RESP Program Partnership Creates Financial Futures
Did you know that READ Saskatoon offers an RESP Matched Savings program? For the past six months this program has been delivered in partnership with Catholic Family Services (CFS) Saskatoon. Along with financial support from Conexus Credit Union, the pilot program has demonstrated that Saskatchewan’s low-income families are eager for more ways to create financial stability for themselves and, they also agreed that post-secondary education is one way of broadening opportunities for their children.
Children are 5 times more likely to go on to further education if there is a savings account in their name. We work with low-income families with young children who do not have RESPs opened for their children. Adults take part in our financial literacy workshops and are supported to gather the documentation needed to open an RESP. They are provided with the tools, guidance, advice, and local resources to build their financial knowledge, leading them to save a little each month. At the end of the six-month program, the funds saved are matched 3:1. This year’s Matched Savings program started in January and concludes June 13th with six participants graduating having created a financial future for their children.
Trish St. Onge, Executive Director of CFS, is proud to offer this service to their clients, “Our partnership with READ Saskatoon has been such an important and effective way to deliver service. Parents are excited about what they are learning and feel empowered in opening an RESP to save for their child's future education. Together we are able to reach more people, provide more service and improve more lives. We are so grateful for the opportunity to deliver the Matched Savings program together with READ.”
Dakota completed all six financial literacy modules and found the workshop on credit to be most beneficial. She had recently signed up for a credit card and found out a lot of information that the company did not share (or put in very fine print!). During the program, she opened a family RESP for her two children, ages 3 and 5. She has been making monthly deposits as she understands the benefit of creating a financial future for them, “I am in school now and I wish I had (an RESP) for me.” Dakota is attending the U of S with a goal of graduating with a Degree in Social Work.
Jocelyn Hofmann, READ Saskatoon’s financial literacy facilitator, has found working with the participants a rewarding experience and states that the most fulfilling element has been to see an increase in their understanding of their personal finances “I saw such a big change in their confidence and knowledge which empowers them to make better financial decisions for them and their children.” She also notes that the relationship between the participants and their financial institution strengthened. The participants are expected to make their own appointments with a financial institution of their choice to begin a relationship that will support them into the future.
This program needs continuous financial support as next year we will work with at least 30 local families. Please click the donate button at the top of the page if you would like to be an integral part of the program or call the office at 306-652-5448 if you are interested in learning more.