Adoption and Family

Investing in RESPs: Saving for my daughter’s education

Well, she might not have said that, but it makes sense at Christmas time to boost the RESP contributions.

Well, she might not have said that, but it makes sense at Christmas time to boost the RESP contributions.

How investing in RESPs helped me save for my daughter’s education

I am the daughter of a teacher. In our home, education was valued above all as the ticket to a future, the means to become whatever you wanted. Growing up, we didn’t have much money because my Mom was a single parent, but we studied hard and dreamed and knew university was a way forward. Education was a gift that could last a lifetime. My Mom might not have had money, but she had dreams for us. I am a successful businessperson and journalist because my Mom really encouraged and nurtured my love of learning. Had she known about RESPs (Registered Education Savings Plans) back then, I have no doubt she would have enrolled us in one.

When my husband and I adopted our beautiful first daughter, the sun rose and set on that baby and she was so loved by her grandma, my Mom. She was gifted armloads of the cutest pink baby confections and toys. Christmas was a glorious excuse to shop. You see, my Mom loved shopping almost as much as she loved teaching. Sears was her second home.

My husband and I took out RESPs as soon as we could for both of our girls. I believe they were six months old by the time we were able to get the documentation required to start an RESP. Eventually my Mom came to the same conclusion we had – that sometimes it’s so much smarter to forego the latest gadget or toy for a child and instead gift them a start on their education. So every Christmas, and sometimes for birthdays too, my Mom would gift the girls money for their education. Both of my kids were old enough to understand that Grandma was far from rich, but she believed in them and so that present of a cheque each year spoke volumes. Grandma believed in them, she knew they had potential and ability and the strength to pursue a great future. That’s kind of what good parenting and grand parenting are all about: gifting them a hopeful future while creating a scaffolding of support along the way. I loved that my Mom was enlightened enough to believe in all of her grandchildren; she invested in each of them every year.

There will always be toys and clothes and gadgets and there will always be some of those under the tree, but maybe this year you buy fewer toys and put the rest in the RESP. Maybe it’s time to suggest to grandparents, godparents, even aunts and uncles that education is a gift that shows a child you believe in their potential and RESPs are a gift that lasts a lifetime.

RESPs are a Canadian product only. The benefit of an RESP is that opening one can also qualify you for education savings grants like the Canada Learning Bond as well as others. Income on savings within an RESP is tax sheltered until he child is ready to go to post-secondary school.

My girls loved their grandma fiercely. She passed away 18 months ago and we miss her every day. Before she passed away, my Mom left each of the kids a bit of money that again went into their RESPs. It’s a gift for the future, meaning she will have an impact on their lives for years to come.

Looking to start your own plan? Here’s a great company to check out: If you need to contact one of their representatives to ask more questions, check here:

This post was sponsored. My opinion is all my own. We are super committed to saving for RESPs.

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


  • Amanda Komoski

    RESP’s are SO important! This year we have asked the grandparents to go light on the present giving and if they want to spend more they can contribute to the children’s accounts.

  • DeBalino

    Your mom was one inspiring and loving woman! Makes sense because you turned out that way too! 🙂 It’s wonderful that she left a legacy and will impact your kids’ lives forever. RESPs are so important. Besides, we can use the room that would otherwise be taken up by 10 more dolls and 30 more puzzle sets.

  • Jenna Em

    What a great gift your mom bestowed on your girls! We too invest in RESPs for all our kids, and have done so since birth. I wish I could take credit, but it was my husband’s fantastic idea–and I sleep better for it each night.

  • Bonnie Way

    I totally agree that this is a great idea!!! My parents put money into a university savings plan for me and it was a big help when I got there. My grandparents also bought bonds for me at various times and that helped me travel during university and then recently pay some big bills. 🙂 Investments are always great! Thanks for sharing.

  • jenn

    That is a great idea. Ny parents have been doing that since the kids were born. They buy them something small then contribute to their resps

  • Amber Edwards

    What a great program! My parents weren’t able to help with my education much because they had 9 kids on a farmers income. So it was hard work getting through college. But it would be awesome for my own kids to have a little help from us to get them started because education is so important.

  • Scott

    Didn’t realize Canada had something similar to our 529 plans. We opened our right away also and fortunately the market has been pretty good to us!

  • Darlene Schuller

    This is an awesome program … like me, my parents couldn’t afford to send us to college, my daughter is currently in college and struggling, I wish we had been in a better position financially to be able to prepare for her future.

    I do believe this is one of those things people just don’t talk about when you’re pregnant lol

  • Angela Mitchell

    We have RESP’s for our kids but after all the reading I’ve done lately on them, I’ve realized that we need to contribute more.

  • Anna W

    The best thing I did this year was start RESp’s for my three young children. Knowing that their education will be paid for by the time they are ready to go takes a lot of stress and worry away.