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3 Ways to Come up with Extra Money for Your Child’s RESP in the New Year

I hope that 2018 is off to a good start for you. One of the age-old traditions of the new year is setting New Year’s Resolutions. There are many popular New Year’s Resolutions – eating healthier, going to the gym more often, and, of course, saving more money. But saving money is easier said than done. While setting the goal of saving money is a good first step, putting a plan into action that will get it done is even more important. And if  you’re not contributing money to your child’s RESP, you’re leaving free money on the table – literally – since the government offers a generous grant of 20 percent on to pof contributions.

Here are three ideas to improve your cash flow so you have extra money to contribute to your child’s RESP this year:

Track Your Spending

Are you living pay cheque to pay cheque? You’re not alone. About half of Canadians are. The fact that we’re living in an increasingly cashless society isn’t helping. With each passing year, it’s becoming easier and easier to part with our cash. For instance, we can now make purchases directly from our smartphones and pick them up at fast food chains in a special mobile app line up (which really isn’t a line up since you barely have to wait at all, making it even more tempting).

How do you control your spending when it’s so easy to do it? By keeping track of it. Start by creating a budget. This in itself can be an eye-opening experience. Tally up how much you spend on a monthly basis in various spending categories. Spending too much? Keep tabs on the categories like fast food and clothing you’re most likely to overspend on.

While a budget is great, it’s also important to track your spending. There are many ways to do it – smartphone apps, Excel spreadsheet and even a good old fashioned notepad. Figure out what works best for you and just do it!

Pay Yourself First

Do you look at your bank account at the end of the month and wonder where all your money went? Instead of treating savings as low priority and saving “whatever you have left at the end of the month,” make it a top priority. The easiest way is by paying yourself first. Figure out how much money you’d like to contribute to your child’s RESP and work your way backwards. Determine how much money you’d need to save from each pay cheque and automate your savings. Have it so that your money is automatically deposited into your savings account before you’re even tempted to spend it.

Get Your Side Hustle On

Do you have spare time? Instead of spending it parked in front of the couch and watching TV, why not put some of it to good use and bring in some extra income while you’re at it? Side hustle or earning extra income in your spare time is easier than ever these days thanks to the sharing economy. You could become a driver for a ride sharing service, rent out your place on a home sharing service or start your own web design service. The choice is yours. As I mention in my book, Burn Your Mortgage, find something that you enjoy and see if there’s a way you can make money from it. With the sharing economy, chances are that you can.

Wishing you all the best in 2018. Happy money-saving!