I always ignored these programs because who really has the patience to read the fine print, log onto the website, apply for the card, etc? Now I've eagerly signed up for the following and am standing by for my savings to flow in: UPromise. I've added my local grocery store and now I just need to remember to use the card.
Sallie Mae, my student loan provider, initiated a link to UPromise. I always thought this was just a savings account for one's children to save for their college. Considering I still owe 30K - when did I graduate? 2000, yes kids it doesn't matter how much money you make post college you will not pay it off in 10 years. Anyway, UPromise also allows you to register and apply all savings to your student loan!!! Considering I owe 30K now, I'd like to get this paid off before I start saving for Cookie Monster's college bill.
Conventional wisdom would say, start a 529 savings plan for your child's college fund now but with the current recession these plans have lost 13% in the 4th quarter of 2008. My source is this website: http://www.savingforcollege.com/
My plan is to encourage Cookie Monster to get straight A's in school so she can get scholarships like all my smart friends did. I have also savings plan for her that should give her around 10K when she turns 21. That's 10K more then I had when I turned 21!