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Friday, March 28, 2008

Saving for college the easy way!

If you have kids, plan on having kids or even if you have student loans of your own, you definitely should know about Upromise and Babymint.

When you sign up with Upromise, you can register your credit cards with their dining program and you can enter your grocery store savings card numbers and everything is tracked for you. You'll occasionally get a little money deposited into your Upromise account because you bought a product from one of their partners. It's not a lot, but it adds up. The real money comes from getting a Upromise credit card or shopping online through the website. It's completely free money that you can have deposited into a 529 savings plan or use it to pay a student loan. You can open a 529 savings plan from Upromise directly, or you may be able to get them to deposit it into a 529 plan you already have. When I signed up, the 529 plan we had wasn't one of the ones that they would deposit into, so my earnings just stayed at Upromise. But, it has since been added and deposits have been happening on a regular basis. I've been a member since 2/2002 and I've made a total of $491.29, $414.32 of which has already been transferred to our 529 plan. It was free money to help pay for Punkin's college expenses and I literally had to do nothing but keep my info up to date to get that money.

Babymint is the same sort of program. But their website says that you can also choose to have a check mailed to you in addition to choosing to have it deposited into a 529 savings plan or paying a student loan. I haven't checked the fine print on Upromise to see if they offer that option as well. Babymint also has their own credit card, and if you use it to make your purchases, they will use it to track what partners you purchased from and you can get a rebate from them. Additionally, you'll get 1% of ALL purchases credited to your Babymint account, regardless of where you spent that money. With Babymint, I've earned a total of $1,560.02 since 2002 and all of that has been deposited to our 529 savings account.

So, altogether, that's $2051.31 that I have earned toward my child's college education that I got doing nothing special whatsoever. And that's only the principle. Who knows how much additional earning that money has done while being in my 529 savings plan.

Check out The Bargain Shopper Lady for more Frugal Friday tips.

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