A Student Mother’s Perspective on why you should invest in an RESP

With September just around the corner, thoughts start to wander to the upcoming school year. For some of us, that means kids returning for another year. For others, this means the beginning of a new journey – starting kindergarten or grade one, or starting university or college.

My daughter starts kindergarten this fall, and although her college or university education is still many years away, I’m definitely thinking about it now. While I’m not concerned, at this moment, about what she picks in terms of course selection, I am concerned about how she will manage the cost of her education.

Consider this: In 1990, the average cost of tuition at a Canadian university was $1464, but by 2012, this average cost had risen to $6348.* It’s estimated that by 2030, the average four-year degree will cost $53,275.** I don’t mean to scare everyone – as frightful as those numbers may be – but I mention it only as a way to emphasize the importance of saving for your child’s education.

As someone who benefited from a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) when I went to post-secondary, I can’t emphasize enough how much these funds can provide relief and peace of mind to a student. I was very fortunate that my parents chose to save for my education, easing the financial stress of school for me. Although the funds didn’t cover 100% of my tuition, it did mean that my summer job was able to cover the remainder of my school and housing costs, without me having to worry too much about it – allowing me to focus on my studies throughout the school year. Now saving for my daughter’s future education, I want to ensure that she doesn’t have to worry about any of her expenses. Starting university or college can be stressful enough – a new school, new subjects, papers, exams and, in some cases, a new city or town. That’s why I am investing in my daughter’s education now, so we don’t have to add “tuition costs” to that list.

Although starting early is so important, It’s never too late to start saving for your child’s education. If you haven’t started saving yet, I recommend you getting started now and Knowledge First Financial is there to help. You can also enter their Annual RESP Draw for a chance to WIN one of three $2,500 contributions towards an RESP: Heritageresp.com/WinARESP