The holidays are coming! Are you a SmartSAVER? or do you fall into the “I need it” trap?
It starts in mid October. As anticipation for Halloween builds, marketers begin sneaking in toy commercials in between television shows. At first its fun seeing all the new toys available for the new season, but what you don’t realize at the time is this is just the tip of the iceberg. As you move closer and closer to Christmas the number and impact of these toy commercials become apparent with the constant yells from little people drooling in front of the TV screen. At first you start jotting down these wants on “possible Christmas gift lists” but as we approach December the “I want that” turns to “I NEED that” and it is EVERY toy shown on TV regardless if they are age or gender appropriate. That is when you realize that you don’t have a Christmas want list, but rather a list of all the toys on the market who should win a marketing award for doing their job.
At Christmas time, I WANT to give my children everything they want. I want to see happy faces and squeals of joy on Christmas morning. The problem begins when that $25, $50 or $100, lies dormant in a pile of leftover wrapping paper, never to be seen again. Just think about how much money we spend on our kids to give them what they “want” (Whether truly or marketing induced) but after being around the block a few times I ‘m learning to pay attention to the things they will use vs their wants, and putting the extra money to better use – RESPs.
RESPs are often misunderstood and awareness of the Canada Learning Bond is very low, but fortunately there is SmartSAVER to provide valuable information to assist families in opening an RESP. SmartSAVER is a non-profit initiative by the Omega Foundation, based on independent research findings that having family savings increased the likelihood of children attending and graduating from post-secondary education.
Here are some things we should all know about the CLB, RESP, and SmartSAVER:
The Canada Learning Bond (CLB):
- Provides FREE MONEY with initial deposit of $500 from the Federal Government, and then $100 for each succeeding year up to a maximum of $2,000
- Does not require any amount of contribution to claim the Bond
- Is a retroactive grant
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP):
- Is the receiving account for the CLB, as well as matching voluntary contributions (through the Canada Education Savings Grant)
- Can be opened for $0 (no start-up, enrollment or annual fees), and with $0 contribution.
- When you open an RESP, the Government will deposit $500 right away and could deposit up to $1,500 more by the time your child is 15. That’s up to $2,000 for your child’s education after high school.
- Is tax-sheltered, meaning it is tax-deductible
- Can be used in many post-secondary education options, full-time or part-time, in or outside Canada: college, university, trade school, apprenticeship, CEGEP
- Requires Social Insurance Number (SIN) of the child and of the primary caregiver
- Can be opened by anyone for the child: parent, or any relative, caregiver, or friend
How SmartSAVER can help:
- It serves as convenient online venue for CLB application (As easy as 10 minutes!)
- Open an RESP with one of the six leading financial institutions: BMO Bank of Montreal, Meridian Credit Union, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, Vancity
- Offers FREE information and resource on RESPs and the CLB
So instead of buying your kids a ton of toys they will play with one day and throw out tomorrow, why not buy them the toys they really want and invest the rest of their money into a CLB or RESP and help turn their education dreams into a future reality! This is also a great idea for family members like Grandparents and aunts and uncles too!
Families who apply for their child’s #CanadaLearningBond Nov 1-Dec 31 via @SmartSAVERorg could win 1 of 9 $1000 weekly cash prizes!