value off of the items you buy. Instead, for each item you buy, the value of your coupon goes directly into your Upromise account! Coupons change every month so there are always new ways to save.
  • Shop online with Upromise. If you are familiar with Shop-at-home or Ebates, Upromise works the same way. When you shop online, by clicking through Upromise, you earn money that is deposited into your Upromise account. There is even a downloadable TurboSaver application that finds online retailers and restaurants offering Upromise savings. Cash back varies from retailer to retailer and can go as high as 25%!
  • Sign up for the preferred diner program. It is free and takes only a few seconds to sign up. This program lets you save up to 8% of your TOTAL BILL–that includes taxes and tip! These savings go directly into your Upromise account as cash for college!
  • IF you are really interested in maximizing your savings with Upromise, apply for the MasterCard they offer that gives you 1% savings on every single purchase, every single day. In addition, this card offers 10% extra on participating drugstore and grocery items, 10% extra on participating Upromise restaurants, and 2% extra on eligible purchases online through the Upromise website. This card has no annual fee or limit to the savings you can earn!

Another great benefit of Upromise is that you can invest the savings you are earning in a high-yield savings account with Sallie Mae. This lets the free money you are already earning become even more free money! The other amazing thing about this benefit is that Upromise WILL MATCH 10% of YOUR ANNUAL SAVINGS in your high-yield savings account! THAT IS MORE FREE MONEY FOR COLLEGE!

Don't forget that family members or friends can sign up and link to your account so that their savings are going to fund your child's college. You know grandma wants to help send her angels to college!

When you are ready to take advantage of your savings, you can choose to invest in a tax-deferred 529 plan, use the money to pay down your current student loan, invest in a high-yield savings account or request a check! The Upromise website also contains a wealth of free college savings information that you can read up on for free. Check it out and see how easy it is to save!

This has been a guest post by Joy from Columbus, GA
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