Saving for College and $25 Restaurant.com Giveaway!
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Saving for College and $25 Restaurant.com Giveaway!

Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2011 at 9:12 am
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Giveaway has ended. Check back in the blog to see if you’ve won!

I have to admit that we are way behind in saving for college for our three kids. It is pretty scary, because I know that college will be here before we know it.

On my oldest son’s birthday, when he turned 10 two weeks ago, my husband said to me, “You know, he’s already spent half of his time with us.” Wow. It is true. By the time he is 20, he will already be settled in to college. It was a shock and did bring a little tear to my eye. Can I keep him home forever? Maybe his future wife will just move in with us, too? Yah, I know I’m dreaming.

I know college isn’t for everyone, but this son wants to be an engineer, so there is no getting around it. Even if he changes his mind, we would still like to have money set aside for whatever training he will need for his career.

It is funny how things work. My husband and I have just gotten to the point in our financial goals where we are almost ready to start college/career plan savings for all three of the kids.

We sat down and started exploring our options, and the next day, I got an email from Sallie Mae that was all about saving for college! They included a bunch of tips that I wanted to share with you, such as the following:

  • First, understand the full cost of college and build a plan to save for it
  • Start saving as early as possible in a dedicated college savings account
  • Look into 529 college savings plans because they are tax-advantaged
  • Also consider savings and CD accounts because they are low risk
  • Save more with a Upromise account
  • Ask friends and family to contribute to the college fund on birthdays and holidays (I really like this tip).

You can learn more savings tips at the Sallie Mae website.

The email also announced a cute new survey that they are conducting called:  “What I Want to be When I Grow Up” to capture all of those fun ideas that kids have about their future. You can take the short survey here, and the results will be announced in a few weeks.

I was really interested in learning more about college savings, so I contacted them back, and they sent me a reply email within minutes. They asked if I would share the survey with all of you, and as a bit of incentive are offering a chance for two of our readers to win a $25 gift certificate to Restaurant.com!

Here is how to enter the giveaway for the $25 Restaurant.com gift certificates.

  1. Enter the Sallie Mae Grow Up survey (5 short questions)
  2. Send me an email (Marnie@freecoupons.com) telling me what you wanted to be when you grow up. Be sure to put “Sallie Mae Giveaway” in the subject line and include your name and email address, so they can send out your prize if you win.

I won’t share your information, with the exception of sending the randomly chosen winner’s info to Sallie Mae.

The giveaway will run from today until 11:59 ET on July 17th, 2011.

Good Luck!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.