1) Set up an RESP - It's simple, and the government will help you save. The Canadian Education Savings Grant will match up to 20% on the first $2,500 contributed. (This could add up to an additional $500 a year, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200.)
2) Start early and contribute regularly - I opened a family RESP when my oldest was a baby, and I try my best to contribute as often as I can. ($25 a week can add up to $50,000 in 18 years.) If a weekly contribution fits in your budget, you can set it up as an automatic payment with RESP-Matic® from RBC.
3) Use money from family and friends - When my boys were younger, they received money for gifts, and I put it all in their RESPs. As they get older, I will encourage them to contribute a percentage of all monetary gifts to their education fund.
4) Get the kids to contribute - My boys are young now, but as they get older, I plan on having them contribute a percentage of their earnings to their education savings.
5) Make lump sum contributions - Whenever possible, I try and make lump sum contributions to the boys RESPs. For example, when we get a tax refund, I take a percentage and put it in the boys' account.
It isn't always easy to find extra money, but an RESP is simple to set up, and it is a great investment. You have the flexibility to use the RESP for university, college, apprenticeship, non-credit courses, etc., and if your child doesn't use the funds, you can use your contributions and earnings to fund your RRSP.
If you want to find out more great tips on saving for your child's education, you can head on over to the RBC website and check out the following links: http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.