As the girls have got older over the last year we have become quite conscious of the number of toys they have (and often don’t play with for long) and also the activities we’d love them to try / they want to try.
It can be expensive. The cost of dance classes, gymnastics, music classes, and other experiences can add up which is why we are increasingly answering the question from Grandparents/close family as to what they’d like for special occasions with a contribution to those activities.
This Christmas is no exception. The girls are of course getting some presents from us – Amelie is really loving Barbies at the moment and Evie anything to do with dolls or babies so they have these gifts and a few smaller presents from Father Christmas but from Grandparents, we have asked for contributions or activities.
There are lots of things that we have on our list to save for or pay for next year for the girls so I thought I’d share a few of the things they do / we’ll be saving for:
- A day trip to the zoo
- Money towards Merlin passes
- Membership for the National Trust and the RHS – great for days out as a family
- Money towards swimming/gymnastics/tennis etc lessons
- Money towards theatre tickets for next Christmas
Having some of these experiences paid for gives the girls the opportunity to learn on different days out and also helps bring down the cost of school holidays which can be very expensive when you have multiple children to take on day trips.
I recently discovered an app called Offspring which can help with these exact saving situations and also longer-term saving.
Very simply, Offspring is an app that links to existing savings accounts and sets up targets that friends and family can contribute to through the app. You can set a target (for example the amount that ballet lessons will cost for a term/year or an amount for an experience) and then share that with your family when they ask what children might like for Christmas or birthday presents.
Once those family and friends are invited to the app they will be able to make payments straight into your child’s bank account, without the need to know the underlying account details. I love that Grandparents, for example, can make payments, but also set up regular contributions and as the parent, you can easily see what’s going in.
One of the main questions I had about Offspring was how it all worked.
The first important thing to note is that Offspring is not a bank and doesn’t hold your money. They provide a unique way of joining together you and your family to save as a group, saving into your existing accounts (they work with current accounts, savings accounts, cash-only Junior ISA’s, Child Trust Funds, LISA’s and ISA’s). They use proven and secure payment technology to ensure that money arrives in savings accounts safely and securely and finally, they make their money through working with banks and building societies so it’s a free service for families.
I think Offspring is a fantastic way to contribute to a child’s activities as an alternative to presents that get played with for a few hours then forgotten and is a great tool to use for birthdays, Christmas presents and also if Grandparents or family want to help with regular savings and/or contributions.
Offspring currently have a Christmas prize draw, where anyone who signs up for Offspring app by registering their details and creates a goal before the 25th of December will be in with the chance of winning £25 directly to their savings goal.