College Saving Made Easy with Instagrad

The following Instagrad review is sponsored by Instagrad. All opinions are 100% my own (and, this is an awesome site for anyone that has kids…be sure to read on).

Do you have a college fund started for your kids?

I do, and we even make (small) deposits every month…but I’m still pretty sure it won’t be enough to send both kids to college. College is expensive, and I am always grateful when we get a little assistance from a family member who wants to contribute to the kids’ college funds.

And now, when a family member wants to help, contributing to their college funds is easier than ever.

Instagrad.com is a site that allows anyone to contribute to your child’s college education. They simply click on your child’s profile, make a donation, and that’s it – you can transfer the money from Instagrad to your child’s 529 Plan at any time.

How does it work?

Using Instagrad is *super* simple. You create an account (which just requires your name, email and a password…no account information is necessary), and then set up a profile for each child. The whole set-up process took me less than five minutes. You can even set up a profile for a friend’s child!

Screenshot of Claire's Instagrad profile.

This is what Claire’s profile looks like on the Instagrad site. It’s very easy to navigate – even the least tech-savvy of individuals can figure it out.

 

Instagrad has several templates for events like Christmas, birthdays, etc., that you can use to send out to friends and family (for example, if your kids already have ev-er-y toy imaginable, you can ask for donations to their college fun in lieu of gifts). Or, you can share the link on facebook or twitter…or just email to your friends and family.

When someone wants to make a contribution, they go to your child’s profile and click “Make a Contribution,” and can then make a contribution with their Visa or Mastercard.

The funds can only be deposited into a 529 Plan, which is a bank account used exclusively for educational expenses. This is awesome, because people don’t have to worry that they’re funding your new big screen TV when they intended on that money going into Junior’s college fund.

When you’re ready, you can transfer the funds from Instagrad to your 529 Plan (if you don’t have a 529 Plan yet, that’s fine – you can set one up and transfer the funds at any time). 

The service is free for you and free for contributors; however, Instagrad will take a 5% administrative fee when you transfer the funds.

What I Love About Instagrad

A few months ago, my mom mentioned that she was thinking about setting up bank accounts for each of her grand kids that she’d deposit a few dollars into each month, to be used for college when the time comes. She was having trouble working out all the logistics, though…setting up and maintaining five bank accounts isn’t easy, and with a regular bank account the child would have access to it and might not end up spending it on schooling.

With Instagrad, I can set up accounts for all of her grand kids, and she – and the other grandparents! – can contribute to them whenever they like.

It’s so easy.

What I Would Change About Instagrad

I really love this site and the concept, and I don’t think I would *change* anything…but, I would add something.

I’d love it if paying with PayPal was an option…PayPal is so easy, and it would make it that much easier to use the site.

You can find Instagrad on Facebook and Twitter.

So tell me, have you thought about how you’ll pay for college when the time comes? Do you have a college fund set up for your kids?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions and experiences are 100% my own.

Comments

  1. This sounds like such a great way to pay for your kid’s college education… and I agree, being able to pay via PayPal would be a great addition.

  2. That sounds awesome! I really need to get on this!

  3. Jennifer I says:

    I am interested to hear if you have had donation made through this account that have made it into your children’s 529. The donations that I have ‘received’ through instagrad have not yet gone into my account and it has been 6 months since the donation was made. I am just trying to determine if there was a one time error…or if the company in legit.

    Thank you,

    Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer! I believe you have to manually make the transfer from the Intagrad account to the child’s 529 – so, anyone could donate to your child’s account, but then you’d have to transfer it to the 529. Or, you could set up an Instagrad account and donate to it for any child, and their parent (or child, I suppose, depending on their age) would then transfer it from Instagrad to the 529. Does that make sense?

      • Jennifer I says:

        Thank you Carrie. I’m not sure it makes total sense to me ;). I don’t see where I am supposed to be the one that actually sets the fund to transfer, but I will check that out again.
        I am missing about $70 that instagrad says they tried to send to my 529 account, but it didn’t make it. And I haven’t heard of enough people using the actual program.
        I will go check out the website again.

        Jen

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