A financial expert and mum have revealed how to prepare your kids for a stable future – claiming thousands could be saved through simple tricks.
Laura Suter, 36, who is Head of Personal Finance at AJ Bell, an investing app, from London, has shared her top “savvy” tips to help save a small fortune for your little ones.
While the UK battles through the cost-of-living crisis, families up and down the country are struggling to make ends meet due to rising bills – with many focused on providing stability for their children.
However, with interest rates on the rise and further increases planned across many aspects of daily life, parents are finding themselves dipping into savings, rather than adding to them.
Here, Laura reveals how to make money-saving interesting for kids; from teaching them to invest, to having “sibling competitions”.
TEACH CHILDREN HOW TO INVEST
The mum believes it’s important to have children involved with their own money from an early age but to ensure they understand the meaning behind it.
From explaining why to put money away, to how much this adds up over time, and teaching them how to do it themselves – it’s good to get the kids stuck in.
She said: “You could invest in a company they understand, such as Disney, as that could be where they watch a lot of films.
“Even Amazon, they see those parcels come through the post.
“You can then explain how buying shares in a company can help you grow and benefit as the company does well.
“If you’re investing money, then it’s a really good idea to get them involved in the process.”
LEAN INTO SIBLING RIVALRY
A little bit of sibling rivalry can be healthy – make a game out of saving money and have the kids compete for prizes or a “bonus”.
Laura said: “Once children are old enough to start learning about money, they can get involved in saving too.
“This could be showing them how to save up for a particular toy they want or how their previous birthday money has grown over time.
“You could offer a matching system for any money they decide to save, where you match the amount they’ve saved or add a percentage to it.
“This will give them the incentive not to splurge their money as soon as they get it.
“Another option if you have more than one child, is to have savings competitions – see which sibling can save the most money in a month, with a bonus for the winner.”
OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Even if it’s a little amount of money each month – saving up for your children from birth can really add up by the time they reach adulthood, and you could build interest over time.
She said: “If you put away only £20 per month, investing this with a five perfect return per year, this can total more than £7,000 by the time they’re 18.
“It could even be topped up at birthdays or Christmas [with extra money].
“Instead of toys and things they don’t need, ask [family] to contribute toward the child’s savings accounts instead.
“These lump sums can really add up and if you put £100 away each year, from different family and friends in lieu of presents, this can total around £3,000 at 18 years old.”
POCKET MONEY: HOW MUCH TO GIVE YOUR KIDS
In a bid to share the value of cash, giving your little one an allowance per week will offer them the opportunity to choose how they spend their pennies.
If they decide to spend it straight away and kick up a fuss later, they’ll soon learn the importance of saving for something better.
Laura said: “It can be quite tricky to work out how much to give for pocket money, as it really varies by age. “In the UK, the average is around £4 a week for six to seven-year-olds.
“For 14-year-olds, this is around £12 a week.
“For younger children, they may want a visual chart of how much they have in their piggy bank.
“You could create a chart together, where they colour in the relevant section when they pop money into their bank.
“This will give them a regular reminder of how much they have stashed away and get them excited about saving pennies.”
VALUE FOR MONEY
Another tip is to teach your children the value of money by giving them tasks to “boost” their earnings.
Laura said: “For older children, encourage them to earn more money using their hobbies to help boost their pocket money.
“This could be from setting up a lemonade stand, doing a bake sale, selling old toys or looking after the neighbour’s cat while they’re away.
“Different chores, doing well in school or even in sports clubs [can earn them top ups].
“This can help them to understand the value of earning money and how to keep this ticking over.”
Laura currently works for AJ Bell, a new investing app aimed at people starting their investment journey.
She believes the tips above can help children understand the value of money, while also teaching them how to save, earn and invest for their future.