I’m Preparing To Send My 1st Child To College – White Mountain Partners

Having 4 kids, I felt like college was so far away. My first child is now in the beginning of all the college preparation paperwork. My hope is that by child 3 and 4 we should be pros at this.

Start Financial Planning Early With a Finance Expert Like White Mountain Partners

Years ago I started a 529 plan for my two oldest kids. Unfortunately things happened and it didn’t get too far. Now I’m seeking advice from every source possible. I’ve talked to my son’s guidance counselor, check out every financial aid and grant lead that comes my way, and attend every meeting the school offers. I wish I wouldn’t have dropped the ball on the 529 plan. Talking to a financial expert like White Mountain Partners could have eased some of this college financial worry. Here are some other ways to help prepare.

  • It’s helped me a lot talking to my son’s guidance counselor. She’s provided info, reassurance, and pointed me in the right direction for several questions.
  • Attending meetings, classes, and information sessions provided by my son’s high school. I attended a session to help fill out the FAFSA form. My middle son had the opportunity to earn college credits for one of his classes and we found out how to do that. SAT prep classes and more.
  • Attending college visit days. We have a few scheduled but our school’s guidance counselor highly recommended this. This, not only, can help your child make a better decision on where they feel comfortable but it gives parents and child the opportunity to ask burning questions and concerns.
  • Search for scholarships and grants. If your child knows what they want to do you can do searches specific to their major choice.
  • Talk to a financial expert like White Mountain Partners can help you find financial strategies to help finance your child’s education.

Pay Attention College Mailings

My son went to a college fair and put in for info on a few colleges. We’ve been receiving an endless stream of college mailings. We’ve received everything from simple post cards about college visit days (important) to full envelopes with applications in them. We’ve received at least one that had a special offer waving the application fee, 1 week decision, no essay requirement, and early consideration for financial assistance.

That’s one thing I didn’t think about in regard to college financials, it’s all the fees just to be able to get into a college.

  • application fees
  • SAT and ACT testing fees
  • money to travel to colleges
  • miscellaneous fees like an SAT approved scientific calculator that cost $90!
  • I’m sure there’s more I just haven’t run into it yet! That’s why financial people like White Mountain Partners can really help.

Once Your Child Is Accepted To College

Through my research, it seems that most scholarships and grants can only be applied for if you’ve been accepted into a place of higher education or are already in a college/university/technical school.

We’ve had a few bumps in the road with our process. My son is taking his SATs this Saturday. Then I’m hoping he’ll finally start filling out some college applications.

But What If My Kid Doesn’t Know What They Want To Do

I’m there. My son knew what he wanted to do his junior year. Now that he’s a senior he’s seemed to have lost interest in that idea. He has no clue what he wants to do and it’s stressing me out. But as much as it stresses me out I’m sure it’s nerve-racking for him too.

We’ve talked about the possibility of him going to the local community college to get his Gen Ed classes out of the way. That way we’re still making progress while he decides but we’re not dumping University money into something he’s not sure he wants to do.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


Sambucol Black Elderberry for a Back to School Immune Boost

I had heard about the benefits that elderberry could offer for the immune system a couple years ago. While on a trip to NC about 2 years ago I came across a little tent at a farmer’s market. They made their own elderberry syrup. The woman who makes and sells it was very enthusiastic and believed in her product. I bought a bottle to try. I ended up seeing first hand how the product helped. The kids were lining up eagerly to get their daily spoonful because they liked the taste so much. Unfortunately they didn’t their bottles to Pennsylvania. I tried to find a suitable alternative but everything fell short until I tried Sambucol Black Elderberry.

Sambucol Black Elderberry comes in a variety of forms too: Pastilles (lozenges), gummies, liquid, and dissolving tabs. They have an amazing taste that my kids look forward to. With the start of the school year, I’ve been making sure everyone gets their daily dose.

Tryazon gave me the opportunity to have a Sambucol Back to School Healthy Party. Of course, I wasn’t going to turn that down! My guests and I got to sample the products, learn about the products, and have a good time with it.

Back to School seems to be the time that our family always gets sick. But not this year. I’ve been fall cleaning and making sure my kids get their daily dose of Sambucol Black Elderberry. Sambucol isn’t just for back to school season though. It’s great for cold and flu season too. I like to take it when I’m feeling a little “bleh” like maybe I could be catching something. Or if we were around someone that was sick.

I handed out a bunch of coupons at my party but I still have a few left. If you’d like to try Sambucol for yourself, just comment below letting me know you’d like one and I’ll happily send out a $2 off coupon for you. They don’t expire until 6/30/2021

Otherwise you can use the store locator to find Sambucol products near you. Or find Sambucol products on Amazon.


Eco-Friendly Back to School Supplies Guide

Good for you for being interested i learning how to do better for the earth while supplying your kids what they need for their education. We have lot of options now for reusable and/or sustainable school supplies than ever before.

Book Covers

We use stretchy cloth book covers. They have smaller and larger ones available. They stretch easily over my kids textbooks and don’t fall off. They’re washable, reusable, and come in lots of colors and designs. We have several book covers that have been around for several years. I think we’ve had one get a hole in it but they can be easily repurposed into hair ties, hacky-sacks, barbie doll clothes, or whatever you can think of. You can find them in-store at Walmart too really cheap.

