Why we made RESP’s a priority in our budget #RESPwithRBC

RESP With RBC Alivia School

RESP With RBC Alivia SchoolI was raised in a home with a single mom, she did absolutely everything she could to provide the necessities, but there wasn’t much left over for anything else. We didn’t have investments, we didn’t have RESP’s or RRSP’s set up, we were happy just to be able to survive on what we had. Recently I talked to my mom about why she never set up an RESP for me growing up, knowing that it only took a small investment each month to make a difference and her response was one I expected – when I was school aged, Registered Education Savings Plan’s weren’t as widely advertised as they are today.

I put myself through college in my twenties, to the tune of over $20,000. I certainly compromised on my career based on what I could afford for post-secondary and what would amount to a job that I could eventually pay off said student loans. Now in my early 30’s, I’ve finally (hooray!) chipped away at that debt and finally paid it off. I realized very quickly once I got pregnant and was paying back student loans from 10 years ago, that I wanted to make an RESP for Alivia a priority and started doing my research.


When we met with our RBC RESP adviser, admittedly I went in blind. I didn’t know how this worked, or what to expect. I didn’t know if what we could afford was even going to make a difference in the long run and again, I was a little bit embarrassed – what if we couldn’t save ENOUGH? Kids are expensive, anyway you look at it, so budgeting the contribution each month was much easier when we could see what it would grow into for her education.

What exactly IS an RESP?

The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a tax-sheltered plan that can help you save for a child’s post-secondary education. (More information)

Why do I need an RESP for my child?

Post-secondary education is expensive, and the cost will continue to rise in coming years. Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) combine flexibility, tax deferral and direct government assistance to help you save for a child’s education. (More information)

Will my contributions make a difference?

Absolutely. Contributing just $25 a week can grow to $50,911 in 18 years. That could make a pretty sizable dent in any post-secondary costs your child may incur.


What if my child doesn’t go to post-secondary?

If your child who is named beneficiary of the RESP decides not to pursue post-secondary education, you have a few options:

  1. If you have a family plan, you can designate another beneficiary to receive the government grants (to a maximum of $7,200 per beneficiary) and earnings.
  2. If you have an individual plan, you may be able to name an alternate beneficiary.
  3. If the beneficiary has reached 21 and the plan is at least 10 years old, the earnings can be withdrawn by the subscriber, subject to withholding tax and a 20% penalty tax unless transferred to an RSP. The amounts withdrawn will be considered taxable income. (More information)

What really surprised me the most about RESP saving is that regardless of how little or how much you can invest each month, it really does add up! Depending on what her passion happens to be on her path, this could certainly pay for most, if not all of her post-secondary education. Leaving little stress for her during her studies financially and opening more doors to which career she chooses. I want those doors open to her, I want her to be able to dream her biggest dreams and chase them.

Alivia Music Together Staccato StudiosAt 4, if you were to ask her what she wants to be when she grows up she gives you expected answers. Currently she wants to be friends with Princess Twilight and live in Ponyville, but for us as parents.. we see so much creativity in our daughter, so much LOVE for music and the arts… we are so grateful for RESP, knowing that she can choose whatever she path she wants to take when she’s older. If she chooses to not pursue a post-secondary education – all of the money we’ve saved doesn’t go to waste either. The amount can be transferred to another child, or moved into an RSP. I do hope she’ll pursue post-secondary, but at this point we’re just saving to give her options. Our “Someday” dream for Alivia is that she continues with her passion for music, that she let’s it fill her soul someday becomes a famous pianist. Who knows though? 🙂

The RBC Someday campaign wants to remind parents that these littles grow so fast, and that someday comes pretty quickly. I know I want any and all options available to Alivia, on whichever path she decides to take with her future.

With RBC, you have so many options to make saving convenient. Parents are BUSY, we all get it! We have our investment set to auto-deduct from our bank account once a month, with RESP-Matic through RBC it takes the thinking out of it all for me. I hardly remember to check my bank account most days, let alone sit down to pay bills! I appreciate that I can set it up to suit my needs and my budget.

My favorite part of RESP’s? I’m frugal, I love free stuff. Did you know your child is eligible for FREE money through the government? Make even a small contribution regularly and you may be eligible for the Canadian Education Savings Grant or the Canada Learning Bond – all free money! Not only is it free, it will also gain interest in your RESP, really stretching every penny you have in there.

Remember, it’s never too early, or too late to open an RESP for your child – RBC is here to help! Contact your local branch or book an appointment online to talk with an RESP specialist. Bring those burning questions with you and don’t be afraid to ask them. Remember that even the smallest of contribution, started early enough can make a long term difference.

Head over to www.rbcroyalbank.com/resp/ for more information on how you can start saving for that Someday, today.

Twitter Party Alert!

Join us on twitter September 17, 2015 at 9:00 for your chance to win 1 of 6 $150 Visa Gift Cards! Follow along with the conversation with the hashtag #RESPwithRBC

What is your Someday dream for your littles? Share with us below!

{Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP/Someday campaign with Influence Central, I receive special perks for my affiliation with them. All opinions and stories are my own}

Tara Jensen
Tara is a parenting influencer based on the West Coast. With her full time career in health care, she focuses on green living, healthy family choices and encouraging families to live a fabulously frugal lifestyle. She lives on coffee, cuddles and post-its, generally in that order. When she isn’t working, she can be found outdoors exploring beautiful British Columbia with her family.