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Whether you've just welcomed home your new baby or are looking forward to that unforgettable moment in the near future, you'll certainly have more than enough to do to occupy your time.
Yet there may be occasions when you might take a few minutes to imagine what sort of future lies in store for your child as they grow up; perhaps you'll start to imagine what sort of job they might like to do or what career they might want to follow when they're older?
No doubt you'll already be thinking that whatever they decide they want for the future, you'll want to do all you can to help them make those plans and dreams come true. Often that will mean money to set them on their way and it's natural to wonder if you'll be able to find the sort of money that might be needed when the time comes to plan for their future. Particularly if this includes following a university degree course for example, where escalating tuition fees and living costs can be a real headache.
You can start saving money each month for example in a specialist child savings plan and one of the UK's leading providers of this type of plan is Shepherds Friendly, a mutual friendly society that has been helping families with their financial planning since as long ago as 1826. A mutual friendly society might not be a description you're familiar with, so here's why they are different to other providers such as high street banks or investment companies.
Shepherds Friendly started life as a sickness and benefits society over 180 years ago, set up by its founding members to help families take care of their money and make sure they'd saved enough to help them through any difficult financial periods. Although Shepherds is now a multi-million pound national organisation providing a range of savings products, its structure and ethos remains the same.
Shepherds is still owned by its members who have taken out the financial plans with the society and there are still no shareholders or board of directors to answer to. This means the society is run and managed purely with the interests of its members in mind and they remain the business's sole priority.
The aim of the Shepherds University Savings Plan is to help you build a valuable cash lump sum that will help meet those escalating tuition fees and living costs that can give many families a real financial headache. After all with the Offa/universities web site reporting recent increases in tuition fees to a likely average of £8,500 a year and the Push University Guide suggesting that new students could be facing overall debts as high as £53,400 on graduation, anything you can do to reduce the debt burden and consequent stress on your child has to be really worthwhile and worth considering.
You can open a University Savings Plan for each of your children and you'll find it's flexible, letting you save a regular monthly sum of £100, £125, £150, £175 or £200 up to a maximum of £2400 a year per child. You can change the amount you wish to save in the plan throughout its life, to suit your circumstances.
A key benefit of the University Savings Plan which parents will really appreciate is that when the plan matures you, the parent, can decide how much your child will receive. If the thought of your hard earned savings being blown on a wild holiday or the latest sports car when your child reaches age 18 worries you then rest assured as you can nominate the amount your child will receive. You can choose to make withdrawals in stages during their course, between the ages of 18 and 21, to help make sure the money is actually used to go towards their on-going annual university costs.
So while thinking about what your new baby might want to do when they grow up, and how you might be able to help them make their dreams come true, could be seen as something for the distant future, there's no doubt that sensible and considered planning now can make a world of difference when that time arrives.
You can find out more about Shepherds Friendly and their range of child savings plans, including their new University Savings Plan by visiting their web site at www.shepherds.co.uk