Using Bonviva Viva Kids: Setting Saving Goals and Making Dreams Come True

Viva Kids: Setting Saving Goals and Making Dreams Come True

How do children handle money today? Bonviva got to the bottom of the matter and visited the Aslaksen family in Aargau. Client advisor Daniel Burkhardt analyzes the situation and gives tips.

The Aslaksen family lives in Aargau. From the dining table, you can see beyond the Aare valley to the last foothills of the Jura mountains. Father Erik Aslaksen is a salesman, mother Michelle works as a therapist and tennis coach. Early on, they gave their children insight into the financial world and explained to them, for instance, what a tennis training session or piano lesson costs.

The sons essentially realized on their own that you need to save in order to get the things you really want. Mark, the youngest, is a smart saver. He says: "I feel better when I don't spend money on small things like chewing gum or comic books." He invests his savings in hobbies, like drawing.

Brother Louis, who currently attends cantonal school, smiles widely while his younger sibling talks about his thriftiness. "Sure, I save money here and there, but I also spend it too – I like to go out for a drink or snack with my classmates."

In addition, their grandparents have opened a Gift savings account for each of the boys. The money saved will be transferred to the boys when they come of age. It is meant to provide a start in life and relieve the burden on their parents.

Daniel Burkhardt

Daniel Burkhardt (42) is a client advisor for Credit Suisse in Basel.

How early should families start saving for their children?

They should start saving as soon as it is financially possible. The older children get, the more money they need: For example, if children want to learn to drive or study in another city once they have finished school, that will cost money. The most effective way to save for such expenditures is to put aside small amounts of money regularly over a long period. The Aslaksens have done everything right in this regard: The grandparents have set up Gift savings accounts with a preferential interest rate for each child at an early age and pay a specific amount into them each year. The grandparents can then give the children access to these savings once they come of age.

The Aslaksen children started managing their own money at an early stage in a way that is appropriate for their age. How can parents help their children to do this?

Children should definitely be introduced to the concept of managing money as early as possible. A child can have a savings account at a very early age, which can be used for monetary gifts, for example. The new Viva Kids Banking Package is now available for young children. This includes both a savings account and a private account. Thanks to a digital money box and being able to have their first Maestro card once they turn seven, children can learn how to manage their money from a very young age. And just like the Aslaksen’s eldest son, once they are old enough to qualify, children can then open their own Viva Banking Package, which includes access to online and mobile banking. This enables children to gradually learn how to manage the money in their account. This is important, as children who do not learn these skills may get into debt before they even attain majority. Nowadays, there is a huge amount of pressure to spend – it is so easy to buy things online that many people do not realize how much money they are spending.

At the same time as providing for their children, parents also need to save for old age. What do you recommend?

A private pension as part of the third pillar is very important in this context – particularly for the younger generation. They definitely need to take advantage of this option. The same rule applies here: It is much easier to save up over a longer period of time than if you only start saving ten years before you are due to retire. Investment fund savings plans that you pay into on a monthly basis are also an option. If possible, parents should start doing this while their children are still young. It is also useful to have a savings account for unforeseen expenses – these crop up again and again when you have children.

The full article on the life of the Aslaksen family can be found in the latest issue of Aspects magazine.