The number one holiday gift for your child’s stocking

christmas mom and daughter

A child looking in her stocking with her mom.

Alright, we admit it: most kids would prefer to see a video game in their stocking this Christmas than a cheque for their Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). Chances are they don’t even know what an RESP is and they probably still think that money grows on trees. Oh, to be young again…

While it’s certainly not the most glamorous holiday gift idea, there are many good reasons why you (or your family members) should consider contributing to your child’s RESP this holiday season:

They’ll thank you in the long run

Although they may not be dreaming of their future careers just yet, it doesn’t take too long for most kids to understand just how much education they’ll need to succeed in the future (and how expensive it is to be a student these days!)

Fast forward to 10-15 years down the road, and you can bet they’ll be thanking you for having the foresight to set money aside early on. Think about it: every little bit you save now helps offset the amount of student loans they’ll have to take on in the future. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

A graduate hugging her mother

A graduate hugging her mother

RESPs teach the value of saving early

While many kids save their allowance for trips to the candy store or toy store, they’re not exactly experts when it comes to long-term planning.

Gifting your child with an RESP this Christmas will teach them the importance of budgeting and get them thinking about the future. You’ll also help create awareness about money at a young age, which will hopefully lead to greater financial literacy in the long run. It’s a win-win.

You might help them qualify for additional grant money

Did you know that the government actually provides incentives for contributing to an RESP? The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) matches 20 percent of the first $2,500 contributed to a child’s RESP each year up to a limit of $500/year and lifetime limit of $7,200.

Contribute to an RESP before December 31st to ensure your child’s CESG for 2015 is received and earning income as soon as possible. Your little one will be grateful you did.

We hope this has inspired you to think twice before heading to the toy store and instead make an investment this Christmas that will help set your child up for future success.

For more information about RESPs, visit www.cst.org.

Edyta McKay

Edyta McKay is a working mom with two amazing kids; Jack who is 5, and Kaia who is 3, who insists on doing everything her older brother does. A former journalist, Edyta lives in the big city of Toronto, Ontario with her very energetic family. She’s dished out parenting advice on CTV News and Global News where Jack has made some appearances as her side-kick.

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