smart spending

5 ways social networking sites save money

Help with college savings
3 of 7

Social networking sites like GreenNote and SmartyPig give you valuable tools to save for college. Requests for donations can be funneled to the large social networks at Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn.

At GreenNote, more than 23,000 people are registered. And the fee is only $20. People generally donate $2,000 to $3,000 to the savings cause.

"The idea is not to pay for the entire tuition," says Bill Hubert, CEO of Cology, which owns GreenNote. "It's more to offset incidental costs such as books and fees." Friends and family don't send checks, he says. Instead, they pay with a credit card.

SmartyPig offers tools for setting goals and tracking donations to save for college. To further fine-tune fundraising, websites such as GradeFund have sprung up. It invites people to sponsor a student's drive for good grades. Donors can choose sponsorship amounts as low as $5. Higher grades bring you higher donations, and donors can choose whether the money is disbursed to the school or the student.

"Cast as wide a net as possible," Hubert says.




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