According to my mother, I told her from the time I was in Grade 1 that I wanted to go to university. I know – that’s weird, but I’m an alternative kind of girl! My parents worked hard to provide for their kids but, by the time I had reached high school, there were no real savings for post-secondary education. I was blessed in the fact that I was able to work a lot and save money to help me when I started school, I received scholarships, I was able to work while at university and that my parents did help as they could. By the time I graduated though, I had a big chunk of student debt which took me years to pay off!
That being said, 20 years ago (I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I was in university!) post-secondary education didn’t cost nearly what it costs now! When Grownup Girl was little money was put into an RESP but, in retrospect, it would have been better if it had been started when she was younger because saving for a child’s education is easier if you start early and contribute regularly!
At first I thought it was really overwhelming but I’ve realize with professional advice (like what you can get from RBC) it’s actually quite easy!
Since that time I’ve learned a lot about RESPs I’ve learned a great deal! I know that saving in an RESP allows you get free money from the government because the Canada Education Savings Grant will match up to 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually (which could mean up to $500 a year, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200!). How sweet is that???
I’ve also learned that there are A LOT of ways to save for a child’s education. You can receive gifts from relatives and friends or put in a weekly contribution of $25 — there are so many different options! I know that I’ve been putting my spare change in a jar, because it adds up quickly and painlessly, and that money can go straight into an RESP!
I think the best thing that I’ve learned is that RESPs can be used for many different things. In addition to university or college, RESPs can also be used for things like apprenticeships and even non-credit courses! And my biggest fear has been alleviated — I always thought that if money was put into an RESP and that child didn’t use it all would be lost. Now I know that if one of the child doesn’t use the funds, you can use your contributions and earnings to fund your RRSP!
I’ve learned that RESPs provide amazing potential. They are a great option because I don’t want the girls to spend years paying off their student loans like I did!
Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are, as always, my own.