This Lousy Sweater
“I sent you to higher education and all I got was this lousy sweater,” my dad is fond of joking. I remember with clarity picking out this sweater many years ago. It was my first year of college. I was young, and proud to be at college, and living independently. For Christmas, I wanted to give my dad a little piece of the experience.
The result of my parents’ years of saving for our educations is anything but a joke. With part-time employment and a thrifty nature, I came out of years of college and university debt-free. The little RESP fund my parents opened for my education was one of the best gifts I was ever given. It allowed me to pursue the dreams I had and discover the career path that I love.
My grandparents were strong supporters of education too. My grandmother is a retired English teacher who also made contributions. My grandfather would provide help each semester with a little pin money to help you buy books. They just asked that you did the best you could, and loved to listen to what you were learning.
With all the preparation that comes with a new baby, RESP (or registered education savings plans) are usually not at the top of the list. It was on my list as I and I have a few helpful hints I gathered from my thrifty saving family:
Easy Ways To Save in Your RESP
The magic of the registered education savings plans is the compounding of your small contributions over the long term. Even if you’re able to only put in a small amount, say $25 a week, over many years as your child grows, these contributions can grow too.
Apply for ALL of the credits you can
Your local RBC advisor can help you apply to all of the federal and provincial grants that are available, such as:
- Canada Learning Bond
- Canada Education Saving Grant
- Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings
- Alberta Centennial Education Saving Plan
Maximize Contributions with Gifts
Our children receive money from their relatives around birthdays as well as occasions and holidays. We typically take these amounts and invest them back into their RESP. It helps us top up their RESP to get the maximum Canada Education Saving Grant amounts. It’s no skin off our teeth either, as we are not relying on the income.
Did you know? The Canada Education Savings Grant will match up to 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually. That could mean up to an additional $500 a year in your RESP, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200! Hello free money to help the contributions grow more!
Set a RESP-matic monthly amount
RBC makes saving simple – you can set up a monthly amount you want to contribute with your advisor. Once set-up, you can change the monthly amount at any time online. You can also specify which child you want it to go to – I like to maximize contributions for the first half of the year to go to Mr J and the second half to go to Miss P.
Consider using your Child Tax Benefit or Universal Child Care Benefit for a contribution
In our family, we use the other tax benefits we have towards the RESP and RRSP! You may look in your budget and see where you can find a small amount to make in contribution – perhaps your latte addiction could be scaled back or you will walk more. These small changes and contributions can really add up.
Did You Know? That $25 a week can add up to $50,911** in 18 years
Enter to Win with RESP with RBC
Enter to win 4 prizes of $500 towards your child’s RESP! Now that’s a gift that can get growing immediately.
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 my own.
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.