Sunday, 28 June 2015

Like Father, Like Son, but Twice the Price. Planning for Rising #Education Costs.

They have "the knack"



I met my husband at university, and at the time he was an engineering student. He was funny and smart and studied about things I had no understanding of. We graduated and he worked at things I had no understanding of. On occasion I'd overhear him speaking in that mystical language of tech, but it wasn't until later I realized he had "the knack."

We married and he fixed the dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer. He was my in-house IT guy and made the "interweb" and computers work. He knew magical things like science and math, and could do long multiplication and division in his head! Surely there could be no others like him. He must be one of a kind!

We lived together in marital bliss with our two young children amongst the working appliances and computers, until one day it all changed ...
my youngest started to speak the mystical language of tech with his father. My eldest and I looked on in amazement, not understanding a word they said, but realizing this meant there were not one but two with "the knack!"

My son was going to follow in his father's footsteps.


But here's the catch: twenty-five years ago my husband graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree and the tuition and residence costs for that 4-year program was between $35,000-$40,000. Today, tuition and residence for my son at the same university for a 4-year Bachelor of Engineering Degree will be between $80,000-$90,000.

The same degree at the same university is more than double the cost!


AND
Engineering Programs are more expensive than many other programs, meaning the difference between the tuition for an Engineering and an Arts program is nearly $4,000 a year.


We're Going to Need a Plan!



By the beginning of middle school, most parents start to see the direction in which their kids' abilities and interests lie. By Grade 8, they're making decisions about whether to take Applied (college stream) or Academic (university stream) courses in high school. This is the perfect time to get kids involved and thinking about post-secondary education, saving for that education and understanding budgeting and money management

This is also a good time for kids to look into grants and scholarships. Scholarships (aka money) can be incentive to work hard and keep their grades high, since many universities offer a scholarship for high averages at the time of admission. The university I attended currently offers admission scholarships between $4,000-$16,000.

Waiting until your child knows what they want to be isn't when the plan should start. Although it's never too late to start saving for post-secondary education, the earlier you start the better.

  • TIP: If you find the language of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to be like the mystical language of tech, the Heritage Funds Glossary of Terms might be helpful.
  • Although your child's direction and area of study won't be revealed until later, saving for that studying needs to start ideally as soon as they're born, allowing your RESPs to accumulate over time. Regular contributions can add up to big savings over 18 years. 
  • Setting up monthly auto-contributions makes it easy, and ensures you don't forget. We all have the best intentions but a plan makes it happen.
  • Starting early allows you to take advantage of all the grants you're entitled to, providing you meet the criteria.
  • TIP: An RESP is a great place to put cash gifts from family and friends, and your kids know those who care about them invested in their future! When my nieces and nephews were young I gave them a small toy and the rest was a cash gift for their education fund.
  • Be sure to check if your employer offers post-secondary scholarships to employees' children who maintain an honours average.
  • Review your RESPs and savings plan regularly to evaluate where you are compared to your goals, and if adjustments need to be made. 
  • Lastly, they say it takes a village and the Heritage Funds Blog is a community that offers resources and advice on a variety of topics from education, parenting, and finance to crafts and activities. 

You don't need to have "the knack" to put a great plan for your child's education in place, but you can't delay, so start saving today!


Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about the rising cost of education.

Note: As a Heritage Mom I was compensated for this post, and for sharing my thoughts about RESPS and saving for post-secondary education. All opinions are my own and reflect my personal experience saving for my two kids' education. 

One lucky reader will win a $50 Tim Hortons gift card from Cathy Thinking Out Loud, sponsored by Heritage Education Funds.

38 comments :

  1. I found the blog post How to Balance Your Budget When School’s Out for The Summer interesting. It is so true that we often don't plan for those additional summer expenses and it can be hard on the bank account. They had some really good tips in this post. (Judy Cowan)

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  2. How to Balance Your Budget When School’s Out for The Summer called my name before I even read it. I am "Grandma" so I do have my grandkids a lot during the summer which gives my kids a break financially and personally. My favourite tip would be Encouraging the kidlets to Pay for it by suggesting wee jobs they can do. Thanks!

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  3. I liked the blog post Tips for a Fun Summer Road Trip because it had some really good tips.

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  4. I liked the tips for a fun summer road trip. It has great ideas for keeping everyone occupied and happy! I especially like the activity box tip. Long road trips can be tiring and boring for little ones. Keeping fun things for them to do is a must

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  5. I liked the post about tips for a fun summer road trip, as we take many road trips during the summer and are always looking for new ways to keep entertained.

