Here in the Playroom we love to focus on all of the fun, unique and interesting aspects of play, yummy nutrition and educational opportunities that affect children’s and parent’s lives. While we often profile the fun and frivolous things in life that are relevant to our readers at the early stages of their kids’ development, our readers often ask us questions about the future of their family education savings plans.
Recent news reports suggest that the cost of a three year university degree in the UK is rapidly topping 60 thousand pounds per child – multiply that by two or three children and you can quickly see the financial stress that some families are facing. Tuition and housing prices are increasing at staggering rates, and yet the desire and need for a university education remains fierce.
If you are facing monetary anxiety and a tight household budget already, what can do to begin a savings plan for your children’s future? We asked the experts and came up with a few simple steps that can help anyone assess their credit and begin to save for their child’s education.
Check your credit regularly
One of the most important aspects of an effective savings plan is your own sense of empowerment; you simply must take control of your financial past, present and future in order to be a successful saver. Use websites such as Experian to check your credit report – this will ensure that you have no unpaid debts or black marks that you are unaware of, and also help to protect you from identity theft.
Every penny counts
Saving over a long period of time gives you a unique opportunity. A few quid here and there can add up over 15 years to an astounding difference. Try placing a coin jar in the kitchen and encourage all family members to toss their silver and coppers (and even pound coins) in at the end of the day. Once per month you should bag these up and add them to a savings account. A few months of this won’t yield big results, but over time the kitty will astound you.
Search for the highest interest rates
A difference in one percentage point on a savings account can have a huge impact over the course of 15 years – make sure that you do your research, speak with a financial planner and consult with different banks to get the very best interest rates. You may even consider investing in the stock market, where a long period of investment lowers your risk of loss or variability.
Save your child benefit
If you simply cannot afford to tuck your coins away and have no money left over at the end of the month, perhaps you can save half of your child benefit? The Guardian suggests that, “If you saved half of the £20.30 weekly child benefit payment, you would be able to invest around £40 per month – at 5% per annum this would generate a pot of around £14,000 after 18 years.” That is nearly one year of schooling without even batting an eyelash. If you can save the entire benefit then you are in even better shape!
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