The Sooner the Better: Teaching Little Ones to Save, Not Spend @RBC_Canada. #SaveWithRBC

"A post-secondary education is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. To help you save, one of your most valuable tools is a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)." RBC RESP webpage

My girl is now 4 years old. I had intended to start saving accounts for her right after she was born, but you know how it is. Life ran away with my plans and here I am with a kid in JK who is making plans to be a teacher/doctor/horse rider/truck driver/ninja when she grows up.  Since I still have a student loan in repayment from the degree I earned in 1999, I wanted to set my girl up with a little bit of help from savings for her future. Money is really tight for us, but every time I make a student loan payment I cringe and promise myself that Princess Destructo will have a better option for funding her education.

The only thing I knew about RESP's going into this adventure was that the beneficiary must have a Social Insurance Number from Service Canada. Obviously there has to be more to opening an RESP.  I'm a loyal RBC customer since 1998 so they are usually the first place I turn for financial advice.  Here are a few things I learned about RESP's recently:
  • The savings are tax deferred, the funds won't be taxed until withdrawal by the student. This could mean smaller amounts of tax being charged.
  • There are a number of government grants* that will match some of your RESP savings helping to boost your savings balance.
  • You can open an RESP for any beneficiary under the age of 18- child, grandchild, niece/nephew, or your friends' children.
  • The RESP can remain open for 35 years*.
With all my new-found knowledge on RESP's the task doesn't seem so daunting.  I will be heading out to my local RBC branch to open one for my girl.  I don't have much to set aside right now, but every cent put away now is hopefully going to help my girl avoid the trap of exorbitant student loans.

For more information about saving with an RBC RESP .

There is also an option to set up Auto- RESP savings.

Easy Ways to Teach Saving.
  • Start with piggy bank savings.  It may seem simple, but you would be amazed how many children I talk to at the child care center that don't have piggy banks. Physically seeing the money add up is a great visual indication of the abstract thought of saving money.
  • Bring them to the bank with you so they can see the process of withdrawing money, cashing cheques, etc.  Let them ask questions and try to figure out the concept of saving. Teach them that money is not magic. You only have access to what you earn or are given.
  • Make a wish list and save for items on it- Since my girl turned 3 years I have tried to get her to save any money from grandparents, etc. I've been secretly doing this for her since birth, but want her to get the idea of saving, not spending.  I will try to use some of her piggy bank savings to fund a special toy or outing that she has been asking for.  Since she asks for new items every day, I help her to make a list. Of course I have no intention of getting her everything on her list- it serves the purpose again of being a physical reminder and helping her make the choice when we have money to cash in. (For example- we had a $10 Build a Bear gift card from Christmas- She could have cashed it in immediately and got a small toy of bear costume. We saved for 6 months and she chose to use the "family" savings toward a deluxe Build a Bear toy for her birthday.)

“Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own. *Please consult your local financial institution for exact details relating to your situation.”


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