Melvin Brewing Scholarship Opportunity: Apply Now

With my oldest son getting ready to start his freshman year of college this fall, I have my eyes trained on spotting scholarship opportunities. Of course, I have to actually get him to apply but at least I can say I tried right? The way I explain it to my son, no scholarship is too small. For every dollar he gets in scholarship or grant money that’s $1 he won’t have have to pay back later. $500 here, $1000 there can make a different in how much needs to come out of pocket for us and how much he needs to pay back later.

Some people only fill out the FAFSA and check with their local college (which is definitely the first and most important steps) to find scholarships but there are so many more scholarships out there. Local clubs, businesses, entrepreneurs, and more will offer scholarships. Some of the more niche or obscure ones can be harder to find. For example, when searching for scholarships, one might not think about a brewing company offering a scholarship but I know of at least one that I’m gonna tell you about here.

Melvin Brewing has been regularly offering scholarships for a couple years now. Since I’ve been writing about scholarships more I’ve been blessed to even have a few places contact me and want me to share about scholarships to my readers. Since we’re a money-savvy bunch I figure you’d want to hear about it.

Melvin Brewing is a brewing company that wanted to “bring the beer of the future” to Jackson, Wy. They started off as a little business but soon grew become award winning brewers. They’ve been in business since 2009. They are a company with heart that are involved in many philanthropy projects.

Melvin Brewing is currently offering a $1000 scholarship to students who are currently enrolled full or part-time in college. To apply for the $1,000 Melvin Brewing Scholarship students need to write a 500-word essay that answers the question, “How do you plan to use the funds from this scholarship in your journey to continue your education?

It does not say that the applicant has to be 21 to apply only that they need to be enrolled in a college. But, parents should be aware that it is a brewery site.

Apply for the Melvin Brewing scholarship here

Deadline is March 30, 2021. The winner will be selected the first week of April 2021. The winner will have 2 weeks to respond before a runner up winner is chosen.

If you’re business is offering a scholarship open to students in the US please feel free to contact me: Angie at angwith4 at gmail dot com. I’d love to feature your scholarship on my blog. I was horrified to find out that a local club in my community would regularly offer $1000 scholarships to local kids in our school. A friend of mine said her daughter was the only one to apply. When I contacted them about it they actually stopped doing it. I’m not sure if it was lack of interest or lack of funds. But I don’t want a business to stop offering scholarships on lack of interest. Let me help!

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


Why Join AARP Before Age 50? Here’s Why

There’s been a number of times when signing up for a service, buying tickets, or other times where I was asked if I was an AARP member. I kind of scoffed and said no. I’ll be honest I thought AARP was only for those 50+ yrs of age. I mean, at those times I was late 30s then 40. I couldn’t join AARP right? And, even if I did what would the benefit be to me? Turns out, I was wrong, I can join before I’m 50 and yes there are benefits to joining AARP before 50.

When did I really take a look at it. Well I’d say it was about April of this year. We were switching our cell phone carrier over to Consumer Cellular. They asked me if I was an AARP member. I said no. She said I only ask because we give a 5% discount off your monthly service for AARP members. I thought, she has my information. She can see that I’m not 50 yet right? So I go onto the AARP website and do a little more research and find out that yes I can join and yes I can get the 5% discount on my mobile bill. We already saved BIG by switching to Consumer Cellular (which is in another post I wrote) but an etra 5%? Why not? It was only $16/yr for AARP the cell phone saving alone would still save us $60/yr even after the membership was deducted. It pretty much paid for itself!

As I explored the site more I found they also have a rewards program. As you read articles on the site, complete exercises, link up my fitbit, and more I can earn reward points that can be cashed in for things like discount gift cards, enter sweepstakes, health assessments, and more.

You can also get local discounts. While they have national discounts like Consumer Cellular you can also search your local area code for discounts. I found 63 in my little area!

The articles on the site are very informative. I can honestly say I’ve learned a few things from reading the articles. There are also recipe and exercise videos that I enjoy trying. I’ve done several of the yoga videos.

Now not ALL benefits are available to people under 50 years of age. Certain benefits that apply to medicare or are strictly for senior citizens do not apply. I attempted to get a quote through the link on their site for life insurance but it said it was only available for those 50+ yrs of age.

