Celebrate this Family Day by starting an RESP

Putting aside money for your child’s Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) may actually be easier than you may think. With a well thought out plan, putting a little money aside each month can become a part of your everyday routine. If you have grade school kids, you can even turn saving for an RESP into a family project. It’s a great opportunity to start teaching your kids about the value of money!

Start with a few grown-Up “To Dos”
Wondering where and how to start saving? Follow these simple and easy steps to get started on your saving goals.

  • Track your spending for 2 months and determine the amount you feel you can save, based on the money remaining at the end of each month.
  • Add $50-$100 to that amount. You may be surprised at how easy it is to find extra money once you know where to look, don’t worry we have the tips covered below!
  • Think about how you are currently saving. How do you save for big ticket items like vacations, weddings and presents? If it’s working, start saving for your child’s post-secondary education that way too. Yes, it’s that simple.
  • Open an RESP and make contributions to your child’s plan starting as little as $9.50 per month

Ready, set, save! Get the kids involved
There are many simple ways to save money that grade school kids can help with. Start with a family meeting; explain the savings goals and how the family will work to accomplish these.

Track your savings weekly on a big chart or an online app to keep kids motivated and excited. Here are a few ways to start cost-cutting:

  • Treasure hunt for everyday specials Turn hunting for grocery specials into a big game by getting the kids to find the lowest prices in flyers and online. They collect points towards a small weekly prize; you stock up at the lowest prices.
  • Party more for less Birthday parties don’t have to break the bank. Skating and sledding parties, backyard water balloon fights and old-fashioned sleepovers are just as fun. Feel creative? Plan a do-it-yourself scavenger or treasure hunt!
  • Plan a Staycation Play tourist in your own town and have kids help plan activities like museum visits, neighbourhood walks, even picnics in the park.
  • Hold off holiday overspending Make your holiday list, set a budget, and shop early to take advantage of sales. You may even start to love January again!
  • “Day After” Shopping Shop smart and stock up on next year’s Valentine cards, Hallowe’en decorations, and even Christmas gifts the day after.
  • Power down utility costs Teach kids to turn off lights, set the thermostat to lower when you’re out, wash clothes in cold water, only run the dishwasher when full.
  • Dial down credit card debt. It’s easy to get carried away when buying on credit. Consider using debit instead to help keep tabs on your spending. Or, get a credit card that earns you cash back. If you have credit card debts, consolidate these onto the card with the lowest rate.
  • Earn money for shopping! Frequent online shopper? Enroll in a cashback app like Rakuten, Honey or Swagbucks, and get paid back for your spending!

Use the power of an RESP to let your savings grow Out of all the things you save for, education may well be the most important. It helps pave the way for your child’s future. Not only that, RESPs are a great way for savings to compound and grow tax-free over time. While your goal will be to contribute as much as you can every month, know that your RESP contribution can be as little as $9.50/month. As any parent of teenagers will tell you, university or college will be here before you know it. So put your savings plan into action and speak to a representative at CST about opening an RESP. Just think, your child will be able to say they helped save for their own post-secondary education!