Being a parent isn’t always easy

Says Sara Armstrong

 

As a parent, you want the best for your children. Whether it’s making them feel better when they’ve hurt themselves, making sure they feel loved and secure, listening to their worries and helping them through them, it’s a full time job, and the most satisfying thing I have ever done.

When you are having a child, you prepare yourself for the night feeds, nappy changes and sleepless nights. It doesn’t end there though, it’s only the beginning. You get the equipment you need, prams and pushchairs, highchairs and cots and you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. You get through the baby and toddler stage and prepare for them to start school, this can be particularly harrowing, but it’s survivable. After primary school comes secondary school, this is where I think it gets really tough, and even more expensive.

Once you have decided where you want your child to go (and hopefully they get in), you have to release them into a huge pond full of very big fish. And it’s not just tough as in homework tough, although I don’t seem to be as good at GCSEs as I thought I was – particularly the maths! Children need different things at different times in their lives. Sometimes you have to keep your distance, at other times you have to ask some difficult questions. Always be prepared for a few surprises, usually pleasant ones, but sometimes not so much.

One thing constant throughout your child’s life is money. For a start, preparing for a new baby costs money. Whether it’s buying all the essentials (and not so essentials), taking time away from work, having to buy a new car or house, it all costs. Then there’s clothes, shoes, school uniforms, trips, holidays, birthdays and Christmas, it all adds up.

The recent “buy now pay later” trend has made it easier than ever before to have it all and worry about it later. Unfortunately for many, later is now! Children don’t always understand why they can’t still go to the cinema every week with a bag full of goodies, why they’re not going on holiday this year (especially if their friends are), or why their Christmas list can’t be as extensive as usual. As a parent you want to protect your child and keep life as consistent as possible. The last thing I want is for my two to ever be anxious or concerned about our cash flow situation, but when circumstances change, difficult decisions have to be made. This is why I think it is so important for children to realise where money comes from and to be responsible for saving a little regularly themselves. Credit Union Junior Savers clubs can be found in primary schools throughout the county, and encourage children to be responsible for their own savings. Whitehaven. Egremont & District Credit Union gives children a free piggy bank when they join, and by saving just £3 every month they are entered into a free monthly prize draw to win up to £50. By counting out their own coins, completing their own deposit slip and handing over their own credit union savings book at a school collection, children often feel more “grown up” and proud of their achievement by saving up themselves. By encouraging your child to be more financially responsible now, you are greatly increasing the chances of them becoming financially savvy adults.

Whitehaven, Egremont & District Credit Union has savings accounts for adults and children. By regularly saving with them, YOU could be entered into the FREE monthly prize draw, kindly sponsored by Copeland Homes. Need a loan? Contact your local Credit Union to see what they could do for you – loans available from 1% interest per month.

For more information telephone Andrea on 01946 66755, or email wedcu@tiscali.co.uk Website: www.wedcu.co.uk

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