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  6. I like the How to Balance Your Budget When School’s Out for The Summer post, because I struggle with budgeting and think this post has alot of tips

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  7. I like the post about fun summer road trips as I do do a lot of travel in the summer months :)

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  8. I like the summer road trip post - it's that time of year!

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  9. Balancing budget when school is out for the summer as this can be a struggle.

    spazsss@yahoo.ca

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  10. I like the post about fun summer road trips as we are planning to drive from Winnipeg to BC with our kids this Summer!

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  11. Tips for a Fun Summer Road Trip was great. Always a challenge to keep the kids occupied on a long trip. They can get bored s easy.

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  12. Tips for a Fun Summer Road Trip - We love going on road trips but they are so attached to their electronics it's hard to pull them away from it all and just look at the scenery

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  13. My Parents Never Bought Me An RESP because it is a reminder that while RESPs are great, for many it will be your own responsibility to pay for further education - and some of us believe much of it should be.
    jan

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  14. The blog post, "Tips for a Fun Summer Road Trip", was an interesting read as we will be going on a few road trips this summer.

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  15. I like the "Teaching Finance to Students with Online Games" post. I think it is really important to teach kids about money so a game is a great way to introduce them.

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  16. I enjoyed the post "Tips for a Fun Summer Road Trip"

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  17. I thought the "My Parents Never Bought Me An RESP" article was interesting. I was mildly disturbed that the author turned to his parents expecting handout, not earning it himself.
    Resps are a wonderful way to save money for education without having to ask.

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  18. I really like the How to Balance Your Budget When School’s Out for The Summer because this is what we struggle with every summer.

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  19. I found the blog post "An Increase To UCCB Money In 2015 Could Jumpstart Your RESP" quite informative, especially since my partner & I have been talking about how best to budget this "extra" money we will be receiving soon. I like the idea of using it towards RESPs for our kids. Since we've been living without it all this time, it will be easy enough to just add it to their existing RESP accounts - we won't even miss it! This is important to me but difficult to do since we are saving for 5 educations. http://blog.heritageresp.com/increase-in-uccb-money-jumpstart-resp/

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  20. How to Balance Your Budget When School’s Out for The Summer because you could end up spending way too much.
    Florence C

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  21. I like the "How to Balance Your Budget When School’s Out for The Summer" it is always an helpful reminder how to save as much money as you can in preparation for the upcoming school years fees,school clothes,supplies etc!

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  22. Post about fun summer trips is very interesting as we love to travel

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  23. The value of post secondary (Suzi)

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  24. I liked Tips for a fun summer road trip! I hope to try some this summer!

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  25. http://cathythinkingoutloud.blogspot.ca/2015/06/what-2-watch-wed-w2ww-42-taxibrooklyn.html

    Darrah Bailey

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  26. The article on The Value of Teaching Your Kids About Money is the most interesting because I think it's important to teach our kids the value of money. I was taught this at a young age and I think that helped me realize how important it is to save.

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  27. My Parents Never Bought Me An RESP as that was true for me. Turn out ok though. :)

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  28. I found the article about My Parents Never Bought an RESP to be really self-centred and entitled. My parents didn't get me an RESP either, but I worked during school and left debt free. It was hard, but not impossible. Taking out student loans is an option but not the only one, but I don't think parents should *have* to be expected to pay for their kids tuition. That said, I have started an RESP for DD. It might not be much, but I know that every little bit will help.

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  29. I like the "How to Balance Your Budget When School's Out for the Summer" blog post because it made me think that there may be free summer activities in my area. I have since learned of an activities day at out local library. They offer free craft and other activities every Thursday at 10:30am. I will be bring Sophie there this week and if she likes it, we will go back.

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  30. i liked the article about summer road trips. as a fan of road trips it had some great tips on how to really make the most of it

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  31. I found the "a Safe Summer with Your Kids" post interesting because of the Epic Walkabouts idea. It sounds like a great way to get to know your home town and to keep active during the summer.

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  32. I found this article interesting: My Parents Never Bought Me An RESP. I could relate to it and it was a reminder to me to not make the same mistakes my parents made:)

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  33. I commented on the blog post, " These Classics Deserve Two Scooby Snacks! #streamteam @Netlfix_CA " as Lori Lewis.

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  34. The RDSP blog post really helped me because my nephew has a disability and would benefit from this. I'll have to pass on this blog post to my sister. :)

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  35. I like the summer road trip post

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  36. I love the post Tips for a Fun Summer Road Trip, its summer and some of the tips are very useful for this time of yr

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  37. How to Balance Your Budget When School’s Out for The Summer. Even though it's the fun time of year, it's so very expensive. Saving tips are always awesome!

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