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Are you optimistic about your child’s future?

Ilke Platt-Akwenye argues that financial planning is essential to provide for a child’s education.

First time parents always spend a lot of time planning and budgeting for their offspring. This may include a new baby room, crib, toys, but have we thought about their future enough?

All parents hope for a prosperous, happy and secure future for them. However, with financial insecurities caused by many different factors in life, parents have become more concerned about the financial future of their children.
When it comes to planning for baby number two, three or four, so many factors come into play. Will I be able to afford another school bill, should I save now for his/her university fees and am I saving enough to allow them a sense of security and no headaches about varsity fees? With recent outcry at universities such as our neighbouring country, the questions to ask are will our children be better off or worse off financially than their parents and what are we doing to make sure that they will be guaranteed a better future?
In a lifestyle of costly trends and brands our generation has so much expectation on them to fit in a society that may be a bit overwhelming at times. Our generation increasingly has become prone to debt and credit entitlement. Have we thought about these kinds of behaviour, discipline, lifestyle patterns that we’ll teach and show our children at a very young age? Leading by example has always been key and allowing our son/s or daughter/s to take their pennies to the bank every month is a starting point. This should be an early habit such as teaching him/her to brush their teeth every morning and evening.
We need to do more as parents than just to encourage our offspring to remain in school and complete their studies. Financial literacy can, and should be a larger part of our children’s basic education. Something that not only financial institutions should be responsible for but also schools. On the same note, financial firms can and should do more, by stepping up to take the responsibility and become more effective providers of financial literacy programs.
As parents, we must play a greater role in equipping our children for a more challenging future.
If we are in a position to save now or even before birth, why not? Get a headstart and invest in a Unit Trust or a Child Study Policy to allow them room to have choices in life when they are independent. So as we prepare today for our offspring, let us think beyond and start planning responsibly on their behalf so that they can pass it onto their next generation.

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