This seems to be one of Little Miss C’s favourite phrases at the moment. “When I grow up Mummy, I’m going to be … a ballet dancer, an engineer like you, a doctor, a pirate, a racing car driver, a clown, a mummy, a daddy (eh?), a princess, a fairy, a vet or maybe a post lady.”
Ever since she started at pre-school last year LMC has become more and more fascinated in all the things that she might he when she becomes a grown up. She’s only four, but it’s lovely to see that already her ambitions are wide ranging, and certainly not limited by any kind of convention or stereotyping. I do sometimes find myself daydreaming about what her and her brother might get up to when they’re older. Will they want to go to university as Mr C and I did? Or will they want to leave school and go straight into a career that does’t need a degree? Maybe they’ll be super academic, or maybe they’ll have artistic skills which will dictate what they do. Will they settle down and start a family early, or maybe travel the world first?
Whatever they choose to do I’m more than happy to support and encourage them in what ever way I can, yet I’m also a tad scared about the prospect. When I went off to university there were still grants and student loans. Tuition fees were only just being introduced and were still at a level which was manageable for most, and there was plenty of financial support within the university if you needed it. And, possibly more importantly, there were jobs aplenty when I came out of university. If I’m completely honest the thought of not being able to get a job after graduating was one that I had not even crossed my mind.
Fast forward to today though and a university degree, even a first class one from a good university, is no guarantee of a job at all. In fact, the tuition fees and student loans system are a reason why people are choosing to not go to university and instead they try to go straight into a paid job.
Which ever direction they go, the fact is that more and more young people are having to remain living at home being financially reliant on their parents for longer than they used to when Mr C and I left school. Our children are going to need all the financial help they can get when they reach 16 or 18 and decide what they want to do after school. Even the idea of how they get a foot on the housing ladder frightens me.
We’re really keen to try to save for them, to give them a step in the right direction when their time comes. I guess you’d call it future proofing your child’s tomorrow. There’s already some money that has been left or given to them by their grandparents and great grandparents and it’s a parent’s role to look after that money until our children are old enough to do so themselves. It’s our role to find where best to invest those savings. Looking at savings accounts with Santander there’s a range of options available to help you find the one that is right for your family circumstances and future plans.
One of my top tips for saving for children, or even for yourself, is to make it a regular thing. If you just say, oh I’ll put something away from what’s left at the end of the month then it probably won’t happen. Instead set up a little regular transfer to their savings account(s). Even if it’s just a couple of pounds a week or a month, that will still add up over 18 years of childhood. If then they get sent money for Christmas or a birthday then that can go in the pot too. Along with any extra you might have.
Then you just need to decide at what age they can be trusted with the money themselves. Possibly the hardest bit!
Disclaimer: This featured post is brought to you in association with Santander.