T he best gift you can give your child is to invest in their education, considering how costly schooling over the years can become. Starting an education savings plan does not have to become a major financial strain. Start early and search for a plan to suite to your situation best.

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Here are some useful tips to help you get started:

The sooner the better:

Long term investments are more likely to grow without straining your monthly expenses. Fixed investments offer higher interest rates which will grow over a long-term investment period.

Encourage your child to save:

Saving money every month for your child’s education is a big responsibility, especially when it’s only coming from one individual. Encourage your child to also contribute to their educational savings fund with money they earn part time, during the holidays or money they receive as a birthday gift if possible. It’s important to teach your child the importance of saving from an early age.

Do your research:

Before you tie yourself into any investments, do proper research. There are different saving options available to you. There are regular savings accounts where you can decide how much you can save every month, which is ideal. You could also opt for a fixed deposit where you invest a lump sum of money and keep it tucked away for a certain period of time which will grow with interest over time. Fixed investments usually pay a higher interest rate than an instant access account. The only disadvantage is that you will not be able to access the funds for at least one year to earn the advised interest rate.

Avoid making withdrawals:

If you have opened a regular savings account, try and avoid making withdrawals unless it is completely necessary. The lower your savings the less interest you will accumulate.

Scholarships and bursaries:

Do your research on possible scholarships and bursaries. There are funding grants available which could be applicable to your child.

If you still feel unsure about how to start saving for your child’s future, why not seek professional guidance from a broker or bank consultant. A professional advisor will assist you with all the different savings plans available to you and within your means.

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