This post brought to you by Upromise by Sallie Mae. All opinions are 100% mine.
Many of us want to save for our children’s future college education, but just can’t seem to find any extra money to do so. The thing is the sooner you start socking some money away, even a small amount the better the end result. This leaves us in a bit of a pickle… well unless we sign-up with Sallie Mae’s Upromise. You see, with Upromise we get a kickback for our kids whenever we shop participating merchants online, use ecoupons printed from the site while grocery shopping, or use a Upromise credit card (that give you an extra 5% back on many purchases). More college savings can also be socked away through their gas, travel & dining rewards.
You have the choice of depositing into a 529 fund, high yield savings account or simply cash out the money. You can name whomever you want, including yourself as the beneficiary, and these choices can be changed at any time. Of course, you can also make deposits into the savings accounts.
No worries, it sounds far more complex than it is. Signing up is quick & easy. You can start shopping through the links on their site right away. There is a huge list of retailers, including: Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, Lowes and many others both large and small. I was particularly happy to see Lowes & Lumber Liquidators are participants in the Upromise program. I started a kitchen renovation project recently, and the rewards on building materials could really add up fast. The stores I buy most Lil’ Foodies school clothes from are participants too (Carter’s, Old Navy & JCP). I may just order her stuff online and avoid the back-to-school crowds.
You don’t need to worry about missing out on a discount code or sale when you shop through Upromise either. The site has current discounts readily available. I would say you are less likely to miss a discount shopping this way. Some deals are Upromise exclusives, and it seems many store rewards cards work with the program, at least all the sites I went on did. Seems like a double dipping opportunity to me.
After checking out all the retailers, I downloaded to RewardU toolbar, to ensure I didn’t miss any deals. This way I don’t have to check into the Upromise website each time I shop to get my rewards. The download was quick and hasn’t seemed to slow my browser down any.
This is how search results look, using the toolbar.
Now with all this window shopping, did I buy anything? Yes. I bought my first ever Groupon (talk about double deal dipping…lol). I grabbed a $25 portrait package from JCP, which includes sitting fees for up to 4 people, two photo sheets, 30% discount on additional products and most important to me a CD with my 3 favorite pictures in high resolution. As the person who is always behind the camera, I have almost no pics of my daughter & I together, and need to update my headshot. The deal is sweetened even more by 5% back into my Upromise account.
I’ll be using the Upromise rewards program regularly from now on. My daughter faces many educational challenges due to her disabilities, but non-verbal autistic individuals have been known to attend college, and who knows where she will be at by then. If college is not in her future, she may chose another training program or need monies for some other endeavor.