Ever had broody feelings? Perhaps you’ve already passed on your genetic half of the bargain and co-created a mini you that makes you proud to be a parent every single day. Whatever the case, you’ve been mis-sold. Sure, those ‘coming-together’ moments in TV shows and films where families overcome their differences to support each other and achieve great things in life might look appealing now, but just you wait. They want toys. They want more toys. They want food but not that food so bring different food and no not that food either. They grow a bit. They want clothes. They want phones. Computers. Tablets. Online subscriptions to gaming platforms that will raid your bank account each month all so that your pride and joy can sit with a headset and talk to the kid five doors away while playing an actually really fun video game that you’ll never get to enjoy even though you’re paying for it. Then, just as your years of financial hardship look like they might be coming to an end, they want cars (get serious help with finances – find out more). They also may want an expensive education. And money for a place of their own.

If the running total of raising a child were written on each kid’s forehead, onlookers would be put off ever even thinking about using the spare room as a nursery, instead opting for a cool pool room or something. But, there’s just something about starting a family that switches off people’s sense of restraint and switches on their sense of adventure. You people won’t listen – don’t say you haven’t been warned – ha! With that in mind, let’s look at how to save for your child’s future.

Ways to top up a savings account

Many different savings accounts are available and you’ll no doubt do your research before going with what your friend Jane says, who seems to know the most about these things. But one thing that people don’t tell you is where the money inside the savings account is supposed to come from. Obviously, chipping in a set amount from your monthly wage is going to be top of the list, but you can also be cheeky with birthdays. Just like brides and grooms have given up on asking for gifts and instead now ask for money (usually through a poem like this: “Our honeymoon plans, have become quite a pain, please donate with both hands, and send us to Spain”), you can do the same for your little one’s birthday. Aunts, uncles, cousins … and don’t forget to milk the grandparents for all they’re worth.

Seven toys

A few years back, I worked with a girl from New Zealand. She was orphaned at a young age and was raised by well-meaning but not financially well-off guardians. To help set her up in life, they limited her to seven toys, saying that if she wanted a new toy, she had to sell one of the old toys online and save the money in a bank account. She apparently bought her first car by selling her various belongings over the years. I don’t know how much I believe that. But it’s an ingenious idea either way.

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