On Tuesday your little, Emma, Kaden, Joshua and Sarah went to school for the first time and they your child might be one of those attending all day kindergarten.  If you were like me when my children started school, you cried and felt deserted; ”Where did my baby go?” I had the same feelings with each of my three children.   The time flies so fast, so before you know it Sarah will be out of high school and ready to attend university.   All of this will be in thirteen years from Tuesday.     Remember when you were ready to go to university?  It was not that long ago, was it?

This is the time I would like to see you think, take the time to really think.   What have you done for Kaden’s university fund?    “What fund?” you replied. ” What is that woman talking about? Does she know that we are in a recession?   I need every penny to help pay the bills. I can barely make ends meet as it is.”  All these thoughts will most definitely cross your mind, but that child has to go on to university whether you think about it or not.

I know how difficult it is to think of saving for your children’s university education at the moment and you are not able to see what you can do, even if you feel it was something you should do.

I spoke to you about a Registered Education Savings Plan for your child or children in my last blog.  It is never too early to start and never too late to start, so you need to start now. 
September 1st is the new “New Year” when you have children beginning their educational journey. Think about it; the big banks have a fiscal year that starts on November 1st, so your fiscal year starts September 1.  It’s ok to have a non-January new year. If the banks can do it, why not you? 

 Take a look at your spending plan. What can you change this year? What can you do better? Where would you like to see an improvement?  Start working on your spending plan (aka budget).   Make some room for your child’s education savings plan.  Remember if you did not start Joshua’s Registered Education Savings Plan the year he was born you have to start now.

 Things you will need  to open an RESP:

  1. A Social Insurance Number in the name of the child, one for each child
  2. For Identification:  A Birth Certificate or a Permanent Resident Card in the name of the child


What you should know when opening an RESP

  1. Choose an RESP provider that best suits your needs, which could be your bank or credit unions.
  2. Anyone can open an RESP for a child – parents, guardian, grandparents, other relatives or friends.
  3. The maximum contribution in each RESP is $50,000.
  4. The Government will contribute 20% each year on the first $2,500.00 deposit in the plan from the Canada Education Savings Grant.
  5. The Government will deposit $500.00 as soon as the plan is opened and then $100.00 annually until the child reaches the age of 15.
  6. The Canada Education Savings grant will be paid to the age of 17.


Talk to your financial institution or check out the Canada Education Savings Grant Brochure.

 Call 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622 6232) to order a free copy.

The most important thing to remember is that if you do not have an RESP opened for your child or children  you are leaving money on the table which could and will benefit your children and, in turn, your family. 

The cost of post secondary education keeps climbing each year, so with this in mind it is very important to prepare for your children’s education and the time to begin is now.  Thirteen years is not that far away. 

Spend some time this week, or on the weekend, looking over your spending plan. Visit your financial institution and make an appointment to meet  with an INVESTMENT SPECIALIST.  Please note I wrote investment specialist in capitals so you will realize it is important and use that title when making your appointment.   This person is trained to provide advice on investments. 

 Take a note-book with you, date it and write the person’s name and phone number on the first page.  What you want is to create a relationship with that person.  If you do not like the vibe or you feel you are not connecting with them or they are more interested in getting their numbers, let them know that you want someone who can give you the time, great customer service and one who cares about your investment as much as you do.  You are looking to get someone who will take you seriously and work with you to attain yours and your family’s goal.
Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

Tessa- Marie Shillingford is the author of Controlling the Debt Monster. She is Personal Financial Planner, with a designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers, and a Financial Counselor certified by the institute of Canadian Banker. She is presently a Program Facilitator of Financial Literacy at JVS Toronto. Tessa- Marie was employed by TD Canada Trust for twenty years in the retail section of the bank. During her tenure at TD Canada Trust she held various positions interacting with customers of the bank. As a Financial Advisor and Manager of Financial Services she led a group of Financial Advisors in helping customers of TD Canada Trust successfully manage their finances. Details of her book… Controlling the Debt Monster, can be found at http://www.controldebtmonster.com


  1. Hello there Tessa-Marie! How are you?

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve found myself in a bit of a financial hole since we last spoke. To my surprise, however, I’m not panicking or worrying about it as much as I used to. In the past my current financial situation would lead me to worry day and night with no relief in sight. Today it feels different. It’s incredible really. The fact that I have you “in my corner” has given me a sense of hope and optimism that I have never before experienced when it comes to my finances. And I’m comforted in knowing that I could always reach out to you and you’d be there to support me along the way just as my parents do. Thank G-d. I am starting to feel, and believe, that I can overcome any financial crisis that I experience in my life. And to me having this belief and faith is worth more than thousands of dollars in my bank account. In fact it is priceless. I could never have achieved this level of serenity without you in my life. You’re guidance is literally my financial compass. As the song goes you’re like a bridge over troubled waters and I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your generosity. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and gifts with the rest of us. I look forward to celebrating many more accomplishments with you in the future.

    From your friend,

    Moshe Sakal

  2. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing
    this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts
    from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉

    1. I am glad that I can be of help to you and I am able inspire you. My only advice to you is to listen to your heart and write you heart away. Do not pay any attention to the doubters or nay sayers, or those who tell you, that you cannot spell, or you lact structure in your writing. If you fail someone will give you some advice to do better. So stay focus and write every day.

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