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How to Get Free Money to Save for Your Child's College Education
By Angela McKenzie
Did you know that a college educated person will earn 2.5 times more over a lifetime than someone without a post secondary education? College educated people are more likely to keep their jobs when times are tough and are more likely to be working than those without a post secondary education. Now getting an education can be expensive. One year in a Canadian degree program such as an arts and science program can easily cost $5000/year. If you are an out of province student, the extraneous expenditures can easily increase your education costs by $3000/school year.
To help pay for future education cost, the Government of Canada has taken great initiative to ensure that every Canadian child will have the funds necessary to get an education by providing families with free government grants. The free grant was introduced in 1998 to encourage parents to start saving for their children's education costs.
How does the program work?
The most popular form of the education savings is the registered education savings plan known as an Resp. Although an Resp can be started at any time, parents are advised to start an Resp when the child is born. Qualifying families who start the plan early will receive a $500 government bond in the first year to invest towards the program. Once the plan is started, the Government of Canada will continue to contribute by matching every dollar invested anywhere from 20 up to 40%.
A good strategy for investing into an resp is to invest your monthly government child tax benefit. So for example, if your family receives $50/month per child in child tax benefit and if you invest the benefit into an Resp, not only will your Resp earn interest from the investment firm but it will also be topped up with the 20-40% contribution from the government. Therefore, a $50/month investment earning 5% annually will easily gross $45,000 at maturity (18 year plan). And the best part is you will be using free money from the government (Child Tax Benefit) to earn free government grants on the investment. So take advantage of the free government grants by opening an Resp and secure your child's future.