COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

Earn bonus cash for college this month
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/earn-bonus-cash-for-college-this-month-840

Posted: 2015-9-16

by Kathryn Flynn

SPONSORED CONTENT

These days, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to find extra money to put away for college. But what if you were able to earn cash for college just by shopping at some of your favorite stores? When you join Sallie Mae's Upromise Program, you'll earn cash back on purchases made through Upromise partners such as Macy's and Groupon, and even travel sites like Orbitz. What's more, when you use the Upromise Mastercard, you earn points on every purchase, and even more points when you shop with a Upromise retailer.

The rewards you earn can either go directly into a college savings account, be used to pay down student loans or you can even request a check to spend as you please. In some cases, you can link your Upromise account directly to your 529 plan. You'll be able to boost the growth potential of the account by investing your regular monthly contributions along with your Upromise earnings.

The investments in your 529 plan will grow tax-free, and you won't pay taxes when you withdraw the money if it's used to pay for college. What's more, your state may even offer a tax credit or deduction for 529 plan contributions, which you can deposit right into your 529 account.

RELATED: How much is your state's tax benefit really worth?

In honor of National College Savings Month, Upromise is offering additional cash back rewards. During Bonus College Savings Month, over 100 retailers will raise their cash back amount from five to 10 percent, and each week five selected retailers will be offering 20 percent cash back. How much can that save you for college? Let's say you spend $500 on back to school supplies and clothes for your kids at a store that gives 20 percent back. You'd earn $100 that you can deposit into a 529 plan. After 18 years, that $100 will grow to $285 (assuming an annual investment return of 6%). Sure, $285 really isn't that much money when it comes to college tuition, but it could probably cover a couple of textbooks!

What's more, if you deposit that $100 and start making contributions of just $25 a month, your account balance will grow to $10,000 in 18 years!

RELATED: See how much you need to save each month to reach your goal

If you're worried about starting a 529 plan because you're not sure if your child will go to college, remember that 529 plans are flexible. You can withdraw the money at any time for any reason, but you will have to pay income tax and a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of any non-qualified withdrawals. But qualified higher education expenses include tuition, fees, books, supplies and room and board for any eligible institution. This includes cosmetology schools, culinary schools, other vocational schools, community college, and just about any private or public universities. And there's no time limit on 529 accounts so you can even save the funds for a future grandchild if needed.

RELATED: Learn more about 529 plans here



SPONSORED CONTENT

These days, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to find extra money to put away for college. But what if you were able to earn cash for college just by shopping at some of your favorite stores? When you join Sallie Mae's Upromise Program, you'll earn cash back on purchases made through Upromise partners such as Macy's and Groupon, and even travel sites like Orbitz. What's more, when you use the Upromise Mastercard, you earn points on every purchase, and even more points when you shop with a Upromise retailer.

The rewards you earn can either go directly into a college savings account, be used to pay down student loans or you can even request a check to spend as you please. In some cases, you can link your Upromise account directly to your 529 plan. You'll be able to boost the growth potential of the account by investing your regular monthly contributions along with your Upromise earnings.

The investments in your 529 plan will grow tax-free, and you won't pay taxes when you withdraw the money if it's used to pay for college. What's more, your state may even offer a tax credit or deduction for 529 plan contributions, which you can deposit right into your 529 account.

RELATED: How much is your state's tax benefit really worth?

In honor of National College Savings Month, Upromise is offering additional cash back rewards. During Bonus College Savings Month, over 100 retailers will raise their cash back amount from five to 10 percent, and each week five selected retailers will be offering 20 percent cash back. How much can that save you for college? Let's say you spend $500 on back to school supplies and clothes for your kids at a store that gives 20 percent back. You'd earn $100 that you can deposit into a 529 plan. After 18 years, that $100 will grow to $285 (assuming an annual investment return of 6%). Sure, $285 really isn't that much money when it comes to college tuition, but it could probably cover a couple of textbooks!

What's more, if you deposit that $100 and start making contributions of just $25 a month, your account balance will grow to $10,000 in 18 years!

RELATED: See how much you need to save each month to reach your goal

If you're worried about starting a 529 plan because you're not sure if your child will go to college, remember that 529 plans are flexible. You can withdraw the money at any time for any reason, but you will have to pay income tax and a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of any non-qualified withdrawals. But qualified higher education expenses include tuition, fees, books, supplies and room and board for any eligible institution. This includes cosmetology schools, culinary schools, other vocational schools, community college, and just about any private or public universities. And there's no time limit on 529 accounts so you can even save the funds for a future grandchild if needed.

RELATED: Learn more about 529 plans here



 

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