Despite the uncertainty caused by Covid-19, some things are still very certain indeed. One of these is that we all still need to save today for the numerous expenses that come with raising a family. So even if your income has been affected, or you’re not sure what the coming months hold for you, making a start with your savings plan is as important as it ever was.
How do you begin and what are the things you need to keep in mind? The answer to these questions depends on your life stage. Everyone knows how expensive a new baby can be, but remember that teenagers ‘don't come cheap’ either, and it’s fair to say that having a family of any age will call on a fair amount of your monthly earnings.
We’ve broken down the likely outgoings under a few different child stages
A New Baby
With a baby on the way, you’ve lots to think about. From highchairs to baby monitors, from safety gates to buggies, and from nappies to car seats, the littlest people in your life can really make a large hole in your budget.
To prepare for this, you need to have a reserve of cash for those very expensive early years. If you want to know a little more about what to expect, check our guide to Saving for your little one
It’s good when you don’t have to pay out any more for nappies and baby food, but your growing children will have expenses of their own. They seem to outgrow their shoes every time you look at them, and clothes last no more than a few months
The next surge of outgoings comes when you have to pay out for school trips, visits to the optician or the dentist, music lessons, football camp - the list goes on. Then there’s the fact that it always seems to be someone’s birthday party in their class – even if it’s only a virtual party - with the inevitable need for yet another birthday present.
Teenage children tend to have expensive tastes when it comes to the brands of clothing or footwear they want to wear, while they may also look to their parents to finance a social life or those big-ticket items like a laptop or new phone.
At this stage, they may well be thinking of whether they want to go to college or further education, and the bills tend to get even bigger. Apart from college fees, they may need rent - if they’re studying away from home – transport costs, and a modest budget to socialise with. And while many students will now be carrying out a large percentage of their studies online, this may not completely remove the need for renting a room near to the college in question.
Still in the nest
More and more young people are looking to their parents to help them get a deposit together for their first home. The task of saving 10% of the house price is challenging, and even if your children don’t ask you for help, many parents who can do so are choosing to make a contribution to the deposit. In July of 2020, a temporary enhancement to the existing Help To Buy (HTB) scheme for the remainder of 2020 was announced. The enhanced HTB relief provides that where applicants satisfy certain conditions, increased relief is available up to a maximum of €30,000. Obviously, this is subject to change in 2021 and beyond, but for those who can benefit from it, there may well be a lower demand for parental help.*
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