I learnt three new things this week.
- Seagulls on Brighton Pier are not only the size of actual cars but will eat the doughnut right out of your hand if you let them.
- Cars don’t last forever and once they’ve done 127,000 miles they may break down in the middle of a busy, 4-lane roundabout and never work again.
- There is such a thing as a junior ISA.
I think the first two points are self-explanatory and go some way to explaining what kind of week I’ve had but I thought I would talk about the third point today.
Firstly, what is a junior ISA?
It is a tax-free savings account for children under the age of 18 and allows you to build up a child’s savings and earn tax-free interest. You can open a Junior ISA for your child if you have parental responsibility for any eligible child under the age of 18 or the child themselves can open it if they are aged 16 or 17.
I often think about money. And when I say ‘often’ I mean I think about money ALL THE TIME. Whether I have any … chasing money … how to earn more money … who owes me money … will I have enough money to last the month? Etc. Suffice to say, especially speaking as a single parent, money is pretty much at the top of my agenda. As far as my kids are concerned, I have always had savings account for both of my boys but I’m sure I’m not the only parent who would occasionally get to a certain point in the month where you have to dip into their account to ‘borrow’ money to cover the bills. (At least I hope I’m not the only parent!) And I feel awful doing it, but needs must. Well, a junior ISA would mean that I can’t get my grubby little mitts on any of his money!
All of the above would rightfully suggest that I have never had my own ISA, at least not yet, and you’d be right. But I do often think about whether it’s wise to start saving money for Dexter’s future and maybe. Maybe a junior ISA is the perfect medium to help me do that. Mainly because if I put money into one, I can’t withdraw any of the money until he turns 18!
It’s worth mentioning also that from 6th April 2015, a Child Trust Fund can be transferred to a Junior ISA, although a child cannot have a Child Trust Fund and a Junior ISA (of any type) at the same time.
In my family, we are never going to be talking about thousands and thousands of pounds, but as I mentioned in a previous blog post, my finances are a lot more settled than they’ve ever been and I continue to look to the future. That goes for my kids’ finances too.
If you think you might be interested in opening a Junior ISA, why not check out Santander for details of theirs – it might work out really well for your family.