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Save For your Future

September 2000

A new school year is upon us and with it, another crop of already or soon-to-be debt-ridden students will be descending upon the campuses of Ontario’s colleges and universities. With Skyrocketing post-secondary tuition costs, many students are being crushed under a heavy student debt load. This however, is something that I do not know personally. Despite a three-year stay at the University of Windsor, I was never saddled with a student debt load upon graduation. In fact, just before my graduation, I went out and bought myself a car, a brand new 1991 Dodge Shadow with CASH.

From about the age of 12, my parents and I would go to the bank every November and buy Canada Savings Bonds. My parents were the major contributors to my education fund, but I also bought as many bonds as I could afford. By the time I commenced my studies, I had about $17, 000 in savings. Combined with earnings from summer employment, this proved to be more than enough to pay for my education. I would use the summer job money to pay my first semester expenses. I then used the INTEREST from the bonds to pay my expenses for the second semester. Any shortfalls were made up with the principle from my bonds, but I only wound up using about $5000 of the principle. This is how I was able to afford the car, something that I definitely needed now that I was entering the job market.

Now I should add that I attended U of W from 1988-1991, and tuition was a lot lower than it is now. My last full semester, I paid $2295 for tuition and residence. Since then, tuition has more than doubled for most universities.

I should also add that I purchased the savings bonds that funded my education in the days of 19 – 21% interest rates, but no matter what the rate of interest is, having some sort of savings plan is better than not having one at all. Saving for yours or your children’s education is extremely important, especially with the ever-increasing tuition rates. Even as little as $25 to $50 a month, invested over 10 to 18 years at a competitive interest rate can make a big difference in the long run. It may not pay for all their schooling, but it certainly would help.

If more people did this, there would be less student debt in this world and there would be plenty of OSAP money for those who truly have no other options.

I told my parents just how much I really appreciated what they did for my scholastic career. I will always remember the lesson that this taught me.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: http://militarybruce.com/save-for-your-future/

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