Financial Literacy Starts with an Investment in a Great RESP

This post is part of the and giraffe& friends #giraffeandfriends sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.
My girls should be able to pursue any career they wish with the right RESP

Today my tween bought stock. It’s the latest step in our family financial planning process, one that started with opening an RESP when she was an infant. I am both excited and nervous for her, but I know we are on the right path teaching her respect for money and the things it can buy for you. Our financial advisor is a trusted resource and he understands my desire to get my kids learning about money now.

Maybe you aren’t quite ready for stocks and playing the markets yet. There are gentler ways to give your child a start in finances, ways that will help pave the way to a first class education. I am talking about Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP’s), of course. Maybe you are a new parent, a first-timer overwhelmed by parenting and the change baby has brought about. Childhood passes fast and you, as a parent, know that. One moment you might be choosing cribs, and the next it seems like you are ready to choose a university. But there’s a whole world of stuff in between and years of opportunity for investing if you pick the right tools to build your money.

So what are the right tools? What is the right financial path? How do you get started?

Within the first six months of my eldest daughter’s birth, we set up an RESP for her. Why did we start there? An RESP grows over the course of your child’s life. You set it up with monthly contributions and then you watch it build. In our home, birthday money goes in the RESP, as well as inheritances and gifts. At first, we started with a small amount because we didn’t have much money when my kids were tiny. I stayed home for a few years building our family and growing our new little people. I loved every moment of that precious time. As time passed and I carved out a business, we started contributing more money. Now as we get closer to the teen years, we are maximizing our contributions for both girls so they have fewer worries about how to pay for university or college. Now our daughter has her own money.

There are numerous plans you can opt into. But just this year I learned of a unique plan called giraffe & friends. What’s so unique about giraffe & friends? Let me tell you.

What to Look For in an RESP

giraffe & friends is a completely new concept for buying RESPs.

They offer a no-fee, worry-free and 100% guaranteed RESP.



  • How can you make contributions? Online? By appointment? Do you need to fill out stacks of paper just to get started? With giraffe & friends you can set up your plan in your home, online, even in the middle of the night if you need to. No fuss, simple investing.


  • What happens if your child doesn’t go to a post-secondary school?
  • Can you move the money over to one of the other children’s accounts if one doesn’t attend university, college or trade school?
  • Is your RESP insured? What happens if one parent dies or is permanently disabled and can’t make the contributions anymore? (giraffe & friends offers peace of mind by insuring the parents in case of death or permanent disability, ensuring the RESP will still be paid to completion on their behalf and waiting when the child needs it. That might not be something you want to think about, but it’s powerful evidence to me that this company is different.)”


  • Will this investment grow with my child. Yes. Simply stated giraffe & friends RESPs are guaranteed to grow.


  • Who is available if I have a question?
  • The giraffe & friends Friend Centre is open five days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help answer any questions.
  • Worry-free and no-fee investing is pretty much the best scenario you are ever going to find. The giraffe & friends plan is easy to understand and easy to buy online.

Education is the greatest gift you can give to your kids. It lifts them up and helps them to become their very best. One of our daughters has some special needs so we have both RESPs and RDSPs (Registered Disability Savings Plans) now, because in my 40s, I am much smarter than I used to be, in a sensible parent kind of way. I need to know certain things. I need to know my daughters won’t leave university like I did with 10-15 years of debt. That’s a terrible burden I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The repayments and the interest on student loans are astronomical, but tuition is mind-boggling. If you pay any attention to those things, you know that your child, at this particular time in history, might be able to pay for one year of study, but it’s almost unaffordable – unless you plan well right from the start.

I know my kids are intended for great careers in whatever field they choose. My oldest often says she wants to be a teacher, and that’s expensive. I personally left my under-grad degree and my grad years with well over $30,000 in debt and that was about 18 years ago. That meant my first 14 years working in the career I loved was also devoted to paying off the loans that helped me make my career choice a reality. I don’t want that life for my daughters; I want them to have an easier go at building their lives. I invest now so they don’t have to struggle later. An RESP can be used for a wide range of programs, which is part of what sold me on the idea. If one child goes to college or trade-school they can still use this. If one doesn’t choose post-secondary education, then the money can still be rolled into an RDSP.

giraffe & friends thinks Canadians deserve better. Your kids deserve better too. 

An RESP is a great way to save for your child’s education. No matter what education your child attends, it will take lots of money to graduate. Visit the ‘How To Plan For Your Kids’ Future’ page and learn the best ways for parents to save money, what to look for in an RESP, when you should start saving for your child’s education, and more.

Then visit giraffe & friends, Canada’s first no-fee, worry-free, 100% guaranteed RESP that you can buy online. The process is so simple you can start saving for your children’s future education while they nap. Kids grow out of everything. Give them something to grow into.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Rena McDaniel

    I think it is terrific that you are starting your child on money responsibility this early. My kids are grown but I wish I had done a little more. I made them keep savings accounts and they had to save up and buy there own cars this is something I just did not provide for them. I think it worked out well. When I was a child money was something you just didn’t talk about and that was a huge problem for me when I first started out. No one ever taught me and I had to learn the hard way. I finally took a class myself and I was determined to teach my children more than what I was taught.

    • Paula

      Rena: Believe me I know. I remember my first year of university I got a credit card and I thought I was in heaven. I shopped my heart out and guess what? Then I had to pay for it for like 2 years after. Lesson learned.

  • Kelly

    This is great information! We started on RESP for my daughter too right after she was born. I like the sounds of Giraffe & Friends though. Do you know if you have an RESP with another company, can you switch it over?

    • Paula

      Kelly: good news! I asked giraffe and friends and this is what they said:
      Absolutely! Their existing provider will charge them fees for it, but then they can kiss fees goodbye.

      For help with transfers, just contact the Friend Centre at or 1-844-MY-GANDF (1-844-694-2633).

  • Fariha

    Teaching kids about financial literacy is so important. We have not yet started our children’s RESP but are just in the midst of finalizing the best way to do it. Your post came at a perfect time.

    • Paula

      Amber: I wholeheartedly agree. Plus financial literacy seems to be such a cumulative lesson! We have to teach and reteach and model smart money choices.

    • Paula

      Kim – I wish we knew something about this when I was little. That debt would have been less suffocating after university.

  • Pam

    It’s great that giraffe and friends doesn’t charge high maintenance fees. Those can really eat into savings and investments without you realizing it!

  • Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I think it’s get that you are teaching your kids while they are young. I had never heard of a RESP account until now.

  • Ann Bacciaglia

    I think setting up a RESP it is such a important thing to do for your children. College costs are getting so high i can only imagine what it will be in 15 years.

  • Amanda Love

    I need to read up some more on this giraffe and friends. I’ve never heard of it before now. Thank you for posting about it.

  • Tami

    This is such an important lesson that is often overlooked. I love that you are encouraging your children to get involved from young. My mom also set up a savings account for me when I was born. When I turned 18, I reinvested the money. The gift of security is priceless.

  • Chrystal @ YUM eating

    That is awesome that you are starting them so young. I have some stock, but I’ll be honest, I have a MBA and have been in accounting and finance pretty much my whole life, but I just don’t understand the whole stock trade. I have no idea how to find those that are good and will continue to provide value for years to come.

  • Pam

    It is really nice to read this and see that there are ways for parents to help children save for their future. My children are adults and we did have them set up savings accounts way back when and did teach them how to save. Now as adults, they have a really decent savings system set up.

  • Veronica

    i wish this was a standard practice for parents and schools to teach kids financial responsibility. Kudos to you for making sure your kids respect money

  • Rosey

    We did something similar in our state. The kids all have four years of college paid for if they want it, and I like that a lot. Your program sounds great though, in a different way, because you can add money (from birthdays and such) at will. Love that your tween’s got stock going already. 🙂

  • Barb Francella

    Wow, this RESP is the worst thing I’ve seen in a while. A quick look at their website shows their rate of return being 2%. This is below the current rate of inflation! You’ll see no growth on your investment, this is basically a no growth savings plan! I understand peace of mind is important but even with the stock market collapse in 2008 you still would have come out ahead by investing in a low cost stock fund or ETF.

    This product is playing on the emotions of parents and a little education will show that this is the worst offer for your kids.

    Take a look at Vanguard or Blackrock for the funds and talk to your local bank about setting up the RESP account.

  • Jason

    RESPs are a great investment but Giraffe and friends isn’t. Everyone should know that this is just an insurance company and while they don’t have ‘fees’ they do charge for their insurance. It is kind of deceptive but it is included in the premium you pay, it is a company afterall of course it has to make money.
    I went on the Giraffe and friends website and calculate how much 100$ a month would be worth for 18 years and then did and IRR calculation to figure out the rate of return. It was just under 3% which is very bad for a long term investment.
    My RESPs for my kids in a moderate portfolio have returned way more than that, even after ‘fees’.

    Beware of insurance companies promises, they play by different rules.