We all know that raising a child is expensive, but what’s the best way to save for your child’s future?
Money lessons from a Mum
Your bank account starts being hit BEFORE they're born!
When it comes to prepping for the arrival of a new baby, its estimated parents spend on average £1,500 from baby towels with cute animal hoods to nappy bins and baby shoes. But it doesn’t end here as there is also the multitude of designer goods to entice us to open our purses. Believe me - your baby will throw food over a £300+ designer high chair with exactly the same gusto as a £14 IKEA plastic one!
So what is my advice to all excited mummies-to-be? Look a little further into the future, as many of these items are unnecessary; whereas driving lessons, university fees and helping our little cherubs on to the property ladder are an inevitable impending cost.
Consider putting your money to better use by setting up a Junior Savings Account (JISA) for your child, putting aside just £1.67 a day can lead to an £18,000 windfall as they turn 18.
Do you really need more ‘stuff’ in your house?! Encourage family members to gift into a JISA
I spent most of this weekend in my garage sorting through boxes of children’s toys, books, scooters…you name it, we have it! In fact with two daughters, aged seven and ten, it seems everywhere I look I am confronted by ‘stuff’! This year, when Grandparents ask for birthday and Christmas present ideas, how about suggesting something small and, if they insist on more, how about a contribution to their JISA?!
It may sound dull but the kids will still have plenty to unwrap and us mums can sit back and relax, in a slightly less cluttered house, knowing they have a pot growing for their future.
For mum’s with little time; juggling careers and children – invest in a fund
Juggling a career and children can leave such little free time that the last thing you want to do late at night is research investment tips when you could be watching Netflix with a glass of wine!
Investing into a fund could be the answer. Choosing the right share can be complicated and time-consuming but a fund is managed by professionals who have the time and expertise to construct a well-diversified portfolio and take on the management for you.
Invest in companies with shareholder perks
Whilst I would never advocate investors to invest solely for the discounts the company has on offer, many retailing companies from bookstores to clothing brands offer shareholder perks.
These could help pay for those expensive family days out during the school holidays. Merlin Entertainments offer discounts to qualifying shareholders (minimum holding: 317) on the cost of entry tickets, so you enjoy a discounted day out at attraction parks like Chessington or LEGOLAND. Finish off the day with a discounted meal at a Mitchells & Butlers restaurant – all shareholders receive a shareholder discount voucher booklet with 20% off the total bill!
Publishing house Bloomsbury gives shareholders with 250 shares a 35% discount on books – that means bargain Harry Potter box sets! Retailers such as Next also offer discount vouchers to qualifying holders (minimum holding: 100) whilst Marks & Spencer mail discount vouchers to all shareholders – so you can save on the costs of those new school shoes!
Teach your children to save! It can be fun and rewarding
As a mother my life feels like a never-ending list of chores. Yet when I suggested to my ten year old it was time for her to roll her sleeves up and help, the only thing that rolled were her eyes. However it turns out that even from an early age, kids can be motivated by money.
How about keeping a chart of chores, each with a monetary value and when completed you can put some – or all – of their pocket money into their JISA and see them get excited as it grows. It might seem like a small amount each month, but it’s amazing how these contributions accumulate. My eldest is already deciding which car she will buy when she turns 18!
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