Oh, I know. Those words strike a bit of fear in most of our hearts I’m sure. We live in an expensive city, and well, university is also expensive. But let’s walk through this one together.
University, and training too
It’s hard to predict what your child will want to do when they reach university age. I know when I ask my 6 year old son what he wants to be when he grows up, I get an exasperated sigh and “I don’t KNOW, Mom”. I think I would be more worried if he had it all planned out! There could be funding a doctorate in your future, or many years of very specific training. Even if they opt out of traditional post-secondary schools, there are many trade programs that are quite pricey too.
What works for you
I once read a financial advice column that really resonated with me: they said do what works for you. If $5 lattes mean a lot to your quality of life (ahem), then do that and economize somewhere else. I like to think about saving the same way. If you’re happy to spreadsheet it out every month, allocate an amount each month and transfer it into a savings account as soon as it comes in. If you’d rather, stick $5 in a jar once a week and deposit it when full, or allocate some funds as soon as a big invoice gets paid out.
Check out RESPs and Grants
The BC government offers a grant program that will add $1200 to your child’s education and training fund. To be eligible, you and you child have to be residents of British Columbia, there needs to be an RESP in your child’s name at a participating financial institution, and your child needs to have been born in 2007 or later. You can check the full details on the government’s site, but it’s a great way to get a leg up on that RESP. And with tax season coming up, if you haven’t started an RESP, it’s a good time to start.
This post is sponsored by the Government of BC. The BC Training and Education Savings Grant can help you save for your child’s education and training. Find out more about these programs at gov.bc.ca.
Erin McGann is the former Managing Editor for Vancouver Mom and Toronto Mom Now. She drinks just a bit too much coffee, is a bit obsessed about sourcing local food, plays the cello moderately well, spends too much time on Twitter, keeps honeybees on a rooftop, and has a thing for single-malt whisky. Erin is working on a novel set in turn-of-the-century Vancouver, which her husband, son and dog have to hear about all the time, and also blogs at Erin at Large.