I always try to plan for future expenses. That why I opened a Upromise account right before my son was born. Back then I had more expenses and any amount I could save counted!
For that time in my life, Upromise was a perfect vehicle for me to save for my son’s college without it hitting me hard in the wallet. I’m always thinking about money and ways to make the pennies scream… After a while those pennies add up!
I’ve had the Upromise account for the last 9 years, how has it treated me? Overall, I’ve earned $951.48 (not too shabby). If I was more aggressive with it, I could have made much more. I use to buy the McDonald’s gift certificate booklets (with a credit card I had linked in Upromise so I got an extra 1%), then use them for my lunch. Then once a week, I would enter the codes on the back of the booklets into the Upromise site. Perhaps, I’ll buy a $5.00 booklet this Christmas for nostalgic reasons. Note, It’s not worth doing the McDonald’s booklets now because they lowered the benefit they gave back to 1%, when I was doing it, it was 5%.
When my son was three, I had been promoted at work and was receiving more money, so I started putting my own money in a 529 plan. Now, the 529 plan is where the bulk most of his money for college resides.
Back to the Upromise, do I think it was worth it?
Yes, not so much from the incredible amount of money we were able to save (blatant sarcasm). The benefit came from keeping my son’s college education in the forefront of my mind.
If you participant in the Upromise program, you naturally think about saving for college more. The more you think about it, the more clever you become in looking for ways to saving for it. I hate to say it creates a “heightened awareness”, but that’s what it did for me.
With the 529 plan that I’m now in, it automatically take money from my savings account every month and buys the into fund that I signed him (and daughter) up for.
The key is to always think about the big cost in life that will hit farther down the road. If you take actions now, the hit might not be a like a Mike Tyson hit… if you perhaps properly, it’ll be more like a Hannah Montana hit, it will still sting but at least you’ll still be standing up. 😀
If you are thinking of going the Upromise route, please leave comment and I’ll provide additional information about my experience!