The Best Baby Shower Gift EVER!
You can cancel the Nappy Cake (yes, such a thing exists), and forget the Baby Shower Party games. When it is time to celebrate the impending birth of a beautiful bundle of joy I like to say it with dum dum daaaaaa BONUS BONDS! After a lull I seemed to find myself back in new baby territory with two friends joyfully expecting.
This takes me back to my own baby shower (where I was a reluctant participant) and all of the wonderful gifts I/we received. Some of them were extremely useful but some of them were headed for others to use from the moment I unwrapped them. Please don’t think me ungrateful, the reason being that when you are having a new baby (particularly your first) people are terribly generous and give you A LOT OF STUFF. But what if the money spent on those gifts could have been cash instead? What if from the moment this beautiful being entered the world they started saving and you didn’t have to start re-gifting? What if that saving habit was started at day one?
Enter Bonus Bonds. I like to think of them as the Lotto ticket where you get your money back at the end if your ticket loses. When preparing for my friends Baby Shower here is what I have done:
- I’ve gone on the Bonus Bonds website and downloaded an application form, a list of the identification documents that will be needed, a FAQs guide.
- I have purchased one stamped envelope. I have written the Bonus Bonds address on the front.
- I’ve written out a cash cheque for $40 (after locating my never before used chequebook in the back of the cupboard)
Once they unwrap this stunning gift and get over their shock, excitement and bewilderment that they have received something other than a stretch and grow, this is what I’ll be saying (to the captive audience of other Mum’s)…
“Have your baby. Congratulations! Name your baby (remember my baby name advice of ‘easy to say, easy to spell’). Fill out this paperwork in your baby’s name. Attach a copy of the birth certificate and your identification document. Attach my cheque. Send it to the address on the envelope. Wait. When you receive your bonds back, go online and set it up so you can make a fortnightly purchase of $20 of bonds. When family give money to your child, buy bonds. Now you can sit back and relax knowing the saving has begun”.
What have I really just given this child? A head start. $20 a fortnight is not much right? But regularly saving that sum for 5 years amounts to $2,400.
In 2016 the average house price in New Zealand is currently $494,083 (it has probably gone up as I write this). Can you imagine what it might be when your child decides to buy their first home? How much are they going to THANK YOU when they realise that you have given them a head start in saving for life? A stretch and grow will last them a month. Regular saving will clothe them for a lifetime.
And once the excited chatter dies down at the baby shower about this extraordinarily forward thinking gift I would say the following. It’s a bit boring BUT…
“And just to be clear. Bonus Bonds have a low rate of return (unless you win big like my husband’s, Grandma’s best friend did) but when you are starting with zero dollars Bonus Bonds are a good way to build up a lump sum without incurring fees. The thrill of a win that you can buy extra Bonds with always keeps me interested. Once you have that then you can go and invest somewhere where you start to receive interest. Doing it this way is fast and it is EASY to set up. The best way to begin saving is to just START, right?”
SO, happy saving little one. I hope you win prizes in the monthly draw they have and I hope that as you grow you continue to spend a little and save a lot. And I hope you let your soon to be frazzled parents get some sleep, just when they need it.
Follow this link to ANZ Bonus Bonds:
Interesting article regarding tax:
Are you financially stable? This is a useful checklist: