As a parent, you’re likely to remember the details of your child’s birth vividly – from the first time you held her in your arms, to the thoughts that ran through your mind in that very moment. You will also probably remember all the goals and dreams you had for her, as well as your own hopes of assuring them the chance to live a life full of opportunity – sending them to a great school, or investing in that extra-curricular activity she may excel at. For these goals to be realised, you need to make sound financial decisions now, which will benefit your children, even in your absence.
In 1959, the United Nations made the decision to set aside the 20th of November each year, to showcase the need to improve the welfare of every child, and today it is known as Universal Children’s Day.
So this Universal Children’s Day, why not revisit your children’s financial future? Make sure that you have taken the necessary steps to protect it as well as encourage sound financial management. 1Life shares some tips on how to do just that:
Be your child’s first teacher
The first step towards protecting your children’s financial future, is to teach them how to be financially savvy from a young age – teach her the value of waiting and saving before getting that expensive PlayStation game or branded clothing item. Teaching her to develop these habits while she is still young provides her with the ability to save for those things that she really wants, as well as preventing a culture of instant gratification.
The key thing to remember is that teaching your child to become more financially savvy through words is just half the battle won. As a parent, you need to mirror this behavior through your own individual actions, by becoming more financially literate and empowered around your own finances. This can be done by undertaking a financial education course that covers all things finance-related, including debt management, budgeting, wills and estates planning, and more.
Plan now for the future
Secure your family’s financial future in the event that something should happen to you. A long-term insurance policy for life, dread disease and/or disability, will help take care of your loved ones when you are no longer able to. Furthermore, your children’s education is another important consideration that you need to make, in order to create a solid financial future for them. To do this, you should plan ahead to keep up with the rising costs of education by investing in an educational trust/policy to take care of all future costs in this regard.
You can even start small by opening a savings account, and putting away a small amount each month.
Protect their heritage
Once you start building wealth, ensure that your children can benefit from it by drawing up a will and planning the division of your estate and belongings. Regardless of how much you have, it is important that you leave your children a strong foundation on which they can build their lives. Today, there are services that can teach you about how to draw up a will to ensure that you are more comfortable to do so effectively and so that it serves your family as intended. We understand that death and money are topics that no one is comfortable confronting – especially when there are children involved. However, by not having a will with clear instructions in place, you risk putting your children’s future in jeopardy, given that should something happen to you, your assets and finances end up intestate (occurs when someone doesn’t have a will upon death). This process takes a substantially long time to resolve and can leave your family with frozen assets, financial constraints and unnecessary stress.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.