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