When you become parents, money suddenly takes on a new meaning and there seems to be less of it instantly.
It’s never too early to save up for your child’s future, however. Putting away a small amount every month could make a big difference to their education, for a deposit on a house, or travelling around the world on their gap year. Your little one’s 18th birthday seems a long way away now, but it’ll be here before you know it – so start saving now.
If you save just £2.50 per day, and put it aside for your child’s future in an ISA, you could save up to £21,413.88 by the time he turns 18**.
Here are our top 20 tips to start building that nest egg:
- Coffee – Cut out your daily trip to Starbucks – you might end up dropping a few pounds in weight too, without all those lattes…
- Slice of cake – If you have a sweet tooth, why not make your own no-added sugar flapjacks instead of indulging at the coffee shop? You’ll save money, and have fun making them with your little one too – and they’re much healthier.
- Lunch – Make your own sandwiches or salad instead of buying lunch every day and you’ll soon see the savings add up.
- Breakfast on-the-go – Do you stop off for a wholewheat muffin or sausage bap in the morning? Make porridge at home instead.
- Bottled water - Perfectly good water comes out of the tap!
- Lunch for your toddler – Instead of quick pack-ups from the supermarket, make lunch at home. Check out our packed lunch ideas for toddlers.
- Shop-bought smoothies and purees – They are really easy to make at home, plus then you know all of the ingredients. Try our recipe for butternut squash and broccoli puree with homemade rusks.
- Happy hour drink – Instead of nipping to the pub with your colleagues or a cheeky cocktail with your mum friends, opt for a cheaper soft drink – you’ll save money (and lots of calories too).
- Mid-morning snacks – Step away from the vending machine, and prepare a healthy home-made snack instead!
- A bus fare – Try to walk, lift share, or how about getting on your bike? If you’ve lost confidence cycling since you became a mum, read about one new mum’s challenge to get back in the saddle.
- Lottery ticket – The odds of you winning £30m are so small that you’re much more likely to save a big chunk for your little one by not giving into the lotto temptation.
- New toys for your child – There are so many Facebook groups, car boot sales, and charity shops all selling good-quality second-hand toys that you needn’t splurge on brand-new stuff – your little one will still love his new game even if it’s had another loving owner before him.
- Apps – Say no to yet another brain-training app and put those pennies away into your savings jar - just do the crossword in the free newspaper instead!
- Friday-night takeaway – Rather than nipping to the chippy, save your money and make a tasty takeaway at home instead. You can bond with your children and partner while you cook, it’ll be healthier, and a lot cheaper. Check out our recipe for Chicken Chow Mein.
- Books – Take your little one on a trip to the local charity shop where you’ll pick up good-quality books – for you and him – for pennies rather than pounds.
- Drive more economically – Save a few pence at the petrol pump by watching how you drive; don’t accelerate too hard, use your gears, and slow down gradually rather than stamping on the brakes at the last second. Not only will your car be more fuel-efficient, but you’ll also reduce wear on your tyres too.
- Supermarket own brands – Try using supermarket own brands rather than automatically reaching for the well-known names – you won’t notice the difference in your cooking, and often you’re just paying for the packaging.
- Saturday night wine – If your weekends usually rely on a couple of bottles of wine, try saving your money and having no-alcohol versions, or soft drinks instead – you won’t mind not having a headache in the morning when your little ones are jumping on the bed at 6am.
- Soft play – Instead of paying to take your tot to the local soft play centre, arrange a play date in the park with your friends and their little ones – save money and get some fresh air too.
- Skip the gym – Go for a run instead. It’s free, you get to see wildlife and talk to other people, and you could even take your little one with you if you have a suitable buggy.
Apply for a Junior ISA plan online and get a Love2Shop voucher code worth up to £50*
*Apply for a Shepherds Friendly Junior ISA plan and get a Love2Shop voucher code worth up to £50. Terms and conditions apply.
**The figure is based on you saving £75 monthly over a 30 day month in the Shepherds Friendly Junior ISA for 18 years, and assumes 3% fund growth per annum. This is for illustration purposes only, and the amount could end up being higher or lower than the illustration, depending on the performance of the fund your child’s money is invested in. As this is an investment returns are not guaranteed, and your capital is at risk.