Once you have decided to somehow start saving for your children, you will face two essential questions: how many money should I save to “save enough”, and how can I make these funds grow?
Regarding the first question, obviously nothing is enough for your children, but you must assume you have limits and your plan needs to be realistic. In the bottom of this post, there is an infographic (from Sheferds Friendly) where these numbers are explained, according to the future expenses you think they will face, essentially University fees and the buyers deposit for a home. You can include also a car or marriage expenses but, as life is going on these times, you can perfectly imagine them in a a couple without car nor marriage (or at least without wedding ceremonies).
The second question, how to make the pile grow, has only an answer: with your effort. Other people can help you (see below), but only with perseverance you will achieve notable results. This can sound demotivator but you will find an ally in some finantial institutions which help you save a small amount every month, to have a Child Trust Fund or a Junior ISA. Once you force yourself to contribute every month with ten, thirty or one hundred, one day you will be surprised how many money is accumulated over the years.
Fortunately, although you will be the main contributor, other people can help you make the pile grow. And they will do absolutely delighted if you recruit them in an appropriate manner.
Grandparents try to look after their grandsons as much as they can. While the relationship with their sons, now the parents, can vary along the years, they love their grandsons inconditionally and they could become contributors (small but constat) to the child fund. A small charge of ten per month can be almost irrelevant for them but is a great help in the long term.
Probably you have been asked many times about the tastes and whims of your child before every anniversary, christmas season or vacation time. And probably you have got to respond with the same sentence “He owns almost every toy he wants, so… I don’t know… whatever you want”. You have now a better response: a small push to his child fund. If you look at the incredible amount of useless junk piled in his bedroom (or forgotten in the garret), you could mentally make some numbers about the things he could do with that money when he becomes an adult.
- Once in a life
You can organize a party to start the child fund. The first or the tenth anniversary seem to be the best ones but any important event could be useful for this purpose. Be careful with this kind of parties:
– say clearly to everyone that party is made to raise funds
– invite only to people who really has a good relationship with you and your children
– you must warn that the contributions of each person will not be publicly reported, but the total amount collected; everyone can help according to his possibilities