I’m big on saving. I think it stems from my childhood, when my mum brought us up on her own after my dad died. She was always careful with money, and ensured we had savings accounts that were used specifically for bigger important items that we needed to save for.
We used to get pocket money (as my brother and I got older it was tied with chores and a ‘tidy bedroom’ contract), but it was nothing like the amounts children nowadays seem to get. We didn’t have an allowance either; it was my mum’s belief that she would provide essentials, and we would either do jobs to earn more pocket money, or have to save birthday/Christmas money until we could pay for an item we wanted. It worked pretty well, although that was really before the time when everyone was caught up on pop band merchandise, fashion changing so quickly, and marketing so much to children.
I was really proud of the items I saved up for and bought, amongst them a good bike when I wanted a change, and my saxophone. Most of the other things I yearned for were books and music, but those were more affordable on a day to day basis. My brother was more of a fritterer of money (he always wanted Nike trainers so my mum told him she’d buy him white pumps and draw on the swoosh – he bought his own in the end) and it’s taken him until he’s older to start to save. I was the ‘boring’ sensible one not wanting to spend, just in case.
I want to make sure that we have enough for a rainy day without missing out on the here and now. With things like education, housing and just life in general getting more expensive, I make sure that I save each month going straight out of my current account after being paid so I don’t really miss it.
Over the last few years I have managed to streamline my savings, although I might have to reassess that soon and move money around…maybe some longer term investments instead of all based in cash which is a lot less scary. I’m a big fan of ISAs – interest free savings, what’s not to like? Yes, it’s a faff to keep checking interest rates each year, but it’s worth doing. Santander’s ISA rates currently feature on Money Saving Experts ISA section, but there’s lots of choice depending on what type of savings account you’re after.
For longer term savings I also have a mutual friendly account. Not many people know about these, but it’s a 10 year investment account, tax free in addition to an ISA, so you can only put a small amount in each month. But I’m hoping that by the end of the 10 years, I’ll have a lump sum that can be reinvested elsewhere and used for a first car, university fees if N wants to go, or even put towards a house deposit.
My plan had been to potentially use N’s child benefit to save each month, but I’ve not got round to that. Instead he has a savings account, a moneybox, and now a pot at the farm for ‘wages’ when he’s ‘helped’ do jobs with his dad and uncle on the farm. All the nephews and niece have their own pot, and it’s nice for them to be able to fill up their pot, then either put it into the bank or spend it on something they’ve been eyeing up.
N’s not yet at the stage of wanting everything he sees in the shops, but I hope once he is, he’ll want to do a bit of saving alongside the spending. What I’d like to do is make him a Blue Peter style Pound-o-meter when he decides he’s saving up for something big. At the moment his button jar is handy for rewards, but as he gets older, having a visual reminder of how close he is to the target, whether It’s a new bike or quad bike, might help keep him on track.
Have you been stashing money away under the bed or in savings accounts, and future proofing your child’s tomorrow? How do you teach them about money?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own.