From now (actually a couple weeks ago) until December 15th, 2008, you can get a free $25 contribution if you open a new 529 account at CollegeAdvantage.com and deposit $25. (meaning, you add $25, they add $25 a week or so later, doubling your investment.) Pretty slick, so here’s how it works.
A 529 plan is a college savings plan. It’s tax-advantaged (meaning you don’t pay taxes on earnings, so long as they’re spent on qualified college expenses), and they can go to just about anyone. Mine will probably help Alias finish up school, or will help our future children when that time comes. Haven’t decided yet, and that’s the cool part — I can contribute now, and then decide later who actually benefits. I think it has to be someone related, but that’s about it.
Here’s their low-down on this promotion: https://www.collegeadvantage.com/cas/ReferFAQ.aspx
Then, if you refer someone who opens an account, you can get another $25 (which is what I’m shamelessly doing here), up to 20 referrals ($500).
Click Enroll online.
Click Continue. (you should probably read the text first, so you know what’s going on)
Click Next under the appropriate answer (probably under No, unless you already have an account with them)
Fill in your informations.
For the beneficiary, you can just put yourself for now — you can change it later on.
When prompted, enter this number as your referral thing: 2439614 (that’s me)
Add $25 from a checking account to whatever investment you’d like (I chose the Vanguard Inflation Protected Bond option, since Vanguard rocks, inflation protection rocks, and bonds means it’s extraordinarily difficult to lose significant amounts of money, even in this terrible economy). Have to fund it by December 15th though to take advantage of this bonus.
At that point, you’re done. Wait a week or so (mine took 8 days, some people have had it go as quickly as 4 days), and you’ll get another $25 contribution to the same investment. 100% return in just a couple weeks!
That’s what mine looks like. And now I have ~$50 chugging away at earning for college for someone, someday.