College Bound, Deals, Parenting

Upromise helps you Ace your Savings by Keeping an Emergency Fund

Sponsored post for Upromise

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In a few weeks we are driving our middle son to University. He is a first year student and we are first time college parents. We have learned so much from savings to outfitting small dorm room spaces for him. There is so much I have learned this past year that I wish I knew before. Saving for college is one lesson I realized I should have learned years ago. I now know a bit more on how to start a college fund and save the right way for his younger brother. Upromise by SallieMae is loaded with tips, savings and even ways to start building a fund for your child’s future.


When T started his very first job at 15, he was already talking college but we knew little about the process. At the early High School years we were focused on grades, class choices and SAT prep. Tuition seemed far away. Now that it is here and I just got the email for our out-of-pocket costs last week I am glad I at least did a few things to prepare, although there was so much more I could have done. Beginning with that first job, I opened him a checking and savings account and would make him move 5% of his paychecks to that savings. He has enough in there today, even after having to buy a new tire for his car when it went bad, to buy his portion of books for school. It was an emergency fund and if your child does not have one yet-start today!


Here is what linking your current credit/debit cards to the secure Sallie Mae Upromise account and/or signing up for the money-earning Upromise Mastercard can do for you. I linked my 2 commonly used cards in my account and now when I shop through the Upromise route or eat at certain restaurants and travel, I earn cash back using my own bank cards. It is a no-brainer because once you link, just continue doing the things you do with your personal and even store cards. I entered my zip code in restaurants and noted all the choices that will give me cash back. Now I will just be partial to eating at those establishments as they help our Upromise fund.

Upromise-College-Loans | Parenting Healthy |

The Upromise by SallieMae Goal Settings Tips can prepare yourself and your child for the college years. After this experience sending our older son off to college, I have already seen the importance of starting early. As a result, the younger boy is 8 and this Upromise account I just set up will help. I have an open account for him but he does not work so a percentage of my pay will go into his emergency fund from now on. I will shop and spend smart as in ways I can get cash back. Upromise is a blessing because of the tips and savings you can get through the college process. Starting that emergency fund early is just one easy way to be prepared. We already know they are Super Stars at this young age, being a super star will get expensive down the road.


After signing up for a Upromise account and linking your children’s ages and cards, consider their Mastercard. Upromise MasterCard® cardmembers have earned $500 million in cash back for college. Below are some benefits while using the Upromise Mastercard

  • 5% Cash back: Online shopping, online travel and restaurants
  • 2% Cash back: Department stores, movie theaters
  • 1% Cash back: On all other card purchases
  • Earn up to 10% cash back for college: up to 5% when you make eligible purchases through PLUS 5% when you pay for those purchases with the Upromise MasterCard.
  • No limit to the total cash back you can earn on eligible purchases
  • $0 fraud liability on unauthorized transactions
  • No rotating reward categories
  • A chip card makes paying for your purchases more secure at chip card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • Complimentary FICO® Credit Score


Start saving and learning how to become prepared at Don’t forget to bookmark the site after signing up. Head there first to get to your favorite online stores and shop so it records your purchases. Now just watch their accounts build. It will be there for you when you are ready to cash out for them.


College Bound, Food, Healthy Living

Keeping your student hydrated with SodaStream

Sample sent for feature


We just did the parent college thing. We dropped the middle son off to his first year of college across state. His older brother stayed close to home so this was our first drop off. There was such a learning curve from financial aid, books, classes, dorm living and so much more so that he adjusts well and there are no flaws in the college process. Now he is there and starting his second week of classes and his new life begins. As a Mom I still worry. Is he doing his laundry and in clean clothes? Is he budgeting his meal money? And is he eating healthy and staying hydrated? So we are giving him a SodaStream sparkling water maker to make sure he is keeping hydrated.


