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Here are some details about the program and how it can help you send
your child to college without breaking the bank. 

First of all there are lots of contributing companies.  From diapers to canned
peaches to shoes, you can make almost all of your regular purchases
contribute to your child's future education.

How it works.  You register, then put in your grocery cards and all credit cards
you use.  I have done this for over a year at this writing and have had no privacy problems. 

There are so many companies contributing  from the grocery store that it
would be silly to list them here.  The big ones for our family are cereal, paper
products, shampoos, cookies, crackers, and ice cream.  We don't purchase
soda but Coke is a sponsor.  McDonald's gives 5% back. 
As a group, grocery items are out biggest contributor.  Also companies like
Payless Shoe source and Bed Bath and Beyond give contributions for
shopping at their stores.  

The thing that is best to remember is that this is "free" money to start with.  
Rebates are not taxable at this time, so in order to have earned enough money
to put the like amount away, you would have to make approximately 30% more. 
So this money is unearned and untaxed.
So it is a great deal to start with. 

After you have gone through the registration process, it is a good idea to
invite family members and friends to sign up to contribute, again it costs
them nothing.  I tell them just to forget about it, and still we get contributions
from family members often.  It is a free way for them to help a favorite
child go to college.

One of our other favorite savings from is the restaurant "rebates" 
A good selection of restaurants
in our area participate and give back 10% of the total bill-including tip-when
you use a registered credit card.  For mystery shoppers this is an excellent
benefit.   Personally I shop several of the listed companies, so
say if I get a $50 reimbursement for a meal from a shop, then another $5 is
contributed to my children's Upromise account.   McDonald's gives back
5% from rebates from codes on gift certificates. I don't shop them, but I know
many people do, I am not aware if you are allowed to use a certificate or not. 
If you want more restaurant participation, just leave a comment card or write
to the owners asking them to contribute.  Business is very competitive,
so everyone wants to have a little edge. 

For couponers, and I am an avid couponer, Upromise offers another nice benefit. 
The contributions to the college accounts come before the coupon is taken off. 
So if you buy a package of Cottonelle Bathroom tissue on sale for 2 for $10.00
and have a $1.00 off coupon, they still give their contribution as a percentage of
$10.00 instead of $9.00 which raises the effective percentage of the money sent to
the account.  I keep a printed copy of the brands that contribute and save
all the coupons they print and watch for sales on Upromise brands. 
Pantene shampoo is one of my favorites, but a little pricey.  So when it goes
on sale, I stock up, and use the coupons I have been saving for the sale. 
With the Upromise contribution along with a sale and a coupon, it's no
longer expensive. 

After you have your account set up and friends and relatives invited, it is time to look for a
529 account to transfer your Upromise money into.  529 accounts are very flexible and here
are the highlights for most accounts, things vary a little.

bulletInterest is not taxable if used for college expenses.
bulletThe funds can be transferred to another student if one doesn't go to college.
bulletThe penalty if nobody goes to college is 10% of the interest.

There are several 529 programs that are linked to Upromise and will transfer the
money quarterly to the 529.  This way you can also directly contribute funds to your
529 account. College expenses are liberally defined for 529 accounts and include
things like food and transportation, not just books and tuition.  And best of all even
if all the kids don't go to college, Mom or Dad can use it if they wish to go back
to school. 

For parents of younger children there is no reason not to take advantage of
this program.  Quicker than we realize, the kids will be in college and we will
be grateful for the few thousand we have been able to accumulate towards
their education through the generosity of the participating companies.  
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