Your baby may only be a few days old, but it’s never too soon to think about your child’s prospects
You’ve brought your bundle of joy home for the first time. For you, the key child-development milestones might extend to teething and your son or daughter’s first day at school. But aside from all the immediate practical parenting tips, some financial planning up front can save you (more) sleepless nights.
Right now, your main topic of parenting conversation might be why Baby Grows for 0-3 month-olds don’t fit your newborn, but a few years down the line your child might be trying to fit into all manner of different uniforms. Most people’s education plans don’t involve paying private school fees, but that doesn’t mean school doesn’t involve expenses. There will be kit to buy, extra-curricular activities to plan for and school trips. The list is, unfortunately, endless.
Many parents want their child to have all the opportunities open to them. That might mean university and it might not. “Do plan, but don’t become too fixated by the idea of your child following a particular life path,” says Liat Hughes Joshi, author of What to Buy for Your Baby. “The unexpected can and does happen.” It’s wise to have something put aside for all training eventualities – even if that’s the decade they spend writing their masterpiece in your spare room.
3. Their Wedding
Parenting styles differ and whether you’re likely to be a doting parent of the bride or happy to wave them off at the airport and hear all about it later, you might want to have something put aside for the happy day. After all, the average UK wedding now costs £27,161, according to 2017 research from Hitched.
4. Their first home
For now, their idea of home is wherever you are. But a few years down the line, you might find yourself helping your offspring on to the housing ladder. According to research from the Social Mobility Commission, more than a third of first-time buyers in England (34%) turn to family for help with their purchases compared with 1 in 5 (20%) seven years ago. Planning now could ensure their first home is adequate.
5. Worst-case scenarios
“It’s tempting for parents to plan only for the positive things that might happen to their child – that they’ll go off to university and get married,” says Liat Hughes Joshi, “but it is, of course, prudent to plan for less happy eventualities, too. The problem – especially when you’re full of optimism after the arrival of your newborn – is that this can be quite uncomfortable to contemplate. But it is wise to consider carefully who you’d want your child to be looked after by if the worst happened to you or their other parent – and to plan financially for this.” Joshi adds, “Speak to a solicitor about writing or updating wills and potentially adding a letter of wishes around who would care for your child/children as a guardian.” A good life-insurance policy will mean one less thing to worry about for those remaining and, with the choice of a lump sum or monthly income, you can rest assured that your children will be looked after.
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