How Should I Finance My Child’s Education?

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After the secondary phase, saving for education becomes expensive. Fortunately though, you’re not going to be left to your own means. If you look into all your options well ahead of time, it becomes much easier to set out a good plan for funding your child’s education. Here in Canada, we’re lucky enough to have a wide range of options for funding our child’s education. Here are a few options you may want to consider.

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First of all, getting a child tax benefit, or CCTB. As soon as your child is born and registered, you can apply for a Canada Child Tax Benefit. This is free money, pure and simple, given by the government to parents of children under the age of 18. Because it’s a simple tax benefit, you can spend it in any way you like. However, seen as you’re reading this, you’ll probably want to put it aside to go towards a RESP for your child’s further education. Furthermore, if you have a child who’s younger than 6, you can also receive $100 per month from the Universal Child Care Benefit. If you don’t need this money to care for your child, then it’s one more step towards a great education in later life.

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The next thing to look into is RESPs. If you open an RESP for your child, and start making contributions, then you could be in for even more free money from the government. The government will match 20% of the money a parent or carer saves in an RESP every year, up to a cap of $500 per year per child. Let’s say you contributed $2,500 to your child’s RESP, the government will match it with $500. You can make these contributions and have it matched by the government every year up until they reach the age of 18. This is another great method for building a nest egg for a relatively small investment.

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Finally, scholarships and bursaries. Like all good parents, you probably encourage your kids to get

the best grades they’re capable of. Aside from their own sense of achievement and expanded knowledge, their grades can have a significant financial impact on their future education. With good enough grades, your child can fund their own education through bursaries and scholarships. If you’ve been doing some long-term budgeting, and it looks like you may struggle even with the government’s help, then pushing your child towards scholarships and bursaries could be a very smart move. Like some people, you may think that only the most talented and intelligent of students have a shot at scholarships, but this isn’t necessarily true. These days, there are a wide range of scholarships available. Many of them have criteria specially set out to give more average achievers a fair chance. This doesn’t mean that your child can coast through it all though!

Any one of these programs will make it much easier to finance your child’s education. Remember though, the earlier you start, the easier it will be to send your kid to good schools.