From pre-school childcare to uniforms and music lessons; from cradle to college; it is estimated to cost as much as €150,000 per child.
It is a time to reassess your own spending habits, earnings capacity and ability to save on a regular basis.
What are you entitled to?
A payment of €140 a month per child can be claimed as a child benefit payment. More information can be found here
Also while you are on maternity leave, assuming you have sufficient PRSI contributions made, you can claim maternity benefit. Further information can be found here
What about the future?
Saving for your children’s future is important. You may wish to look at Tax Free State Savings I know some parents lodge child benefit monthly and over the course of 18 years a monthly payment of €140 can grow to €34,691 gross assuming a growth rate of 1.5% . Also check with your credit union regarding savings suggestions.
An Post have an instalment savings scheme, this allows you to make regular monthly payments for at least one year of between €25 and €1,000. In exchange you will enjoy tax -free growth. The interest rate is not that high but you do have instant access to your money should you need it.
After this you might consider state savings bonds or savings certificates designed for medium to long term growth (at least three years) for future educational expenses.
All state savings investments are available in post office or online at http://www.statesavings.ie/
Pass on good financial education and habits to your children.
Why not open a joint savings account for each child in the post office or credit union or bank? Set a pocket money plan that is practical such that each child earns money from chores.
There is a general lack of education when it comes to personal finance as it is still not taught in schools. A healthy respect and understanding of money is an invaluable gift. Teach your children about the importance of having savings and that a little self denial goes a long way. Forego a toy, save the money and buy a much larger item in a year from now.
Encourage your child to create their own budget and encourage any entrepreneurial shoots you may see.
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