Saving for school

As our kids head back to school, it’s natural to wonder where their education will lead.

As our kids head back to school, it’s natural to wonder where their education will lead. Will they go to university or college? What will they choose to do with their lives?

My own son, Adam, is only five and heading into senior kindergarten, but I often joke he’s sure to be a lawyer given his unrelenting negotiating tactics on everything from treats to video-game time.

No matter what path he decides to pursue, chances are he’ll need some post-secondary education to succeed. And that means money. Money most of us don’t want to think about as we’re shelling out for back-to-school supplies and clothing.

So I don’t think about it.

How can I be so cavalier? Because I have an automated system of saving for Adam’s education. Shortly after Adam was born, my husband and I set up a Registered Education Savings Plan for him. And when we started getting the monthly federal $100 Universal Child Care Benefit, we had the funds automatically deposited into our bank account and transferred into the plan each month. As a result, we also got hundreds of dollars in additional free RESP money from the government. After five years, we now have a sizable nest egg to use for his future education.

Adam will no longer qualify for the child care benefit when he turns six, but we plan to continue contributing to the RESP on an automated monthly basis from our own earnings. That way, I can daydream about what possibilities are out there for him, instead of worrying that I won’t be able to help him achieve them.

Are you saving for your children’s post-secondary education? If so, how do you go about it?

About the Author

Tamar Satov

Managing Editor, CPA magazine
Tamar is a journalist specializing in business, parenting and personal finance. She blogs regularly in this space with advice and anecdotes on her efforts to raise a money-smart kid.