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Testimonial: Having Children

Jackson & Sonya Sprott

Jackson, 42, and Sonya, 38, have three kids — Brian, 7, Lillian, 5, and Maxwell, 3. They own a three-bedroom house and want to pay off their mortgage in the next 15 years. They have an annual family income of $97,000, $12,000 in savings, $34,000 combined in Registered Retirement Savings Plans and $7,000 in Registered Education Savings Plans. Brian has been taking piano lessons for two years, Lillian belongs to a gymnastics club and Brownies, and Maxwell says he wants to be an astronaut.

Jackson: As a parent, I can tell you that paying bills is always on my mind. And quite honestly, those bills are only getting bigger as Brian, Lillian and Maxwell grow older. It used to be that all we had to worry about for them was their food, clothing and shelter!

Sonya: Just last week Lilly asked, "Mom, can I please have real diamonds on my gym suit? All the other girls do!" Bless her heart: I had to explain the difference between sequins and diamonds. But it still cost $84 for a new outfit!

Jackson: I always dream that she'll keep up with her gymnastics and compete seriously when she's older. But I also know what that means from us — a huge commitment to support her all the way, emotionally and financially.

Sonya: And that's just the beginning... Of course, we hope our kids will want to go to university or college someday. But when we looked into what it would cost, we got a nasty surprise! It could cost from $50,000 to $75,000 just for Brian, after you add up all the school and living expenses for a four-year degree. So now we've started budgeting and saving big time!

Jackson: When calculating our possible savings over the next 10 years, we quickly realized that we'd never be able to send them to college or university if something happened to one of us. That's when we decided to buy term life insurance. It's flexible and affordable. But the best thing about it is knowing that we have a back-up plan now to safeguard our children and our dreams. At the same time, we bought health and dental insurance to protect our budget from unexpected health care expenses. It makes our job of saving money a little easier. I just wish our other decisions as parents were this easy!