11/21/2014 05:58 EST | Updated 01/21/2015 05:59 EST

Why You Should Care About Education Savings Week

Asia Images via Getty Images

November 16-22, 2014 marks the first ever Education Savings Week in Canada. CST Consultants Inc. is proud to be one of the many organizations that helped bring this idea to life. For months, we worked behind-the-scenes with our partners to brainstorm how we could help start a national discussion about education savings and why families should consider opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to plan for their child's future.

Here are three reasons why we're celebrating Education Savings Week (and why you should, too!)

1) Education isn't getting any cheaper - According to Statistics Canada, the average university undergraduate tuition increased to $5,959 for the 2014/2015 school year. Planning ahead is the best way to help manage the costs of post-secondary education and encourage your child to continue with their education.

2) Many eligible children still don't have an RESP - RESPs are a great savings vehicle for many families. Not only is the income earned in an RESP tax-sheltered, but having one also gives you access to benefits such as government grants. According to the Canada Education Savings Program Annual Statistical Review 2013, more than half (52.9 per cent) of eligible Canadian children still don't have an RESP in their name. It's time to change that.

3) The government wants to pitch in -- why not let them? - Unfortunately, many people still don't know that the Canadian government offers incentives for opening an RESP and saving for your child's future. Yes, you read that correctly: the federal government will match 20 per cent of the first $2,500 you contribute to your child's RESP each year up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200. If you're a low-income family there are additional incentives. You may also qualify for up to $2,000 in extra grants in your RESP through the Canada Learning Bond. If you qualify, no contributions are needed to receive $500 in the first year and $100/year for each additional year you qualify until your child turns 15 (subject to government guidelines). You can click here for a list of available government grants.

So there you have it, three good reasons to spread the word about RESPs and Education Savings Week in particular.

Interested in learning more? You can visit our blog for fresh content on the topic of education savings from a number of perspectives -- including students and even professional hockey players! In the meantime, join the conversation on social media using #EduSaveWeek. We're also tweeting from @CSTConsultants and posting lots of updates on our Facebook page.

Happy saving!


Photo galleryMoney Saving Tips For Winter See Gallery