When I was pregnant with Bethany companies started sending us all sorts of information, formula samples, diaper coupons, bags, onesies and RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) pamphlets.  I’d open the packages but to my very pregnant brain – it all seemed to be written in Greek.

After she was born, I managed to figure out the diaper & formula part – I kind of had to if I wanted her to survive, and didn’t want pee on the couch.  I even browsed the pamphlets as I sat rocking her to sleep but ultimately I was overwhelmed and it fell to the wayside.

The years have melted away since those early days.  They’ve been a flurry of spit up & first steps, math equations & monkey bars.  My mind is filled with keeping them safe, feeding them well, making sure they feel loved & their bodies healthy.  Each decision I make is to one end – prepare them for their future, to be strong, confident, well rounded, independent adults.

Future saving

Until recently, an RESP, (while something that sounded useful, responsible and important) didn’t seem to be a part of that goal.  Then I realized something, part of preparing them for their futures is making sure that they are able to pursue their dreams.   That pursuit won’t come for free and if Corey & I don’t get started soon, we may not have the finances there to help them.  More over, they may not have it there to help themselves. 

The trouble is, while I’m a big Type A planner, frugal borderline cheap, super saving kind of gal, I didn’t know anything about an RESP.  Those pamphlets are long gone and I’ve been overwhelmed. 

Enter RBC stage left!  They understand that a parent’s life is a busy one, that I’m not the only one in the “best laid plans” situation and they’re trying to take the mystery out of the RESP planning department. 

Here’s what I’ve discovered:

RBC imagePhoto credit: Royal Bank of Canada Website

  • The sooner we begin saving for our children’s education the better! (translation: Stop procrastinating Ashley!)
  • At $25 a week over 18 years, a total of $50,911 can be saved!
  • The government wants to help us save (!) & The Canada Education Savings Grant will match up to 20% on the first $2,500 saved annually.  Broken down that adds up to the potential of $500 a year, with a lifetime maximum of $7,200!
  • RBC is ready and waiting to give advice, offer guidance and erase “overwhelmed” from the list of reasons we haven’t set up our RESPs
  • An RESP can be used for university, college, apprenticeships (which I didn’t know!), non-credit courses and if our children don’t use our contributions they can be used to fund RRSPs
  • Weekly contributions can be set up using RBC’s RESP-Matic, using an amount that fits our individual budget
  • If your family or friends want to help towards your children’s future, they too are able to make contributions
  • Involve you children in their RESP savings.  They can contribute to them too, making those dreams feel a little closer to a reality

Find more information, tips and all you need to get started saving for your children’s RESPs available HERE at the RBC website

Whether you still have questions or you’re just looking for some fun, information conversations, you simply MUST check out the#RESPwithRBC Twitter party on October 1 2014.  They’ll be answering our questions, sharing more information about an RESP and giving away 6 $100 gift cards.

Finally, and I think the most exciting thing to share is the RBC Grow your RESP contest!  With 4 grand prizes of $500 to be used towards RESP’s available to be won, you’ll be well on the way to helping your children plan for their futures!

Do you already have an RESP set up for your children or are you in the same boat as Corey & I are? 

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The kind of funny you just MUST see!

by Ashley on September 14, 2014

in Me Funny

Silly Stones

 We don’t laugh enough.  Somewhere on the journey from 5 to 30 we let the process of living become a business, a serious business with worries, stresses, and responsibilities.  They become so important that they consume our days, adding weight to our chests (not the good bigger rack weight either) and wrinkles to our brows.

Sure we let out the odd giggle, our kids make us smile and from time to time you might even get in a chuckle but that’s about where it ends.  I mean we’re adults after all – we have an image to uphold.

Then we look at our kids and we see something we’re missing – joy.  They giggle as we tickle their toes, laugh at a movie and let out a full roar when they fart (OK, sometimes I might even snicker at that.  Gas is funny.  It just is).  It’s beautiful and one of the greatest parts of being a child.

I know they don’t carry around in life the things that we do.  They have us to watch over them, to carry their worries after all but still – they also have something else.  Actually, it’s not what they have but what they lack. 

They don’t care what people think of them.  They aren’t worried if it’s appropriate or not to laugh at something, and letting out the odd snort isn’t embarrassing it’s even funnier.  They are wonderful, joy- filled creatures and I envy it!

