How Am I Going to Pay for School?

August 21, 2011
Royal Roads University

Last week, I finished my second and last residency for school. (Hooray!) But if you imagined me putting on my cap and gown, think again. From now until July 2012, I have 8 more classes to complete, before I will be done my degree. And with each class comes a price tag…

On Friday, I made my third-to-last tuition payment of $705. On December 1 of this year, I have to pay another $1,410 and then I have to pay $1,410 again on March 1, 2012. While the dollar amounts may not sound like too much, try to imagine saving this kind of money when your credit cards are nearly maxed out… to say I have been stressing about it would be an understatement.

For the last month or two, I have seriously considered getting a second job. (Yes, most likely at Starbucks!) But the idea of working full-time, going to school part-time, and picking up a second part-time job… well, if that sounds appealing to anyone, I might call you crazy!

Cue my good friend Krystal. Last week, she asked if any of her followers had ever used the Lifelong Learning Plan and it was like a light bulb had turned on… Like, hellooooo! Why haven’t I used the Lifelong Learning Plan yet!? The LLP allows you to withdraw money from your RRSPs to pay for school; it’s tax-free and all you have to do is repay it (back to yourself, that is) within 10 years.

As soon as I saw her tweet, I emailed my financial planner and setup an appointment to discuss it. I went to the bank for our appointment on Friday at 4pm, and by 4:15pm, I had signed the papers and was walking out the door. I am withdrawing $3,525 from my RRSPs for these final three tuition payments. Once I get the money, which should be within 7 business days, I’m going to make my final tuition payments.

And then that’s it! Other than textbooks, I will be done paying for school! And even though it has to be repaid within 10 years, I will have it paid back within 2-3. You can’t even imagine the weight that has been taken off of my shoulders… no more loans, no more worries… by mid-September, after giving my parents the $752 I still owe them, my university education will be completely paid for.

PS – If you were curious, the answer is yes – that is where I go to school!

  • Niki August 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    That is fantastic news.

    You’re going to have no problem paying that back. I bet it is a huge weight off your shoulders.

    • LC August 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      Well, and it’s not even going to feel like I’m ‘paying it back’ because just making RRSP contributions (which I currently do monthly but want to do bi-weekly soon) counts as repayment!

  • Andrea @SoOverDebt August 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I know people usually frown upon taking money from your retirement savings, but in this case I think it’s a good idea! I’m sure it’s a huge load off your mind!

    • LC August 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      I was unsure about it at first too, but knowing it would be tax-free helped my decision… plus, I know that once I’m debt free, I’ll start making larger contributions.

  • Lane August 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Gorgeous campus :)

    The Lifelong Learning Plan sounds like such a great incentive/program. I wish we had something similar. I’m so glad everything is falling into place for you!

    • LC August 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks, Lane! I wish you had something similar for school too.

  • sb August 22, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Please excuse me while I drool over the beauty of your school.

    • LC August 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      It is pretty nice, isn’t it? ;)

  • MommaStar August 23, 2011 at 10:22 am

    That is an awesome plan! Timing was just perfect.

    • LC August 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm

      You’re right, the timing was absolutely perfect. :)

  • Melissa August 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Oh my goodness. Do you go to school in Heaven or something?

    • LC August 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Hahaha… I just live in Beautiful BC :)

  • Should I Go To Grad School? September 14, 2011 at 5:30 am

    […] I do have is to tap into my retirement accounts.  Canada has a pretty neat system where you can borrow from your retirement accounts for school, and pay yourself back over time – but unfortunately […]