Education can be expensive. By the time your children are adults, education is likely the largest expenditure you will have incurred in raising them. Going to school and getting an education is supposed to prepare young people for life as productive, successful adults, but how much success can they really achieve with their education if it also saddles them with copious amounts of debt?
As a parent, you want to help your child as much as possible, so you should save as much as possible for your child’s education. Here are some tips for doing just that.
The best weapon in fighting student debt is preparation. You should plan for your child’s education expenses as early as possible.
Government sponsored Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) provide grants and incentives for saving for your kids’ education. If all you can afford to squirrel away is only a small amount, that’s ok because it can add up over time and any amount you save can help to reduce the burden of educational expenses. However, ensure that you shop around and that you understand the costs involved with early withdrawal as they can be high.
Borrowing money should be a last resort, but sometimes it is necessary. If so, there has to be a plan in place to repay the debt before you borrow the money. Student loans are the most common option here, but you really ought to have a plan to repay that debt. You should encourage your children to research the job and financial possibilities of their chosen career path so they can best understand how long it might take to pay off any student debt they incur. Many schools have programs to help children plan for the financial burdens of post-secondary education and they also have many on-campus job opportunities that can be much more understanding on class and exam schedules.
It’s not just tuition costs about which you and your children should be mindful. Books, food, rent, and entertainment costs can all rack up debt. You should do what you can to teach your children about budgets at a young age, perhaps with an allowance. If you instill in them the importance of budgeting, then it will help when you sit down with them to draw up a budget before you send them off to school.
They’re not offered to all students, but scholarships, bursaries, and grants are all possibilities. Encourage your children to study and practice hard at whichever sport or activity that interests them and it will be entirely possible their hard work will ease their financial stress by way of being awarded a scholarship.
To learn more about saving for your child’s education and ushering them into a stress free scholastic future, contact our team today.