When they are younger it is easy to see the signs of hunger and thirst in them. Our boys can get into the worst meltdowns and my husband would look at me puzzled as to their mood swing. As a Mom we tend to know the cause and something as simple as thirst or hunger can most likely cause these moods. I could tell my husband-just go up there and give him something to drink and a snack. He wondered if I was rewarding the behavior. He had to trust me that a bit of liquid and a snack would be an instant cure. Dehydration not only causes irritability, but also fatigue, dizziness and even muscle cramps and headaches. Sending your student a SodaStream is a fun way for them to stay hydrated and make sure they are taking care of their stressed bodies at this time of their lives.


The reason why I want my son to have this SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker is the size. He has so little room he shares with a friend. They also share the small fridge. There is little room for bottles or cans of beverages and I really don’t want them relying on sodas and sugary beverages all day. The SodaStream is so slim and does not require an outlet. Just a carbonator is needed and those are available at most retailers. The SodaStream sparkling waters are a great option for mixes as they are not soda with sugars. You make naturally flavored water without the caffeine.


SodaStream has 6 different sparkling water units and the one I am featuring is the Fizzi. The other five are named the Source, Power, Crystal, Fountain Jet and Penguin. The Fizzi is one of their slimmest designs. It comes with the water maker unit, 1 Liter BPA-free Reusable Carbonating Bottle and 60L CO2 Carbonator.


The youngest loves the Berry Mix. There are so many flavor options available. Look for SodaStream at your nearest reatiler. You will also find them online at many online stores so you can get a unit off to your student too.



College Bound, Graduation Gift Ideas, Movies Reviews

10 Movies Every College Student Is Likely to Appreciate

No matter if you’re heading out for your first semester or if you long ago received your college diploma, there are certain expectations and stereotypes about college that are hard to forget. Movies are a great way to capture the feelings of hilarity, romance, and drama that college life brings. You can relive these feelings yourself by indulging in these 10 movies every college student is likely to appreciate.



National Lampoon’s Animal House

Animal House follows a group of college freshmen as they weave their way into a fraternity and attempt to survive school life and the fraternal problems that tail them. It quintessentially captures what many students feel the college experience is likely to be.

National Lampoon’s Van Wilder

Van Wilder is the story of a student who has remained at college for seven years and now faces getting cut off for his seemingly endless education. There are a few hiccups here and there as the main character comes into his own, strives to earn his tuition himself, and falls for a reporter, making it an instant classic for most college students.


Back to School

Featuring Rodney Dangerfield in his prime, Back to School is about a dad who decides to go to college so that his son will hopefully not follow in his diploma-less footsteps. In classic Dangerfield fashion, hilarity ensues.

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting is a story about a genius janitor at MIT and his journey to start thinking about the possibilities of his own future. It’s a classic story that demonstrates how great potential can be found anywhere, and the choices that people make in life are rarely easy or simple.


Legally Blonde

 If you’re looking for a romantic comedy, then Legally Blonde has you set. A sorority girl and lover of fashion decides to apply to Harvard Law School after her fiancé dumps her in order to show everyone what she’s really capable of (and hopefully win him back in the process).

Old School

If you are yet to graduate and wonder what life after graduation is going to be like, then Old School might be for you. It’s about a trio of friends in their 30s looking to recapture the glamor and fun of fraternity life by starting their own at their alma mater.

 The Social Network

The Social Network is based on the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook while he was an undergrad at Harvard. Not only is it based on real events, but it’s a great way for every college student to realize they each have the potential to greatly affect the world.

Revenge of the Nerds

Another instant classic, Revenge of the Nerds follows a picked-on, outcast group of college students who decide to create their own fraternity. Then they plot to get back at all the jock-frats and sororities that bullied them along the way.

The Graduate

The Graduate features Dustin Hoffman in his breakout role and is more of an examination into the aimlessness and sense of loss that students feel after graduating. The movie follows Hoffman’s character as he lazes around wondering what kind of world he’s suddenly been thrown into, all while having an affair with a friend of his parents.


