I am new to investments as we never seem to have much spare cash to put anywhere other than the absolute essentials, food, utilities, the mortgage any little left over seems to be quickly spent by the kids. They have lots of after school activities, themed dinners and as is the way with lots of children they enjoy badgering their mummy for THINGS (toys, sweets and magazines)!!! I am hoping though as hubbie and I get older that will start to change, as the mortgage slowly gets paid, we might free up more disposable income finally.
My parents are very sensible, never spending more than they earn, building up a little nest egg (which helped my brother and I with our respective houses). I want to follow in their footsteps so I can help my own children when the time comes, whether its extra money for a wedding, the deposit on their first home or to set up a savings account for any potential grandchildren. But if we keep living hand to mouth I will never have anything to leave them (aside from a big house in need of serious renovation!!!).
I was having a look on Nutmeg, which seems a very flexible and intelligent online investments platform. I like that you can update your preferences depending on how risk adverse you are (not very!) and what your goal is (mine will be something to do with the children no doubt!). It’s very important I look after my boys in the way my parents always have for me. You then add your investing timeframe, for us it would probably be 10 or so years, just in case they need a little help funding their education. At one point eldest said he wanted to be a doctor, although this does vary daily, at one time he said a singing builder… but it is important to be ready for any eventuality.
I like how it plots a graph of your projection depending on your contributions and risk level (I would settle with “avoiding loss is the priority”!), but if you are feeling brave and adventurous (“I’ll risk large losses for higher gains”) then there is the potential to earn a considerable amount (enough to secure their education and a few cruise holidays I think!). The graph tells you if you are off track for what you originally wanted to achieve and how to get back on track (it cleverly says the revised contribution level to do this!).
It’s definitely given me some good ideas if I ever manage to get on top of my finances!