A Step Towards Financial Independence

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Our recent piece on the gifts that keep on giving has been very popular with our readers and it made me think about why.

As we all know, we are living in turbulent financial times and no one can be 100 per cent sure how the economic world will fare in 2012. So it's easy to see why overspending on the latest gadgets and gizmos for family and friends this Christmas doesn't sit comfortably with a lot of people.

Governments are telling their citizens to tighten their belts and reduce the amount of presents they give to their loved ones to prevent rising levels of consumer debt - and they are right to do so. There's no doubt we give too much and with half of it either ending up in already-bloated bodies or discarded to the dustbin never to be seen again, it makes sense to think twice about your present shopping this year.

Which is why giving your loved a gift, such as a share portfolio, a savings account or National Bonds that will reap them rewards for years to come really does make sense.

I've taken on board the advice dished out by the experts we consulted to put the feature together. I've already given my two children their Christmas present from my husband and I - micro scooters that have seen them whizzing round parks in Dubai over the last few weeks. The reason for the early gift was the issue of packing as we are flying home for Christmas and want to keep luggage to a minimum. But to tie in with the festive season, we will also be opening their first bank accounts and depositing a fixed monthly amount. It's a token sum but as they grow older and start to understand the significance and value of money, they can see how a little can become a lot with regular saving. It's not rocket science, but for little people learning about the world, it's the first step towards financial independence.

Merry Christmas everyone.