“When I grow up I want to be…”
Your child has big dreams for the future and all you want to do is make them a reality.
When we decided to become parents, we knew that it was going to be an expensive proposition. But we didn’t fully prepare ourselves for what the future held. It’s one thing providing diapers, food, clothes, toys, and love, but we never thought about how we were going to provide a post-secondary education for our three sons.
This is one of those things that weighs on my mind; something I wish we had done a better job of planning for. When we first started our family, we had just bought a new home and paid for our wedding. We just didn’t have money in our monthly budget to spare. I am embarrassed to say that up until a few years ago, our boys had no type of savings other than the regular old savings account that we put their birthday money into.
If there was one piece of advice I could give to new parents, it would be to start their child’s RESP early. Saving for a post-secondary education is a major financial commitment for most Canadians, and our family is no different. Being a single income family, it can be hard to budget saving for your child’s education, so my husband and I sat down as a couple and found some ways that were going to work for our family.
Here are 5 ways you can start saving for your child’s post-secondary education today:
- When your children receive money as gifts, instead of spending this money on toys they probably don’t need, deposit them into their post-secondary education fund.
Skip the takeout. Instead of eating out at lunch, dinner, or grabbing that Timmies coffee, bring food from home. Put the money you have saved aside and at the end of the month put that into your child’s post-secondary education fund.
Take advantage of the RESP tax benefits and use your tax refund to make a deposit. You are then able to defer the taxes from your investment while your child’s education fund grows. When your child is ready to use their RESP, the gains are taxable in their name, and because they typically have high exemption status and low income, any taxes they will pay should be much lower.
Request no gifts for your child’s birthday but instead, ask for a Toonie to put towards their post-secondary education fund.
Use your Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). This money is provided by the government help eligible families with the cost of raising children under 18. Why not take a portion of this tax-free money and place it in your child’s name for their post-secondary education?
Our goal as parents has always been to make our sons’ dreams a reality, and by using these 5 simple ideas we hope to make that happen.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Heritage Education Funds. All opinions are my own.