It’s Financial Literacy Month in Canada! An excellent time to focus our attention on gaining insights and skills to improve our financial health and wellbeing, particularly before the holiday season!

My name is Albiona, and I am an Economic Empowerment Coordinator with YW Calgary Women’s Economic Prosperity team. I support women with moving towards their financial goals through education, helping them gain confidence and make informed financial decisions towards economic prosperity. I help women directly with their finances and also coordinate educational workshops to support financial planning and management.

Many of our clients are mothers. They tell us one of their highest priorities is to ensure their children have the resources to move ahead academically—resources they themselves often didn’t have. Many are not aware of the financial supports available by setting up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for their children’s post-secondary education. And the best part is that it can take less than 10 minutes to set up!

RESP accounts are long-term savings for your child’s future education and supply access to up to $9,200 in government grants & matching funds. Yes, you heard me correctly. There is free money out there to help your child make their academic dreams come true.

There are two ways to receive matching funds and grants from the government once you open a RESP for your child.

First, there’s the Canada Education Saving Grant. No matter what your family income is, Employment and Social Development Canada matches 20% of your contributions up to $500 a year per child and to a maximum of $7200 per lifetime. There is NO minimum contribution.

Second, Employment and Social Development Canada supplies up to $2,000 to help eligible families save early for their child’s future education. To access the Canadian Learning Bond grant, you must have an RESP account and meet the income threshold criteria.

Income eligibility for the Bond is based on the number of children in your family and the income bracket your family falls into. You do not need to contribute to your child’s RESP account to qualify for the Canadian Learning Bond.

Need help setting up a RESP account and applying for both benefits? We can help you!

If you are a parent or a young adult under 21, email

YW Calgary continues to evolve our programs and services to meet the changing needs of the community and ensure women and families have the opportunity, ability and resources they need to thrive. We know that financial wellness is a critical part of thriving.

Also, be sure to check out all the resources on the Government of Canada’s Financial Literacy Month page where you can find tools to help you manage your money and debt wisely, save for the future and understand your financial rights. The page also shares a listing of events and resources across Canada this month in the Canadian Financial Literacy Database.

Happy financial learning this November!

Albiona Sadikaj is an Accredited Certified Financial Councilor who works with YW Calgary’s Women’s Economic Prosperity team.