A Christening gift to last a lifetime
Children could receive £4,180 on their 18th birthday if generous christening guests listen to babies’ parents and gift money for their future, according to research from The Children’s Mutual. It found that a quarter of parents whose children had been christened would rather have received money to save for the child’s future than traditional keepsakes.
The UK’s only specialist in long-term savings for children found babies receive on average £1,344 worth of trinkets and gifts on their christening or naming day celebration. Instead of just trinkets, if parents asked for money to be invested into a Child Trust Fund account, to the yearly maximum of £1,200, this could be worth £4,180 when the child reaches 18.
Although traditional christening or naming day presents are silver spoons, bracelets or clothes, The Children’s Mutual predicts that in saving for the future the top gifts could become driving lessons or a first car if the child cashes in their CTF on their 18th birthday.
David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “Christenings and naming days are very special times for friends and family to come together and think about a child’s future. And parents are telling us that they’d love their child to receive a true gift to last a lifetime, a financial stepping stone into adulthood. Even if only half the guests who give christening presents gift money for the future, the child could be £2,820 better off at 18.”
According to The Children’s Mutual, the majority of godparents who invest for their godchildren online have set up regular monthly direct debit payments of £10-£15 while those who choose to make one-off payments invest an average of £80.
Christening or naming day guests who would like to save for a child’s future can simply write out a cheque in the child’s name and give it to the baby’s parents, or if their Child Trust Fund account is with The Children’s Mutual, they can request the account number from the child’s parents and then log onto http://www.thechildrensmutual.co.uk/ and gift the money online using their debit card or by setting up a direct debit.
 Plus the £250 government voucher at birth and age seven
 £1,709 driving lessons (2006 regional prices from BSM and for Northern Ireland from Acclaim Driving Academy, multiplied by 45 hours tuition) plus the cost of the theory and practical test cost £1096 assuming inflation at 2.5% a year for 18 years.
 £3670 www.whatcar.co.uk A typical 6-year old second hand car e.g 2002 Fiat Punto Hatchback 1.2 3dr today (March ’08) cost £2,355 assuming inflation at 2.5% a year for 18 years.
This projection is based on £672 (half of £1344) being invested for 18 years in a stakeholder Child Trust Fund account, alongside the Government’s initial £250 voucher and another £250 voucher at age 7, with yearly growth at the FSA mid-rate of 7% and charges of 1.5% of the account’s value each year. These figures are not guaranteed, shares can go down as well as up and the eventual lump sum could be more or less than indicated.
The survey was carried out amongst 306 parents.