Parents pinching pennies to pay for children’s education

Watch the video above: Cost of living increases make for creative education savings

SASKATOON – As tuition fees across Saskatchewan continue to rise, parents are pinching pennies to put children through post-secondary schooling.

Kelly Dash is the mother of four-year-old Jack and 16-month-old Joe.

She and her husband have been balancing the cost of the bare necessities of life with activities their boys are involved in, like soccer and blastball.

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“We’re just doing our best. We’re trying to save as much as we can put away,” said Dash.

“It can just be overwhelming at times; knowing the right place to commit your money to make sure it’s the right growth for when they need it.”

It is a struggle parents nationwide can understand.

Tuition and compulsory fees in Saskatchewan ranked fourth-highest in Canada in 2012-13.

These costs are projected to hit $7,912 in 2016-17, according to a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Blogger and mother of three, Tenille Lafontaine, knows what it takes to be Feisty, Frugal & Fabulous. Parents frequent her blog looking for advice and recommendations.

Saving hard earned cash is, as the title of the blog would suggest, a hot topic.

“Parents want to find ways to do it that’s easy and not really impacting their life a lot,” explains Lafontaine.

“Definitely couponing, coupon apps, consignment sales. If you’re going to put clothing in a garage sale or kids’ items in a garage sale – take that money and put that into an RESP.”

Saskatoon-based financial advisor Sarah King says parents need to sit down and have an open discussion about money.

Parents are advised to decide where money is best spent and what type of position they would like to be in.

“I think right away, as soon as the baby is born, you get a social insurance number. You can start into an RESP. It can be as little as $25 a month,” said King, with Independent Financial Services.

Four out of ten students graduate debt-free from post-secondary institutions, according to the Canadian University Survey Consortium Graduating Student survey.

Thirty per cent of debt-saddled grads wind up owing less than $12,000. On average, they owe $24,600.

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