When Do You Start?

in Consumer Advocacy, RESP, TFSA, University Costs

Kids and Financial Programs

When do you start saving and programs for your kids? This question came up (again) for me this weekend with my kids home from University and more than once I came across points where maybe I should have started my daughters in some programs sooner than now.


Both my daughters flew on airlines that use Aeroplan, and for some reason even though I paid for their tickets, I am not able to accumulate points for their flights, thus if they had been members of Aeroplan, they could have started collecting points for possible flights later. This one I only figured out at the airport, and yes I have signed them up and I may be able to get the flights from this past week included, can’t hurt to ask, can it?


Given both my daughters are already over 18, putting more money directly into their RESPs does not really make much sense, so now would be an excellent time to create TFSAs for them, even if they don’t put much money in them. The RESP add-on from the government stops once your child reaches 18, so putting more money there is possible, but not really advantageous. If you put the money into a TFSA, it grows tax free for them, and if you don’t put any money in, they still grow the TFSA limit (i.e. it adds year to year), which is good too.

These two programs were the ones that came up for me, but are there other ones for more mature children to take advantage? For younger children the obvious setting up of an RESP or an RDSP seems obvious, but you could always put money In Trust as well for the kids, depending on how much money you are talking about.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well (and were not bombed with Turkeys).


Got a few mentions in some Carnivals too:

  • A CanadianFinanceBlog hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance #278 Happy Thanksgiving, which included my post about Fathers and Money.
  • Free Money Finance hosted The Carnival of Money Stories which also featured Fathers and Money.
  • A CanadianFinanceBlog also hosted the Canadian Finance Carnival #5 which featured a mess of posts from me.


  • money management for kids November 16, 2010, 10:54 PM

    One of the best way to teach kids about money is to bring them during you do a grocery eventually teach them how to budget and let them earn for themselves to let them know how to appreciate money.

  • Credit Cards October 19, 2010, 9:37 AM

    Teaching kids starts from asking them to prioritize and spend. They should use a part of pocket money for saving as well.

  • The Passive Income Earner October 15, 2010, 11:25 AM

    I am getting my kids setup with DRIPing at the age of 10. They already have a bank account and my 10 years old is fascinated by the bank giving interest. Even 1 cent. The ability to hold a share certificate of a company and get a report on it will re-inforce saving and compounding principles for years to come.

    Have a nice weekend!

  • larry macdonald October 15, 2010, 9:17 AM

    Do the kids have to file an income tax return in order to open an TFSA?

    • bigcajunman October 15, 2010, 10:16 AM

      If they have a TFSA they should, I would have thought. My kids have been having their taxes done since they were 16 or so, so it shouldn’t be an issue for me.

  • Credit Cards Canada October 12, 2010, 7:47 AM

    Aeroplan is funny like that. Lot’s of fine print to read. What you save in airfare, you spend on optician bills. 🙂


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