Honestly though its so affordable at $16/yr. My cell plan savings made it worth it alone but I’ve gotten so much more out of it. You can even link your Exxon Mobil rewards to earn points. 20% discount on Allstate Roadside insurance, WW (formerly Weight Watchers) discounts, and so much more.

Ready to sign up? It’s easy to sign up. Join AARP here.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from registrations through my link. This does NOT affect the cost to you.


Steps To Take When Looking for Scholarships for College

I have 4 kids. My oldest of which is heading to college in the fall. It’s been a whirlwind experience trying to navigate the whole application process for college and for scholarships. Even though he’s already been accepted and we put money down already we’re still having to take more steps that need completed before he actually starts. Guys he has new student orientation on the 19th! He still has to do some kinds of counseling session in regard to his student loans he qualified for. The whole pandemic thing made this process a little weirder too.

When I thought of the whole scholarship process I thought of it as filling out scholarship application after scholarship application hoping to get just one. Don’t get me wrong, there still plenty you can apply for on your own but the one he got was already applied for when we filled out the FAFSA. Let me explain.

Every year before starting college until college is finished you need to fill out the FAFSA. It’s important to fill it out completely and honestly. This helps schools make decisions on awarding scholarships and financial aid (among other things).

My son actually got a decent yearly scholarship from his college thanks to the FAFSA. As long as he keeps his GPA decent he’ll have the scholarship all 4 years.

My son’s high school also had their own form to fill out for scholarships specific to his school and the area. Colleges will sometimes offers scholarship awards to high school graduates for specific majors too. This was one form to fill out to determine scholarships for many.

In both of these scenarios only one form was needed to throw his name in the hat for many scholarship opportunities. These are the two major things to do . But, it doesn’t have to stop there. You can seek out and apply for individual scholarships as well. There are scholarship specific to majors, hobbies, religion, heritage, geographic area and more.

The David Ebrahimzadeh scholarship, for example, is a scholarship to recognize students seeking a degree in real estate! They’re accepting applications now. So don’t discount your career path in regard to scholarship opportunities.

Also local businesses, clubs, and even your own workplace may offer scholarships. My son applied for a scholarship through my husband’s place of work.

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


A Surprising Alternative to Education Funding

A good friend of mine is an insurance agent. She happened to mention one day about using whole life insurance to help pay for college. My ears perked up. Wait, what? I can use whole life insurance to help pay for college. But why would I used that instead of loans, 529 plan, or any of the other options out there? Turns out there’s a few reasons. I was eager to learn more and thought maybe my readers would like to know more too. So, I asked her to write up this article. I’m so glad she did.

Providing protection to your loved ones is primarily what whole life insurance is known for, but gone are the days when it’s used solely for the death benefit. One surprising way that life insurance can be used is
to pay for higher education costs, specifically as an alternative to using a 529 plan. If you’re unfamiliar with what a 529 plan is, it’s a tax-advantaged investment vehicle in the U.S. designed to encourage saving for future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. However, there are several disadvantages to a 529 plan. They vary from state to state and balances in a 529 plan may reduce your beneficiary’s ability to receive financial aid. Also, in the event that your beneficiary doesn’t want to
pursue higher education, the earnings may be subject to income tax plus a 10% penalty tax.

A whole life insurance policy can help you accomplish your college savings goals similar to a 529 plan and for some, an insurance policy may actually be a more suitable option because of the additional benefits, added flexibility, and guarantees not tied to the market. However, it’s best to use this option when the child is young, that way your policy can build up enough cash value to properly cover college expenses. You can also use what’s called an optional Paid-Up Additions (PUA) rider to significantly add
to the early build-up of cash values in your policy. While the two have similar contribution, accumulation, and distribution tax features, there are some differences between the two that might make whole life insurance a more suitable option for you:

Income tax-free college loans. You can use the accumulated cash value in your whole life policy to take out tax-free loans to help pay for college expenses without having to worry whether they’re qualified education expenses or not. If the time comes and your child decides not to pursue higher education, you could use this money for other things. For instance, you could use this money to help them purchase a vehicle, pay for living expenses if they choose to go out on their own, or pay for travel expenses so they could see the world.

