When you invest in an RESP, you're not only taking advantage of tax-deferred savings, you're also receiving grant money from the government, so the earlier you start, the more you take advantage of accumulated growth.
Take advantage of government grants
The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) will automatically top up your RESP contributions by 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200 per child. Because of this, it’s a good idea to try to meet the $2,500 annual contribution to take full advantage of the grant.
If you live in BC, you are also eligible for the BC Training and Education Savings Program (BCTESP). It provides a $1,200 grant to your child’s RESP, with no matching contributions required on your part. You must apply any time after your child’s 6th birthday, up until the day before their 9th birthday. There are no eligibility restrictions based on your family’s net income.
Set up pre-authorized contributions
One easy way to ensure you contribute the $2,500 annually so you maximize the government grant is to set up a pre-authorized transfer of $208 a month to your BlueShore RESP. Automatic and convenient – and you won’t get caught at the end of the year.
A few other tips
If you receive the federal government's Universal Child Care Benefit (UCB), you may want to consider depositing this directly in your child's RESP. It’s an excellent way to grow your savings quickly.
Ask grandparents or other family members to consider contributing either regularly or for special occasions such as Christmas or birthdays. It’s a wonderful way for them to invest in your child’s future.