Upromise: Helping Families Save Money for Education

Every parent knows the major expenses that come along with obtaining a college degree. What if there were a virtually free way to save up money for your child’s education while completing your weekly ritual of buying groceries? There is a way and this program involves hundreds of companies and thousands of supermarket and pharmacy chains all across the country. This program is Upromise and it is gaining popularity among many parents.

Upromise is a free program that allows you to build up money for your child’s education by shopping at local stores, using a specific credit or debit cards, or by shopping online. I first learned about the Upromise program when I stopped at a booth set up at the New York State Fair. My daughter wasn’t even born at the time; however, I learned that you could, and they actually recommend, that you sign up your children as soon as they are born.

One of the many things that I love about Upromise is that you don’t actually have to have a child to save money. Upromise allows you to link your friends or family members up to your child’s Upromise account, allowing them to help you save.

Signing up for Upromise is fairly easy. The website has a step by step process that will give you detailed instructions along the way. You should be prepared to enter in your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and child’s name. You should also have any grocery or drug store cards and credit or debit cards handy, each is optional. Your debit or credit cards will not be charged because this program is free. Your card information will be used to track your purchases and start your savings. Once all of your cards are stored in Upromise’s system, you can begin to save.

There are thousands of restaurants, department stores, gas stations, and other facilities that participate in the Upromise program. If your debit or credit card is on file and you use it at one of those participating locations, you will receive a small amount of money into your account. You should keep in mind that this amount will not be large and often times is only a few cents or even less; however, it does add up. Over one years time we have obtained almost five dollars for pumping gas at our local Mobil gas station.

Many grocery and pharmacy stores offer store or club cards to their shoppers, these cards provide them with discounts. This item is also used to help track your Upromise savings. In my town, every single grocery store has their store cards linked with Upromise’s website. In any grocery or pharmacy stores, there are hundreds of items that are produced from companies that participate in Upromise. Once you purchase those items, more savings will be posted to your account. One of the benefits of signing my child up as soon as she was born was that we were saving on items that we needed. Huggies, Beechnut, and Enfamil all participate in the Upromise Savings Plan. Coca Cola, Nestle, Land O Lakes, Kellogg’s, Lysol, Minute Maid, Duncan Hines, Hershey’s, and Tide are a few of the many other products that help you save for college.

Many states have a savings plan to help you save up money for your child’s education, while offering small tax breaks. In New York that plan is known as the New York 529 College Savings Plan. Many parents have this programs already opened before joining or learning about Upromise. Each state may vary on their college savings plans; therefore, it is advised that you contact your local officials for more information. When you are ready, you can transfer your Upromise savings into the college savings program.

I would recommend to anyone that has children to sign up for the Upromise Savings Plan. This program is free and helps you save money by purchasing products that you will use. Although my daughter can’t even count to ten yet, we are hoping to have a least a couple hundred dollars saved up by the time she is ready to go to college. For more information on Upromise, please call 1-800-UPROMISE or visit their website at www.upromise.com.

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