...to put fun over future?

(36 Posts)
Doodledumdums Sat 25-May-13 11:11:59

DH and I don't have pots of money, but we are managing to put a little bit away each month with the intention of saving it for fun things to do with our children (currently just one DC...but hopefully more later on). I had a lovely childhood and did lots of fun things with my parents, and have a great relationship with my parents now and lots of happy memories, but my parents didn't save any money for my future, which is totally fine with me, I am an adult and as far as I am concerned they gave me a lovely childhood and I am extremely grateful. DH on the other hand had parents who saved for his future, paid for him to go to uni and gave him a deposit for a house, but he didn't do fun things as a child, and doesn't have a great relationship with his parents really (though there is no evidence that this is because of a lack of fun activities as a child to be fair!).

For DH and I, we are more keen to share happy times with our kids and spend money on them now, rather than save for their future, but is this selfish? We can't really afford to do both at the moment. My inlaws are shocked that we don't have savings accounts for our son, so have set one up themselves for him, but my parents are very much of the here and now opinion and think you should spend it while you have it and have fun.

I think it's a bit of a moral dilemma! I know money would be useful for him as an adult, but I just would love to do exciting things with him, like take him to Disneyworld, and on fun holidays and things. I'm just having a bit of a mental battle justifying it! Am I being unreasonable to put his fun before his future?

HeySoulSister Sat 25-May-13 11:15:12

you don't need to even spend money to have 'fun' and do 'fun' things with your child.....memories are built on more than this!!

thebody Sat 25-May-13 11:16:54

You should spend your money how you wish. Nothing to do with your parents or pil.

For what's its worth I agree with you.

SantanaLopez Sat 25-May-13 11:17:42

I think a happy medium is better than going to extremes.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 25-May-13 11:20:19

I am definitely in the live for today camp.

wonkylegs Sat 25-May-13 11:20:34

I think you can do both even if you don't have pots of money.
Fun with your kids needn't cost lots of money, it's about imagination and having time with your family and that will secure fab memories not spending money. Our DSs favourite places are free. (beach, discovery museum, kielder forest, park) We've never been (or will go) to disneyworld but that doesn't mean our DS won't have fun memories.
Being able to save something when you can (it doesn't have to be regular although this makes you more likely to do it) means that you can support them in choices later in life which is just as important as fun memories.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 25-May-13 11:21:06

Surely it's about balance?

Fun things don't have to expensive. Go to the beach for the day, it's free. There are lots of free farms if you want to see animals. You don't have to spend a fortune.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 25-May-13 11:21:58

Just to add, I think learning to save is actually a really important quality to learn.

My Mum always taught me to save. We have a house deposit because of it.

Oscalito Sat 25-May-13 11:22:12

Would go with the happy medium. Even saving a tiny bit for them would help them when they're older.

But agree with doing fun stuff with your kids, being generous.

My mother is very wealthy but shares none of it and is extremely stingy, I don't have a great relationship with her. My FIL on the other hand always used to buy us dinner when he went out with us, he sadly died a couple of years ago and left us nothing as he'd spent it all travelling etc, and I will always remember him as a generous and enthusiastic person, he used to say, 'you don't need to pay, just make sure you buy the meals when you're an old man!'.

I thought that was great.

geeandfeesmum Sat 25-May-13 11:22:21

Live for now not the future!! I agree with you but then we live in a 2 bed flat roofed house on a council estate. We go to Disney quite a bit though. Memories are worth so much more.

Doodledumdums Sat 25-May-13 11:23:07

I know you don't need to spend a fortune to have fun, but to be fair, most fun things do cost money! Even if it is doing craft activities at home, there is still an element of cost involved.

Yes I guess you are right thebody- it is my choice and not up to anyone else. I just care too much what other people think I guess!

ByTheWishingWell Sat 25-May-13 11:25:30

I would go for both- split whatever money you are able to save equally between fun and the future. Fun activities don't have to be very expensive things like going to Disneyworld- I have loads of happy memories from being a child that did not cost heaps, such as going horseriding on the hills, going to the science museum, going to the beach, etc.

However, it is totally up to you, and no business of your PIL.

HeySoulSister Sat 25-May-13 11:26:56

I grew up in the 70's.....lots of happy memories with my parents. not one features crafts/theme parks etc

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 25-May-13 11:27:46

Yes I guess you are right thebody- it is my choice and not up to anyone else

Um..so don't ask then?

When your kids are older they won't remember whether you've spent £100+ going to Disneyland or nothing going to the beach.

My fondest memories are going on holiday to the seaside with my parents and grandparents and my Grandad digging boats in the sand. Priceless, and free.

Oh, and please don't think that wanting money ever stops (according to my Mum).

