No, it’s not a lottery ticket. But trust me, the odds are much more in your favour.
(First, a little background information.)
When Ryder was first born, prominently featured in the “new baby” booklet were ads for Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs). At the time, I promised myself that I would look into it – after all, having been through university myself, I was acutely aware of the costs of education. Still, the days were long and the nights were even longer, and just like that I forgot all about RESPs.
And really, if I had an extra $100 kicking around? I was spending it on formula and diapers.
Two years later, when Ryder was two years old and his little brother made an appearance into this world, my own brother inquired: “So, have you set anything up for the boys yet? For school or whatever?” I admitted that I hadn’t. And I couldn’t be bothered! I had two babies to take care of and a couple of bucks into a bank account to be used eighteen years down the road seemed the least of my concerns.
Then, Ryder began showing signs of social anxiety disorder, and it was strongly suggested I place him in a Montessori-type setting. Pretty quickly, I had to re-shuffle my lifestyle and finances. I mean, who assumes that they’re going to pay for kindergarten?? It’s just A-B-C’s and 1-2-3’s!
Two years later, I had invested almost $15,000 into Ryder’s kindergarten education.
It was the reality check I needed. Because one day, God-willing, both boys will require funds for their post-secondary education, and I never want to be caught off guard again. And at the same time, I want my sons to understand the value of money, the importance of saving for their education, and have an active role in investing in their future.
The holidays are a great time to begin the conversation, especially since many parents and grandparents find themselves thinking about what to give a child as a present. According to a recent TD survey, more and more parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and godparents are choosing to give the children in their lives some form of financial gift, including cash or an RESP contribution. Some see this not only as a monetary gift, but also as a way to start teaching children about responsible money management. …