Get guarantees without market volatility. A 529 plan likely has funds tied to market returns. While that can allow your college fund to grow over time, a down market could have the opposite effect. Imagine a downward spiraling market right before your child starts college. That would be a disaster. Alternatively, a whole life insurance policy provides you with guaranteed premiums along with a death benefit should the unthinkable happen and an accumulated cash value that won’t decrease based on the financial market performance.

Have options in case of disability. What if you became disabled while trying to build up savings for college education? No worries. With whole life, you have an optional waiver of premium rider to guarantee your college funding goals stay on track.

Benefit from savings that may not affect financial aid considerations. Unfortunately, a 529 plan is considered an asset by FAFSA. However, FAFSA financial aid guidelines currently don’t count your life insurance policy’s cash value as an asset, which means you could qualify for a higher
level of aid. (Note: Some colleges do view life insurance as an asset in determining financial aid).


Fund an education should the unthinkable happen. Life insurance provides an income tax-free benefit to your named beneficiary, which could in turn fund an education if they wished.

However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. If you could afford it, a whole life policy could simply be used as a solution that supplements funds alongside your 529 plan contributions. If the grandparents are highly involved in your child’s life, you could even consider asking them if they’d like to start a 529 plan for your child (as currently 529 plans owned by grandparents or third parties generally do not affect
financial aid of beneficiaries under the current guidelines), while you start a whole life insurance policy. I encourage you to compare the two and talk to a financial professional to see if using whole life insurance is the right college savings solution for you.

If you’re ready to start with whole life insurance, get in touch with my friend Angie Bailey.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AFGBurgAngela/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-angie-bailey-b1545025/


*Disclosure: This article is not intended to provide investment, insurance, or tax advice. Please consult
your own tax advisors regarding the comparative tax benefits of 529 plans, as well as the potential taxation of distributions from both 529 plans and whole life insurance policies


Beware of COVID-19 Scams: Utility Scammers

With COVID-19 comes a lot of new problems. Some we adjust to, some are temporary. I’ll never understand how scammers can do what they do to innocent people. Which is why I wanted to pass on this information I received from The National Consumer League (NCL).

Washington, DC–The National Consumers League (NCL) has issued a warning today for consumers about a reported increase in scams by con artists posing as utility company representatives who are threatening to shut off subscribers’ power service if they don’t make an immediate payment.

The anatomy of the scam is highly consistent: a consumer receives a call from someone claiming to be with the electric utility company. The caller warns the consumer that their power is about to be shut off over an unpaid bill. The only way to avoid this is to pay up immediately, typically via wire transfer, gift card, or some other difficult-to-stop payment method. So what can we, as consumers do?

Such a call can be very scary—particularly for those who may need electricity to power medical devices or run their small business. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers are having trouble keeping up with their bills, which may make them even more vulnerable to this scam. And even for consumers who are confident they’ve paid their bill, the impending threat of a shut-off at the height of summer heat can cause a panic. 

To avoid becoming a victim, consumers should:

  • Not panic. According to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, electric utilities in all 50 states have placed moratoriums on disconnections during the COVID-19 crisis, either voluntarily or in response to government orders. If someone contacts you claiming that they’re about to shut-off your electricity, it’s a scam. 
  • Contact the power company. A utility will never initiate a disconnection without contacting you via the mail first. If you received a call from someone claiming they’re about to turn off your power, hang up and contact your electric company. Their toll-free phone number and website address is typically listed on your electric bill. 
  • Beware of unusual payment methods. Anyone who asks you to pay an overdue electric or other utility bill via wire transfer, gift card, bank-to-bank transfer, bitcoin, or any other unusual payment method is almost certainly trying to scam you. 
  • Not give out personal information. Utility imposters may offer to connect their victims to federal assistance programs or payment plans to help pay their overdue bills. They just need to “verify” the victim’s information. In reality, these scammers are trying to gather the information they need to steal your identity. If you suspect something is amiss, hang up and call your utility company directly. 

NCL asks consumers to share their stories by filing a complaint at Fraud.org via its secure online complaint form. Complaints are shared with NCL’s network of nearly 200 law enforcement and consumer protection agency partners who can and do put fraudsters behind bars.

Scammers like these are everywhere. Knowledge is power. Please share this information with friends and family.

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneering consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.