SueDoku Sat 25-May-13 11:29:56

Give them memories to treasure..! Looking back on a fun childhood is wonderful (whether from the perspective of a child or a parent) and will lay the foundations for a happy life. Of course, if you can manage to save a pound or two now and again (I'm not talking about huge amounts - a fiver here and there soon adds up) then that shows them that it's possible to live a balanced life..! smile

TheBookofRuth Sat 25-May-13 11:30:01

My mum was a single parent who didn't have a lot of money, but she spent what she did have on holidays and indulgent Christmases and birthdays. All very nice.

However, as I was later forced to drop out of uni because I could do longer juggle the two jobs I needed to survive financially with the demands of the course, I think I would rather she had the forethought to put some of the money she spent on spoiling me as a kid aside so that she would have been able to support me as a young adult.

SueDoku Sat 25-May-13 11:32:11

P.S. 'Fun' doesn't equate with 'spending money' - paddling in the sea, visiting museums, having a picnic etc are fun without costing much... grin

HeySoulSister Sat 25-May-13 11:33:10

young people will need more support than we ever did i'm sure. further education and housing are the 2 biggest issues that I can see.

Viviennemary Sat 25-May-13 11:36:56

I think there has to be a balance. And unless you are quite well-off I don't see the point of scrimping so your children can have a bit of money when they are eighteen. If you can afford to save a substantial amount that's different. But a small amount won't make any difference at all. That's my opinion.

Doodledumdums Sat 25-May-13 22:29:25

Yes I guess you are right thebody- it is my choice and not up to anyone else

Um..so don't ask then? Pobble, I feel this was slightly taken out of context! I followed it by saying that I care what other people think, so that is why I am asking! Sorry if I came across as defensive, I was just answering thebody when she said that it is nothing to do with my PIL's. I am just asking because I want to know what other people think about my plans, and whether they are selfish.

I know that there are fun free things that I can do with my children, and I will do these,and create lots of memories that way, but I just wanted to be able to do a few big exciting things, like Disneyworld, but it's just that at the moment, this would be at the expense of saving for his future. I know it is unnecessary, but I went as a child, and just want to be able to take my children too if possible. We can currently afford to save about £40 a month, which I guess won't really go far towards either things, so it's probably not worth worrying about really!

HeySoulSister- that is a good point, the way things are going, further education and housing will be affordable only by the super rich. It is a worry.

I guess the ideal solution is to save half for fun and half for future, maybe if I make wise investments, then this will pay off and i'll make lots of money...you never know?!

Lazyjaney Sat 25-May-13 23:50:33

Kids will have as much fun running along a beach as going to Disneyland, what you need to give them is love, not money.

sweetsummerlove Sun 26-May-13 07:27:07

at the moment, we do what free things we can but do enjoy trips and days out. We only put £40 aside into dd savings. Its a small amount, but will pay for her driving lessons and a car by the time shes 18 and that I feel, will set her up for life. Once she's on thr road she can cast her net wide to find work ultimately earning and saving for herself. perhaps it is because I did not come from a comfortable financial background, but although it is extremely generous of parents who do, saving for your child's house deposit? Surely we should be setting them up with the skills to save, pay, survive themselves? Right now dd is enjoying a comfortable life. OH and I work our bums off for it. Hopefully long term she'll see the value of working hard and have a good work ethic herself.

It is very important to me that she has a wonderful childhood. .but id be a bit guttedif her fav memories revolved around the expensive stuff. I didn't have a wonderful childhood but DP did, his favourite memories are is his dad making him a go cart from mdf..playing football at the park..visiting the animals at the pet store. ..and spending time with his family on holidays. but always in that order and holds memories of holidays in caravans and in malta etc just as fondly as each other.

ithaka Sun 26-May-13 07:33:04

I don't think either option is 'wrong'. It is all about providing a loving, supportive framework for your children, in a way that is right for your family.

DH & I are 'live for today' types, so that works for us. My family were the same as us, but My DH's dad was completely different in outlook. However, we still all loved him dearly (he sadly died a few years ago)and he never judged our more 'relaxed' approach to money.

So I would say it is how you are, not what you spend - do what feels right and don't judge others generally works for most things.

oldendaysending Sun 26-May-13 07:42:29

I save. We still do 'fun' family things, they just don't feature going abroad or similar. When children are small they get excited about small things. My DCs are only 2, though.

CalicoRose Sun 26-May-13 07:46:25

I certainly wouldn't save for a mythical future.

Your DC may or may not want to go to university but if they do they can finance it then. Between loans, what they can earn, and what you can afford.

And it makes no sense at all to save for a house deposit for them unless your own home is mortgage free and you have loads of spare cash.

Who knows where they'll want to live, if theyll want to buy a house, how much it'll cost, how much they'll earn..

It is fine to spend your savings on a trip to Disney land rather than keep it for later.

The way I provide for my kids future is to make sure they get the skills and qualifications and mindset they'll need to get a reasonable job.

It's up to them to do the rest. Because its their life..

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