It’s not about money. It’s about opportunities. Especially the opportunity to learn. My parents weren’t able to save for me, but they did give me pocket money. Unfortunately, I was undisciplined and even though I tried to save, I spent it all very quickly on useless things like sweets and pop!
I want my child to grow up with a good savings habit, to also enjoy those things I did, but to learn to understand, over time, what is valuable and purposeful. I hope that he will learn to think about all his interactions – be they relationships to people or objects, or how he relates to money, time, and other resources.
I want him to have opportunities in life to explore and discover who he is and a strong sense of purpose, maybe even destiny.
Saving and investing for him is just one way I can hopefully help him to have opportunities in the future, but the key thing for me is teaching him about his relationships to people, objects, and resources. I have set up a SIPP, a cash JISA and an investment JISA for him, and am planning to use them to teach him about long-term thinking, how to save money, goal-setting, and so on.
I don’t have much to spare, so decided to put his child benefit money into these accounts, split 3 ways. It’s something like £82 every four weeks, so I topped it up to £90 and decided to put £30 into each account once a month. It gets a bit fiddly over time between lunar and solar months, but whatever.
I am also thinking of getting him a current account in trust, where I will hope that he learns his first lessons in saving, as I am hoping to give him £1 or £2 a week in pocket money and encourage him to save half in the current account. I will explain to him that once he reaches £100, he will get a reward (the account has tiered interest from £100+). He can then continue to save for a large item e.g. a scooter, or he could continue saving for the future.
Fingers crossed, he won’t blow everything when he gets control of the JISAs at age 16 and then withdraw everything at 18…Photo Credit: feelart/freedigitalphotos.net