Keep Learning and Stay Curious
“It’s easier than you think, just get started!”
That is Marlice Marcoux’s advice for parents who are thinking about starting an RESP for their child. But she didn’t always feel this way.
“I remember thinking about RESPs before, but it all felt so confusing,” says Marlice. “There are so many choices out there, and some of the options felt intimidating.”
Marlice felt a bit wary of saving because of her own parents’ experience with saving. Her parents had put away money for her education, but it was invested in a plan that would only pay out if Marlice was enrolled in a four-year program. Marlice did pursue post-secondary education, a one-year teacher’s assistant course. But because it wasn’t the right kind of program, she missed out.
“I don’t want that to happen to my son,” Marlice says. “I want him to be able to go to whatever school he chooses, and I don’t want money to be a problem.”
Tuition is expensive and getting more expensive every year. This, mixed with Marlice’s desire for her son to have a better experience than she did, helped her take action.
Last year, Marlice registered for READ Saskatoon’s Matched Savings Program. In partnership with Conexus Credit Union, this six-month program for low-income families aims to teach financial literacy skills. It helps parents take the steps necessary to open an RESP for their child, encouraging them to save every month during the program.
“It’s absolutely amazing what I learned at this program,” says Marlice. “The program helped set my mind at ease. After taking part, I had learned enough to make a decision I could feel good about – and had already saved so much for the future!”
With some of the tough financial planning out of the way, Marlice feels like she can focus on what she does best: be a good, supportive mom to her son.
“I had a hard time in school,” says Marlice. “My mom was an amazing advocate for me. With her help, I was able to get the learning supports I needed. Then I realized I could do anything!”
Marlice encourages parents to be an advocate for their children and encourage them to learn more about their interests.
“Take an interest in your child’s interests!” says Marlice. “Anytime my son is interested in something, or says he wants to be this or that when he grows up, I tell him that he can. But I also tell him that he needs to go to school, keep learning, and stay curious.”