Snacks

Our school allows our children to bring in snacks. We can send them in daily, weekly or for the entire month. Reusable snack bags are not only eco-friendly, but also saves money in the long run. I have 4 kids, I can go through a box of sandwich bags or freezer bags in a blink. Even buying the generic brand it adds up.

There are clear reusable snack bags that look more like the normal sandwich bags and freezer bags. Then there are cloth reusable food storage bags that come in fun designs.

Pencils

There are lots of options for more earth friendly pencils. There are plantable pencils, pencils made from recycled newspaper, and if you just have to have a mechanical pencils there are even mechanical pencils made from bamboo.

If you’re a pencil snob and just have to have the Ticonderoga brand #2 pencils well Ticonderoga envirostik is your answer. It’s a natural wood pencil from “responsibly managed” forests. And still the #2 designation.

Erasers

This one seems to be harder to find but not impossible. A company called Onyx and Green make erasers made from recycled rubber.

Glue

It seems Elmer’s used to make a natural glue but I can’t seem to find it available anywhere which makes me wonder if they stopped making it. But that doesn’t mean you have to. I found this great recipe for easy homemade glue. You can reuse an old glue bottle or use another similar reusable squeeze bottle. I’m even wondering if a clean, empty mustard bottle would work? What do you think?

Crayons and Colored Pencils

The elementary kids tend to use the crayons more while the teens seem to use the colored pencils more.

There are several choices for environmentally friendly crayons. There are crayons with reduced packaging as well as crayons made from beeswax.

You can even repurpose broken crayons you have by melting crayon stubs down and creating new chunky crayons. For mine I used a mini muffin tin for the shapes.

Onyx and Green comes through again with earth friendly colored pencils made from recycled newspaper.

Just FYI, for markers, Crayola has a program called Colorcycle for schools where schools can collect unusable markers and send them back to crayola for marker recycling.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


School Days Giveaway Hop: $10 Starbucks Gift Card

Welcome to the School Days giveaway hop! This August event is hosted by Savings in Seconds. Host and participating bloggers are not responsible for prizes not delivered by sponsors. Good luck!

I honestly have mixed feeling about sending my kids back to school. I often feel like the oddball mom because I honestly am not looking forward to my kids going back to school. I enjoy having them home. There’s no homework stress, no projects due, no forgetting to pack snacks or worrying about “dress like the 80s day”. Back to school means my life gets hectic. Making sure I get back home on time to get my kids off the bus. Juggling my older boys’ football practice and games with homework, open house, meet the teacher night, and calendars for everyone.

But there are things I do look forward to. I enjoy the fall, I love Halloween, I do find some enjoyment in the 2 hours I have to myself until my kids get home from school. Then there’s fall fashion. I love layering, cardigans, boots, and light jackets. I’m not big on the pumpkin spice train but I do love sitting on the porch with a warm fall drink watching the leaves fall.

I want to treat one of you to one of my fave fall moments by giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card!

GIVEAWAY

School Days Giveaway Hop

Now Check out these other fun giveaways from even more bloggers:


FREE Crayola Products for Back To School After Cash Back!

New TopCashBack members can get a selection of Crayola products from Walmart for FREE after cash back. With Walmart’s prices right now for back to school items you really could get a decent selection. I have 2 kids in elementary school and two kids in high school this year and they all end up using the heck out of the Crayola products I buy. The younger kids need them for coloring activities, journaling for school etc while the older kids usually use the colored pencils for graphing, art projects etc. Markers are used by all my kids for posters and projects or school.

I find myself using them to color code our calendars, spend some time with my younger kids, doing crafts, etc. My point is, what household couldn’t use free Crayola products?

Step 1:  
Click Here to Get Started. Join TopCashback and signup for a FREE account if you haven’t already.

  • Important: Check your email to confirm your email address. Click on the link in your email to authenticate your new account.

Step 2:
Click on the pink “Get Offer Now Button

Step 3:
Add any Crayola products from Walmart totaling $10.00 or more to your cart and head to checkout.  You must spend at least $10.00 to get this deal. 

  • TIP: Want to purchase more than $10.00?  Make a second transaction instead of adding more to an existing cart to maximize additional cash back.
  • Do not close the window, open any new tabs, or use non-TopCashback approved coupons while checking out.
  • Free In-Store Pick Up & Free Shipping over $35+

Step 4:
Pay $10.00 or more.  That’s it!  The $12.00 will post to your TopCashback account within 14 days, and the amount will become payable.  Cash back can be credited straight to your checking or PayPal account.

  • Note: Transactions must contain at least $10.00 worth of purchases to ensure the $12.00 cash back is credited to TopCashback accounts. Transactions may initially track lower, but within the 14 days after purchase it will be uplifted and turn payable at the amount of $12.00. Transactions may take up to 7 days to appear in your TopCashback account. The deal is open until 11:59pm PST on 8/18/2019 or until supplies run out; whichever happens first; applicable for purchases made directly after clicking through TopCashback. Only one TopCashback account is permitted per member.