Back to School (Monetary Nightmare)
Yes, it is that magical time of the year, when my wife and I must haemorrhage money at a ferocious rate.
For those of you who are worried about buying pens, pencils, binders and such, allow me to say, “You have no idea of what is coming down the tracks at you”. As your child moves up the academic levels, it all starts getting much more expensive, and it does so at a higher rate than you might guess.
So far this summer we have already paid for:
- Four months rent on an apartment that no one has lived in. To be fair no one lived in it for 3 months, someone has now moved into it……
RESP: You Realize it is only going to cover tuition, right?
I had a discussion with a writer on Monday about my experiences with the entire RESP system, and I had an epiphany , which is that if I look at the current costs that I know of, and the maximum amount that you can put into an RESP, this will really only (barely) cover the cost of tuition at your child’s university (at this moment in time).
Back to School Shopping, University Style!
With my oldest going off to University her back to school needs are a little more diverse than when she was simply returning to middle school or high school. Now she is in need of more things than just the ordinary:
The Cost of University Residence
One of the more interesting discussions I have had with folks about the cost of University, is the cost of a child to go away to University. In most cases, children (for some period of time) who live away from home to go to school will live in Residence (or on campus housing of some kind). On campus housing when I was at school usually included the cost of food and such, but even that has changed.
How much can “Residence” cost? I can only draw on my own experiences and residence with food is now costing upwards of $4000 per term, or about $8000 a year.
University Education in Canada
So after attending my 20th anniversary alumni weekend, I have a new respect for having to save a pack-load of money to get your kids into University (and out the other end). I talked to a few alumnus and they were echo’ing my concerns about the costs of sending our kids to U Waterloo.
Are you guys curious as to what my Alma Mater says your costs might be (in this year’s money too folks, remember you have got to expect an increase in cost here):
Video: Do Students Understand the Cost of University & College
The short answer from our friends at PBS (and from my own personal experience) is a resounding, NO!
This short video from the PBS Nightly Business report outlines how many students do not understand the costs associated with going to University, or the fact that they can try to get financial help. I must agree with this whole heartedly, given what I have seen at Canadian Universities as well.
University Tuition in Canada is Up?
Canadian full-time students in undergraduate programs paid 4.3% more on average in tuition fees for the 2011/2012 academic year this fall than they did a year earlier. This follows a 4.0% increase in 2010/2011.
RESP This Round Finally Ends (Prologue)
For those of you who have not been keeping up with my continuing saga of attempting to extricate funds left in a TD Mutual Funds RESP, I point you to the previous links at the bottom of this post, but I can now report that yes I have finally got the funds that I wanted from the TD Mutual Funds system.
RESP: Back to School Reminders
If you are still saving for your children’s education, now might be a good time to add a little more to their RESPs (if you haven’t reached the yearly limit yet). Make sure the RESP is with an investment mechanism that you are comfortable with, and that might actually make you a few bucks over time as well. For those of us with kids at University, it is another time to withdraw whatever funds are needed from the accounts.
Advice To Future University Students
It is the magical Back to School season so many of my compatriots in the Personal Finance Blog world have taken it upon themselves to pass on sage advice to the future leaders of our world. The advice given is very good and I wish someone had told me some of this advice before I started off at University, but then again, I most likely wouldn’t have listened (after all I was much smarter back then).