|The Boys After Swimming Lessons|
Before our first child was born, my husband and I had a heart-to-heart conversation about what future lifestyle we wanted for our family. By "lifestyle", I mean what non-materialistic things were important to our family life. My husband stated that he didn't want to spread himself too thin, and wished to be able to provide one-on-one attention for our children. It was so important for him, for example, to be able to help all the kids with homework, read to them, play board games together, and teach each and every one to ride a 2-wheel bicycle.
Another very important and forward-thinking thing that my husband wanted to do too, was to be able to put away for our childrens' educations. In fact, as soon as my first child was born and we got him a social insurance number, we started putting away monthly for his RESP. My husband told me that if we had other children one day, he would also do the same for each and every child. Yes, it involved a monthly committment of funds, but it has been well worth it.
|My Husband Assisting My Son With Homework|
For our first child, my husband researched carefully and presented the option to me of C.S.T Consultants for our son's RESP. He felt that they had been around for a long time, were stable and had competitive fees. I trusted my husband's research and agreed to go forward with C.S.T. 8-and-half years later, we are still saving monthly for our son's future education with C.S.T.! He wants to be a scientist when he's older--even has a microscope and is thrilled by bacteria--and my husband and I want to help him realize his dream. Just as my husband's earlier plan, we have RESPs for our other four children too.
As parents of 5 young children, my husband and I cover expenses in quintuplicate: food, clothing (for four Canadian seasons), books, toys, and extracurricular activities. We enroll all 5 of our kids in weekly swimming lessons all year round, and I can attest that even this one cost can really add up.
However, with some planning, we do both: the extracurricular activities and the monthly RESP contribution for all kids. We want to ensure that if our kids wish to get a college or university education, or wish to learn a trade of any kind, that they will have the funds to be able to do it. Paying for the kids' education month-by-month over a 17-year period makes the kids' education affordable.
|My Son Examining a "Specimen" In His Microscope|
He Wants to Be a Scientist One Day
Reading from the C.S.T website, you can pay even as little as $9.50 per month toward an RESP, which is less than the cost of a few cups of coffee! In 17 years you will have saved a base of $1938 + interest (ie. conservatively 5% per year) = $2034.90. Add the 20% that the government contributes to this amount via the Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG), (before interest $387.60), and you come up with $2422.50 for your child's post-secondary education, on an initial investment of just $9.50 per month! Canada Learning Bond (CLB) also provides an additional grant of up to $2,000 per child to help families with a modest income.
Did you know the basic Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) will top up your annual contribution by 20%, up to a maximum of $500 each year for each beneficiary. The lifetime limit for the grant is generally $7,200. Additional CESG grants may be available, depending on your income.
Sometimes funds are tight, but it's necessary to plan for our childrens' futures now. As a woman who put herself through University and earned her degree, I can attest that it was very expensive prospect from my late teens to mid-twenties. Can you afford $9.50 per month to put aside for your child's education? It will be dollars well spent!
C.S.T. Consultants Inc. understand the benefits of extracurricular activities, but don’t feel they should come at the price of investing in your child’s education. As parents, we all dream to see our children do well in life.
Take a look at these statistics provided by CST:
- 89% (of parents, as surveyed by CST) believe it's important for parents in Canada to help their child pay for their post-secondary education
- 3 out of 5 Canadian parents (61%t) say they, or someone they know, have borrowed money or used their retirement savings to put a child through hockey or other extracurricular activities.
- 36% believe paying for extracurricular activities like hockey is more important before saving for post-secondary education
C.S.T. Consultants is running the "Beyond the Blue Line" contest! WIN $10,000 to help make hockey less-expensive for your hockey team or organization . Entries must be received by December 31st, 2013. Enter the Beyond the Blue Line Contest HERE! GOOD LUCK!
Join Canadian Scholarship Trust plan during a Twitter Chat on Tuesday December 17th, 2013 at 9:00pm EST! They'll be discussing the cost of hockey vs. education and RESPs. 5 x $50 VISA gift cards are being given away.
What does your child or grandchild want to be when he or she grows up? Do you put aside for your child's or grandchild's education through a monthly RESP contribution?
Disclosure: I am part of the C.S.T. Consultants Inc. – Beyond the blue line blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.