If you love rooting for the underdog and want a really feel-good story, then Rudy is the perfect college flick. Based on the true events of Daniel Ruetteger, the story follows a student as he attempts to overcome obstacles and realize his dream of playing football for Notre Dame.

There are many different college flicks out there, perfect for this time of year and these 10 movies are a great place to start.

Back To School 2016, College Bound, Gift Guides, Giveaways

Back to School with SentrySafe #Giveaway

Sample sent for feature


We leave next week to take our son to his first year of college across the state. Although he is sharing a dorm room with a good friend, we all know that traffic flow through the dorms are thick. We were given a list of suggested supplies to buy for his dorm room from his school and a laptop lock or safe was on that list. He wants to major in Engineering and it is an iOS campus so we got him a Macbook for his graduation gift. Keeping it safe and locked away is important because a stolen laptop will not get him another pricey replacement and he knows that.



We have a few safe boxes in our home. We have a small gun safe and one for important papers we would be devastated to lose in a fire. They all have the SentrySafe logo on them. This is because they are available in many retailers. SentrySafe is also a trusted name and that is important when it comes to keeping valuables safe and out of reach.


The SentrySafe Large Laptop Safe will hold valuables including laptops up to 15″. This Sentrysafe measures 3.6″x16.4″x11.3″. It has a programable digital lock and 2 keys for key unlock override. This safe is made with a steel construction and carrying handle. Also included is a durable tethering cable for added security. It is a safe every student needs to keep valuables safe.

Find this SentrySafe Laptop Safe at retailers such as Home Depot, Staples and Amazon.


The Giveaway

1 lucky reader will win a Master Lock Combination Backpack Lock. Enter below. Open to US and ends on 8/31. Good luck.

Back To School 2016, College Bound

Sanford Products For Your Student at Shoplet

Samples sent for feature


This back to school year we are first time college parents. We take our middle son across state to University next month as a new college student and we have been stocking him up on essentials he will need. This kid has always had the same request every school year for the past few years-he wants the ‘good’ pencils. He is a mechanical pencil user but will not use an off brand. He is heading into Engineering and has always enjoyed his math and  because pencils are a huge tool for his favorite subject he hates being inconvenienced with leads that break too easily or run down too fast.


I have never given much thought to a brand the way he does. If I need a pencil I open a drawer and the only qualification I give a pencil is whether it is sharpened and ready to go for me. Sanford holds the names of some very popular and quality pen and pencil products. The best part is Shoplet carries Sanford brands at great prices so you can stock up.


Shoplet offers products from office furniture to cleaning supplies. You can also find restaurant products and medical supplies as well. Starting with a simple and common product for any student, let’s look at the assortment of Sanford products

  • PenMate Pens
  • PenMate Mechanical Pencils
  • PenMate Correction Tape
  • Sharpie Markers

Visit Shoplet for all of your back to school needs including pens, pencils and writing supplies that you know will get a lot of good use.

College Bound, Food/Beverage, Home

Capresso On The Go Coffee Maker.


In a few weeks we are taking the middle son to University across state. We are first time college parents so we have been learning a lot from admissions to financial aid to stocking a small dorm room not much bigger than his bedroom for full living. Versatile products are a must and because he loves teas and coffee he will need access to hot water. We are sending him with a Capresso On The Go Coffee Maker.


The Capresso comes with a tumbler to brew right into and take with him across campus. There is a basket to fill with coffee grounds and if he leaves that basket out he also will get plain hot water into his cup. It is almost all they need for a variety of quick meals.


Their new, independent life will be such an experience. Their lives will be filled with late nights and noodle soups. They are now away from our home cooked meals. Given that I have also packed him with teas for all moods and illnesses. The Capresso is like instant hot water for beverages and foods. Hot teas and some foods can support those young, stressed bodies. It helps me feel like I can still be there in ‘tea spirit’ to support his health and well being.

Find your student a Capresso On The Go Coffee Maker and save space with it’s slim size to result in instant meals and beverages. Don’t forget the tea and coffee too.