Six clever savings plans

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Room for rent sign in windowIt used to be that parents heaved a sigh of relief when the children went off to university. But with degree courses now costing up to £9,000 a year and most of us wanting to take at least some of the burden off our kids' shoulders, the relief just turns to worry. But before you think about taking out a second mortgage, look at the ingenious ways some mums have been saving to help secure their children's future.

"I supplement my income"

"My boys are in a state primary school but I really want them to have a private secondary education. As a freelance writer working from home, I realised I could concentrate on my 'main' job but also do little things round the edges which would earn extra to put into the children's savings accounts.

"I do mystery shopping a couple of times a week where, for example, I'm given a brief to wander into a bank and test their Saturday customer service while asking for a specific product then fill in a report online when I get home. I get paid about £15 a go. I also rent out my car. It earns me about £25 a time and, it's a good way of earning some extra cash. So far, I'm doing quite well!" Sarah Lyall

"We take in lodgers
We have a reasonably large house so as soon as we could afford it we converted some of the loft space into a small flat and rented it out, setting aside all of that income (around £500 a month before tax) to go towards future school fees." Lisa Dale

"The school account is king!
"My two children both have their own school savings accounts and I'm always thinking of ways we can put funds into them. Recently they've both become huge fans of eBay so I let them get rid of stuff - like an expensive handbag my nine year old recently won in a raffle - and, after he bought himself a Nintendo DS, which he desperately wanted, the rest went into the school account.

"I also make sure they put the majority of their birthday money into it. It may seem mean but they know it's for their long-term future and they're very blessed and don't really want for toys and so on." Georgia Cameron

"I'm a beauty rep
"I've been a Vie at Home rep selling beauty products for about 12 years. At first it was a hobby and I used it for pocket money for myself and the kids. But over time I started earning a proper wage and soon realised I could be saving serious money. I now put a pretty large chunk a month away into a National Savings ISA so I know I can't touch it and it's building up nicely into a fund for my kids." Lisa Robinson

"I made him a landlord
"When my father passed away in 2008, he left me and my sister a house which, when sold, gave me nearly £220,000. I decided to use my share to buy a flat outright and put it in my son's name.* Although he already has a home, he's just started his own business as an events photographer, and I knew the extra income from rent (around £400 a month before tax) would help him get things off the ground. Knowing he has that security gives my husband and I great peace of mind, and I know Dad would be pleased." Kate Parry

* NB from Barclays: Inheritance tax liability may apply in this instance. For more information check out the HMRC information on inheritance tax.

"We save bit by bit"
"My husband and I used the government Child Trust Funds as a savings account for all three of our kids and have been paying into each of them for the last nine years. At first we paid £40 a month into each, but now as things are a bit less tight we've upped it to £70. Each child already has £7,000, but it could be as much as £20,000 to £25,000 by the time they're 18 - enough for a decent deposit on a house or to help them get through university. I sleep better at night knowing we're making provision for their future." Sarah Brooks

Whatever your savings goals, Barclays can help. Check out your children's savings options now so you can start saving for their future.

Head to Barclays on Mumsnet for lots more:

  • Expert information on starting your own business
  • Family budgeting and saving tips
  • Money-saving videos and inspiring start-up videos


© GfK Mystery Shopping 2011. Sourced June 2011. Source

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