...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?

It's not what I would do. My parents saved for me since I was a child and I was able to buy my first property at 22. I have a good job but even so, saving a deposit for a flat/house is very difficult and means a lot of first time buyers are in their 30s and beyond. I'd rather do that for my children than take them on expensive holidays.

Kids don't always appreciate the money spent. My nephew complains that he always has to get on a plane to go on holiday and he'd rather go to a caravan like his mates!

superbagpuss Sun 26-May-13 08:05:39

me and dh are savers
me because my parents had no money and I didn't like growing up in that live for today atmosphere. so I funded my a levels and uni and further training and now earn enough to support my family so dh can be a sahd.

dh because his parents didn't earn much and they taught him the value of money and what savings can achieve.

we save for our DC future so they will have help when they are older, the help we never had

we will also give them lots of fun, inc cheap/ free stuff and a trip to Disney world when they are older - mainly because I have always wanted to gogrin

but we can do this because we saved before we had DC and we make sensible plans now, never living outside our means

FantasticMax Sun 26-May-13 08:07:05

I would personally rather save for my DC's future. Fun things don't have to cost the earth. After all, you have presumably benefited from the help the help your inlaws gave to DH? House deposit, helping out with uni education meant he didn't have huge student loans to pay back, etc?

munchkinmaster Sun 26-May-13 08:09:13

I think the thing about saving for kids is that you do it over such a long period even a little adds up. If you and DH both put in say £7.50 a week that's £750 odd a year. So with interest £15k plus by 18. Imagine if you could say £10 each, that's going to be closer to £20k.

I save a bit each month and put all the fivers random aunties give baby into the bank. It really mounts up.

I think the difference between you and dh's childhood is about the parents attitude, not the cash. I think it's possible to have fun and save.

QueVes Sun 26-May-13 08:13:58

The two options are not mutually exclusive.

cozietoesie Sun 26-May-13 08:30:50

I think that my best memories of time with my parents are simply that - time with them. It might have been baking or gardening or DIY as well as going out to see things (usually cheaply) but it was the fact that they included us in things and set time aside to be with us that has left the memories.

I'd put money aside if you don't need it at the moment (and who knows when the family might require it in the future) but not get too hung up on attending 'events'. Just do things with them.

DoubleMum Sun 26-May-13 08:46:49

Well, we were lucky enough that we could do nice things as well as save, until DH lost his job and we had to break into their university fund just to survive. Things don't always work out the way you plan. But I agree, time spent with you doing stuff doesn't necessarily have to cost money, you can create memories without spending much.

RubySparks Sun 26-May-13 09:43:32

Good point Munchkin - because you have 18 years to put money aside for children it really does mount up quickly even when just a small amount. Money is good because it gives you options and that is probably the best thing you can give your children. Also agree fun doesn't have to cost a lot.

Callofthefishwife Sun 26-May-13 10:16:19

I grew up in a positively poor family. I had £125 given to me on my 16th birthday from a savings account that had been set up from my Grandma at birth. Every time I had a pound note in a birthday card 50p would be put away and the other 50p used to treat myself on what ever I wanted at the time - usually Sindy something secondhand out of the local newspaper.

My parents simply did not have money to save for us. It was never an option.

I do have fabulous memories. We used to camp 2 sometimes 3 nights every summer. Those memories are wonderful. We were lucky enough to live close to the coast and I have fab memories of hot days at the beach eating sweaty sandy cheese sarnies and drinking warm orange squash from tupperware cups with lids. We had friends who lived by a stream and our Dads would make us rope swings over the stream. We would paddle and jump in. In spring we would look for frog spawn and catch tadpoles.

Roll on to now. Have 2 DC 12 and 14. We have saved very little towards their future again because we have not had that kind of regular money to put away. But we did use some money my Nan left us to go to Disney in Florida when they were 9 and 6. My Nan specifically said - Do something fun and memorable with it. I still think had we invested that money well it would have meant the DC would have had something but not substantial and not an amount to make going to Uni/buying a house etc a breeze. Weighing up the £££ they would get at age 18/21 and the memories of something we would never have been able to to consider - I am glad we went with the memories. 5 years on that holiday is referred to frequently and remembered fondly.

We usually camp in the UK for 2 or 3 weeks every summer. Again this is not as cheap as camping used to be but probably is one of the cheapest forms of getting away as a family. This past year my DC have really started to talk of these memories and even thank us for taking them.

Memories are precious. A childhood passes in such a short span. 10 to 12 years is all you get to make memories with your children really. It does not have to involve ££££££ at all although I admit we spend about £500 a year on a family camping holiday and one could argue that £250 each in a savings account for their future may be better.

My DC have very little savings. They will leave school the same as I did having to support themselves and we will help out as and when we can. I do sometimes worry. Especially when I speak to come people who are putting away £100 plus every month for 18 years but then these people dont seem to be in the either or camp. They seem to lead a relatively charmed life with several foreign holidays a year, new cars and live in big houses and still have money to spare. It will be hard for my DC to go to Uni (if they go) with people who have everything heavily subsidised but then life is like that - some kids never go on holiday or have days out when their school friends do.

In an ideal world my DC would have a good savings pot but even if we had not camped most summers of their childhood and gone against my nanas wishes and invested her money instead of going to Florida - yes they would have a pot of money but nothing substantial enough to make a big difference to their lives and significantly make uni living alot easier (if they go) and certainly not enough for a house deposit by todays standards.

I think its about balance. We have saved when we can - but its a drop in the ocean and very little, we could have saved more by not having annual camping holidays, but we chose to strike a balance.

Doodledumdums Sun 26-May-13 11:25:43

Thank you for all of your replies. It is helpful to hear what you are all doing. I think probably the best thing for me to do is save a little bit for fun and future, and hope that both pots amount to a nice amount eventually. I think as so many of you have rightly pointed out, the key is balance I guess.

I know that you don't have to spend lots to have fun, but I just would love to take my children to Disney one day, and that does cost a lot unfortunately! We will still go camping and caravaning and to the beach etc. But I guess it is a bit silly to exclusively save for this.

If only money was no object, that would be lovely!

Jinty64 Sun 26-May-13 12:02:58

We haven't saved anything for our children's future and are living for today but we are also not spending our money on expensive days out or Disney holidays. We do a lot of fun things, mostly free or cheap things.

We bought a house in the catchment for our preferred schools which was more than we could comfortably afford but 14 years on has been worth the effort. We also spend on music lessons and memberships of music groups and orchestras as, I believe, this gift is priceless and hopefully something that will bring them friendships with others and joy for their entire lives.

They will need to self fund through university, if they go, although we will help all we can.

If the worst comes to the worst they can always busk.

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