Why education savings should always come first

Pourquoi devrait-on donner priorité à l’épargne-études

As any parent knows, you just want the best for your kids. You want them to experience all that life has to offer. To explore new opportunities and follow their dreams.  

So why, then, are so many parents spending more on their child’s extracurriculars than they’re saving for their post-secondary education? We asked ourselves this very question as we analyzed the findings of our second annual Beyond the Blue Line survey this week, which examines the priorities of Canadian parents.  

The results are concerning: 36 per cent of parents say they or someone they know have borrowed money to keep their kids in hockey. Meanwhile, more than 1 in 4 say they actually regret how much they’ve spent or know someone who feels this way. Almost half of the parents surveyed also say that they’re struggling to balance the high costs of saving for their child’s future education and keeping them on the ice. 

While it’s certainly tough to manage it all, here are three good reasons why parents should save what they can to help finance their child’s post-secondary education:

  1. It’s hard for students to do it alone. In the 2014/2015 school year, Statistics Canada reported that average undergraduate tuition fees rose to $5,959 per year. I don’t know about you, but not many students can come up with that kind of funding on their own. Which leads me to my second point…
     
  2. Racking up student debt isn’t exactly a great way to welcome adulthood. If you had a student loan once yourself (or are still paying yours off like many parents unfortunately are), you know how damaging a heavy debt-load can be - especially when you’re trying to launch your life. If you can do one thing for your child, make the wise decision to open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) in their name as soon as you can. That way, you can make steady contributions to help reduce their burden of debt.
     
  3. Kids can focus on what really matters in university – their studies. While many students do have to work part-time in university or college to keep afloat, every little bit you set aside now can make a difference. They might not have to pick up extra shifts each week and can devote more time to studying and keeping up with their readings.

The original article was posted November 2014 and updated May 2017.

Why education savings should always come first | CST Blog | C.S.T. Consultants Inc.

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