FIRST BABY. FIRST TIME MOM. FIRST CHEERIOS

Our kids are 13, 10, 8, and 3. Other than an RESP Tom’s parent’s have for them, we haven’t done a whole lot of saving for their education, and that kind of freaks me out. Combined, there are a whole lot of college/university years ahead of us!

Sure, I have talked to people about what I should be doing, and I have thought about it even more… usually at 3am when my brain does that fun internal conversation about everything I should be doing, that I’m not. I should eat better, work out more, spend less, and (of course) save more.

So what’s holding me back? Well, chocolate had something to do with the eating part, but not feeling I could contribute enough was the saving part. Then I realized, like anything in life, every little bit counts.  I started looking at saving in a different light. I started calculating time instead of money. If I got up 15 minutes earlier, I could make myself a cup of tea and grab some granola instead of going to the drive-thru (Put that extra $5 in the pot). If I got up half an hour earlier, I could pack myself a lunch, more money in the pot.

I’m not unrealistic enough to think I will do that every day, but even twice a week would mean an extra $10. So now I am looking at putting $40 a month into that RESP. Doesn’t sound like very much, but I’m way ahead of the people who haven’t started yet.

Add to that the money that the government will add – when else will they GIVE you money? The government’s Canada Education Savings Grant program. or CESG, matches 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually to an RESP. The maximum total CESG the government will give, up to age 18, is $7,200 per beneficiary. We’re talking FREE money here, people. You can’t afford not to take advantage of that!

I know, I know, you’ve got tonnes of bills and expenses already. I totally get it, this is just one more thing you need to remember to do. Except you don’t. With RESP-matic, RBC is going to make this whole RESP thing super easy for you. You pick an amount, you pick the frequency. Let’s say $5 a week, or $50 a month, maybe $200 a year, it’s up to you. You can put in as little or as much as you want, as often as you want, and it’s automatically debited from your account. You don’t have to remember to do anything, and the funds will be transferred before you’ve thought about how you could use them to buy that venti half-sweet, skinny, mocha- frappacino with whip that would totally break your diet anyway.

You can follow RBC on Twitter or visit them at Rbc.com/education for more tips and tricks on getting started. How old are your kids? Have you started saving?

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.

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