Every so often, I ask my kids what they would like to be when they grow up. When they were smaller I got answers like a princess, cowboy, or candy tester. Over the years I’ve heard many different answers; veterinarian, teacher or recording artist from my daughter recently, and my son figures a firefighter, race car driver or drummer. You’d almost think I was asking what they wanted to be for Halloween. And I love it!
Kids have big dreams, and we often tell them that they can be anything they want to be if they want it bad enough and work hard to get it. I want my kids to have choices and ambitions and to be able to follow their dreams where ever that may take them. We encourage them and nurture their interests as they evolve, whether that is in the form of music lessons, a trip to the fire hall or playing pretend. And that’s also why we started an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan); I don’t want finances to hold my children back and it is another way to encourage them to follow their dreams.
We opened our first RESP when our oldest was four months old. Our monthly contribution is modest as we want to make sure we can always afford it, but 11 years later she already has a good chunk of change set aside to further her education. And, while we started our RESP very early on, it is never too late to open one. You don’t need to contribute more than you can afford, and can change the monthly amount at any time should your situation change. But the best part? The free money!
The Canada Learning Bond is a FREE kick-start contribution of up to $2000 into an eligible child’s RESP account. To date, less than 40% of eligible families have claimed their Bond. That’s over 1.5 million Canadian children who are missing out on the opportunity to have their education savings started with free money.
Navigating through the world of finances can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. SmartSAVER is here to help you out. They are a national charity who works with communities across Canada to make it easier for modest-income families to save for their children’s no fee RESP. SmartSAVER can help you step by step from choosing where to get your RESP and comparing plans, to how to access free money from the government in the from of grants and bonds, including the Canada Learning Bond.
Live in British Columbia? The B.C. government is launching their new BC Training and Education Savings Grant this fall which will give eligible children an additional $1200. To be eligible, the child must be born in 2006 or later, be a BC resident (parent too) and have a Registered Education Savings Plan. This is a fantastic time to open an RESP if you haven’t already. Already have an RESP for your child? SmartSAVER can help you make sure your child is receiving all the benefits they are entitled to.
Visit SmartSAVER at www.smartsaver.org to get started today, or to find out more information on various grants and bonds available to Canadians to contribute to RESPs. They even have an online calculator that can show you how much your contributions can become and how much free money you are eligible for based on family income, child’s birthday and monthly contributions.
Are you ready to win? Smartsaver has generously sponsored a prize for a $50 gift card for one lucky fan! Entering is easy, just fill out the widget below. Contest is open to residents of Canada that have reached the age of majority, contest will run from October 3rd – October 28th, winner will be chosen at random and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. ALL entries are confirmed and failure to complete mandatory entries will void all others. Good luck!