Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

University saving 'starts at three'

Some 47 per cent of parents have started a university fund for their child before their third birthday, says study

Nearly half of parents have started a university fund for their child by the time he or she is three years old, a study has suggested.

Six out of 10 parents questioned also said they plan to step up their saving this year to boost their children's education funds, with 14% planning to work overtime and one in 10 contemplating taking on a second job, said HSBC.

Some 47% of parents said they had already started saving by the time their child had turned three, but one in 10 said they are unable to help their children out with university costs at all.

Families' budgets have come under intense pressure from high living costs and people are struggling to find accounts to give them a real return on their savings, as the Bank of England maintains the base rate at a historic 0.5% low.

Some recent studies have suggested people have been eating into their savings in their determination to pay down their debts amid the uncertain economy.

However, almost 15% of those questioned said they will try to cover the full cost of their child's university fees and expenses, which have been put at just over £52,000 on average.

This average estimate would mean parents would have to save almost £3,000 a year from the time their child is born.

More than 1,000 parents with children aged under 18 were included in the study.