The last little while I have felt my serious, worried self really taking over.  Health things, emotional moments and anxieties that are for another day, another post can be all consuming.  Before I realize it, I’ve turned into someone I don’t particularly like.  I’m grouchy with Corey, barking orders at my girls and feeling like I’m crumbling under the elephant weighing down on my chest.

Then something wonderful happens – I have a weekend like this one where the girls and I get to have some “Girl time” with my Mom, garage sale-ing, shopping and watching chickens follow B around*.   I get the privilege of just hanging out with my girls and enjoying the cool little people they actually are.

As the time wears on I not only feel myself relaxing but a crack forms in the serious shell I’ve wrapped around myself.  

Then, as the icing on the cake someone, some fantastically awesome person decided to post this video on YouTube and yet another fantastic person chose to share it on Facebook. 

 

It made me laugh, really laugh.  The kind of belly aching, breath stealing, snort inducing, tears streaming down my cheeks kind of laughter.  As I laughed the weight started to lift, and I could breath again.  In fact, I laughed so hard that B, who was not (and is not allowed) watching the video couldn’t help but join in. 

That’s the thing about laughter, it’s not only “the best medicine” it’s also contagious.

I hope tonight you watch the video, I hope it hits you as funny as it did me – it’s funny because it’s true.  I think at one time or another us girls have ALL done the tight jean shimmy.

We all need a good laugh – to keep us young, to keep that joy alive. 

ps. If you have a CLEAN funny video to share pop over to our FACEBOOK post and share the link.  We’d love to see what keeps you laughing.

 *At a farm yesterday B was munching away on a mini pepper.  Not sure what to do with the stem my Mom instructed her to toss it into the chicken coop to give them a treat.  Within seconds of it landing 20+ flocked to get it, making B start to laugh.  Then she moved, and they moved with her.  Left and right, back and forth the chickens followed her, sure she had something more for them.   So funny, so cute!

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Summer Memories & Fun with Kinder

August 25, 2014

Alright, so….how is it possible we’re already at the end of summer vacation?  (At least we think we’re at the end of summer vacation here in BC) It feels like only a few days ago we were saying goodbye to Grade 1 (sniff) and Preschool (SOB!) and now here we are getting ready for Grade […]

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Audrey Update: One Year

August 20, 2014

For 5 years I’ve waited to write this post.  I’ve dreamed of it, written it in my mind, and anticipated its “publish” moment, which I’d planned to be Monday evening.  It’s good, it’s (mostly) positive, and with all the thought that I’ve put into it, it should be easy to write…. but it isn’t.  Instead, […]

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Disney Princesses Don’t Make Girls feel Unworthy – We Do.

August 7, 2014

I am SICK of hearing about how Disney Princesses are the reason that millions upon millions of girls & women suffer with self esteem issues.   Women around the world are griping and complaining that these figures & dolls, with their “perfect bodies*” are unrealistic and make our daughters feel less than, ugly, fat (you KNOW […]

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Mothers

July 17, 2014

This past weekend the girls and I had the great privilege of a “Girls night away” with my Mom.  It was time that was long overdue and time I’ve been longing to get. You would think that living in the same town, attending the same church and working for my Mom, in the same office […]

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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe (with or without ice cream machine!)

July 10, 2014

We are an ice cream house.  Corey loves his ice cream almost (ALMOST) as much as he loves us girls.  For him the consumption of ice cream is a ritualistic event – there is tea, there is slow savoring and there are bowls filled to gigantic proportions of ice cream.  Seriously, this man can eat […]

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Childhood Memories Chips Ahoy Rainbow Chip Cookie (Copycat Recipe!)

July 4, 2014

As a kid (and maybe for a while into those early years called “adult”) my very most favourite store bought cookies were the Chips Ahoy Rainbow Chip Cookies.  I could easily devour 6 cookies with 1/2 a glass of milk in 10 minutes – and when my mom wasn’t looking they were around I did.   […]

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Keep Calm this Summer with Kinder!

June 28, 2014

Summer vacation has arrived! Actually, for us here in BC it arrived a few weeks ago courtesy of the BC Teacher’s Strike.   It was weird, emotional time for us all when school abruptly ended and the girls were home full time.  As happy as I always am to have my babies home full time, it […]

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Embracing the Pain

June 12, 2014

I haven’t always made the right choices in life.  My past is littered with decisions gone wrong, and somehow I think my future, despite my best efforts may be peppered with them too.  I don’t always wear the right shoes, or say the appropriate thing, or react in the necessary manner.  I get angry when […]

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