The escalating costs of matric farewells
By Hilaria Graig
Sanlam Namibia: Marketing and Communications Manager
It is that time of the year again when grade 12 students are preparing for their matric farewell, excitement is in the air and most schools are preparing their students for the once in a lifetime celebration.
While it is an exciting time for learners, matric farewells can be very stressful and expensive for the parents and guardians who want to reward their children for their 12 years of hard work and motivate them for that all important final examination.
These kinds of events can be very costly but even more so if one has not saved for it. In these trying economic times, it makes sense now more than ever to put away some money every month for events such as your child’s matric farewell.
The costs of the matric farewell will differ from child to child as well as which town they live in and the school they attend, but regardless of all these, the costs increase each year as new trends come into fashion and the expectation to outshine the previous matric students.
We need to develop a saving culture and with the costs of matric farewells going as high as ten thousand Dollars or more a unit trust is best option to save.
Unit trusts are professionally managed collective investment schemes where investors pool their money. The accumulated funds are then invested in a portfolio of assets (stocks, bonds, bills, etc.) and the individual investors gain in proportion of their investment, if the value of the underlying assets increases.
Saving with a unit trust has the following benefits; professionals manage your investment on your behalf, risks are minimised with adequate diversification, unit trust are one of the most affordable ways of investing and unit trust has no lock-ins and you can add money or switch at any time.
I spoke to two of my colleagues, whose children are currently in matric and preparing for their farewells and they both say the costs are surprisingly and ridiculously high. The one colleague has been putting some money aside for the past two years since her daughter was in grade 11 and she said she is happy to spend on her child for her matric farewell.
“My daughter has been working hard in school all these 12 years, she is doing very well at school so I want to ensure her matric farewell is a memorable one. The costs are very high and as we get closer to the event, more and more unexpected expenses come up” she said. “My husband and I invested some money in a unit trust specifically for our daughter’s matric farewell so we will not have to spend from our savings,” she added.
However the same cannot be said for another colleague who has not put any money aside and is now forced to spend money from his savings for his son’s matric farewell. He said that he was not expecting the costs to be so high but is confident he can cover it all from his savings.
“My son being the eldest child in our house means we were not at all prepared for the high expenses of his matric farewell, we have however learned from it and will ensure that we are prepared for our other children,” he said.
In a nutshell, whatever your budget for your child’s matric farewell two things are clear, firstly that saving is a must. One should avoid by all means going to take a loan to cover for these kinds of expenses as it puts pressure on your finances in the long run.
Secondly, start saving for your child’s matric farewell way in advance. The best thing to do is to set a goal of how much you want to save for your child’s matric farewell and give yourself sufficient time to (two to three years) to work towards that goal.
Speak to a Sanlam advisor, broker or visit your nearest Sanlam office or branch to find out more about unit trust at Sanlam.