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Daddy Daze: Saving for dream of children

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STARTING TODAY: Husayn Symonds and his wife are expecting twins; his musings will appear in Lifestyle every Thursday. A bit about him in his own words: I like writing, taking photographs of sunrises, playing basketball and community-building activities that empower youth. I'm on number seven of 143 goals on my life's to-do list. I think I'm doing well so far. I'm soon to be a father-of-two, twins too, it's true

Walk with me. I have been married for close to five years. My wife and I have lived in two different countries, and moved four times. A model of stability, I know.

We spent our first year of marriage studying in England and most of our second year in London, but decided to move back home to Bermuda in 2013.

Having children is something we have both desired, but it was a matter of timing and resources. One thing that we really worked on together is saving.

My idea of saving involved keeping cash in my wallet for a few days before I spent it on snacks at lunch. A bit different from what my wife normally does, so it was definitely an adjustment.

So, what exactly have I learnt? I had to learn about partnership first, and the importance of consultation.

You can't save without a plan, and you can't plan without the ability to consult about what is a priority. The process of consultation helps to facilitate more clear and achievable plans. It's easier to motivate yourself to save once an achievable plan has been created.

What are we saving for? I hear babies cost about as much these days as the Nasa Mars rover programme. But let us break that down into age categories: short-term (preschool), medium-term (primary school), and long-term (secondary/tertiary education) savings plans help to clarify goals and targets.

Saving for the short-term means having enough to insure the mother, well before the pregnancy, depending on the insurance provider. Doctors appointments and tests, even in the healthiest scenario, would be expensive without insurance. You'll also need to be saving for a good supply of diapers, baby clothes, car seats, and strollers. Maybe you have to move to make space for your little human. Maybe you need a different car, or your first car. Is the mother taking time off from work? You may also have to prepare for daycare expenses.

Saving for short-term goals might be the easiest plan to find the motivation for sacrifices. Who doesn't want to provide a safe and comfortable life for their new little one? This sacrifice does, however, require belief and dedication. Maybe you have to cook dinner at home every night instead of eating takeout. Maybe you have to take leftovers for lunch the next day. Buzz is tempting, I know, but maybe have it as a treat for reaching your savings goals!

Medium and long-term goals require a more strategic plan related to education. Where do you want to live? Is public primary education acceptable to you? Would you like your child in middle school? Is private school necessary for your child's secondary education? Once you've answered these questions then you can start to quantify and set savings targets for those circumstances.

The best thing you can do is make your plans flexible and keep consulting with your partner, because babies throw curveballs all the time!

Preparing for parenthood: Husayn Symonds and his wife are expecting twins
Working together: planning for parenthood means a savings plan must be put in place

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Published February 04, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated February 03, 2016 at 10:14 pm)

Daddy Daze: Saving for dream of children

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