As I was born the currency Hollandse florijn (Holland florin = hfl) better known as gulden still existed. The coins were made out of silver (250, 100, 25, and 10 cents) and copper (5, and 1 cent). They had weight. At my birth, my parents promised to safe 100 guldens a year for me. This meant at the age of twenty-one, the age I would be an adult, I would have 2100 gulden to start my life with. Not a bad amount although I believe they would have stopped at the age of 18 years old. So 1800 gulden for me. Could my parents afford it? Yes, they could. One hundred gulden means we talk about not even 28 cents a day or hfl 5,20 a week. Did they safe this amount for me? No, my grandparents (grandfather) gave the amount as a birthday gift.
I had a bank account at the 'Boeren Leen bank' (Farmers loan bank) and once or twice a year I went over there with my mother to empty my saving box (no pig but a hill shaped pot). What ended up in the saving box? A bit pocket money or some extra money my grandparents gave me for my school reports (good notes) and who knows even the little coins I found outside on the street between the gravel.
Saving for your child to give it a good start is what each parent should do. Of course, those 100 guldens decreased if it comes to its value as years passed by and way more than we can imagine but even without inflation it's still a good amount to buy some necessary things you need to decorate a house of your own. Carpet, a bed, fridge, washing machine, television, some pots and pans, sheets, towels and furniture to start with.
I never received my money. My mother stole it from me. She didn't need it, she's rich and has a very good income but she is greedy. She took it before I reached the adult age, years before. She could because to our law minors officially do not have a bank or saving account. The parent is the one who is in charge, owns it. This means I saved for my mother not my start into life.
I was a mother at the age of 18 and not an adult yet. At that time you had to be twenty-one years old. I asked for my money but my mother said I did not need it. The answer was clear.
I decided to safe for my children. The same one hundred a year although one hundred was no longer one hundred. I counted with the fact my children their savings would increase with pocket money, (small) jobs, et cetera too. It would be more than 1200 a year.
As I was 12 years old a bread cost 50 cents and for one cent only I could buy candy at the SRV (a bus turned into a shop. It drove through the streets). As my eldest was born (6 years later) the price of bread was one gulden (100 cents) at least and for one cent you could buy... nothing.
I saved for my children. I saved and even started a saving-investing insurance for the eldest three at the Aegon. They guaranteed to pay out a certain amount in 25 or 30 years. Did they? Of course, they did not. There was no profit. I even saw my monthly payments vanish. What was going on? No one mentioned it and I was not allowed to cancel it as I discovered there was something seriously wrong. By coincidence, I found the trick. Stop paying. If you did so they kicked you out of the 'program'. Only a small amount of what I had paid, invested, I received back. It was better but it felt bitter. A huge company stole, filled it's own accounts and laughed at us invested, those who fall for it. There was no guaranteed payment and a few years later others started prosecuting the Aegon.
I continued saving but at the Postbank only. At that time banks still paid interest over the money you put at their bank. My money they use to earn with, make high profits with.
As the ING went bankrupt the nation and the Postbank had to safe it. I still wonder why. The name Postbank disappeared and the name of the bankrupt bank remained.
I saved 3000 for each one of my children. Those 3000 guldens became euros since the euro was introduced. I had to save more because with the start of the euro we were tricked again. The value of one euro was way more than the 2.50 Holden's. We lost money again and after the period of double prices (gulden and euro) was over everything became more expensive. The items in shops, the rent, electricity bills but not the salaries paid (it's not that long ago a minister admitted the nation was fooled and one euro was way more worth as 2.50 gulden). The government, banks, insurance companies, shops, and salesmen fooled the entire nation from that moment on.
The financial crisis was a fact at the end of the '80s but the government kept telling us we should safe and especially continue spending.
I saved. If you aren't rich you cannot save and spend. The times of receiving interest were over and I saw the banks change. No service, you had to ask for permission to take your money. The end of the cheque, postal cheque, 'chip knip' and more inventions that didn't make it. With us the credit card never became popular. There's a small chance you can pay your groceries with it. Banks went bankrupt, needed an awful lot of taxes to restart. The people paid those bills. The bank's director and the board never ended in personal bankruptcy.
I managed to save for my children by saving the food out of my mouth. I did not only pay for their costs of living, education but driving lessons as well and their first second-hand car (plus insurance, monthly road taxes) and more. With five children it's clear we never lived the wealthy life. Paying the bills, taxes and saving for them was my first priority. The money left was for food, clothes, candies, the little bit extra once or twice a year.
For my youngest two, I am still saving. I hope I live long enough to give both the same amount as the elderly received over 15 years ago. Only one needs to do the driver's license in a few years. I still believe a license is a big help if it comes to being independent, freedom.
I do have doubts the money I saved for them will be enough to start with. It won't last long without an income. The costs of living increased enormously. Vegetables, fruit, juice, meat, all the healthy food turned into luxury food, food for the rich only. Besides, it's food that no longer contains the number of minerals and vitamins it had as I was a child. It's cheaper to buy vitamin pills and people their shopping cart tells me since decennia how much a person can spend and if they live in poverty. Poverty... it shows by what is bough. Staying away from shops, not shopping online saves money. Money and disappointments.
After years of trying, saving I lost my trust in the banks. Today I need to pay for doing the job once a bank employee did. The bank even dares to call it 'administration costs'.
I am forced to have a bank account, forced to online banking (and pay a fee to it), forced to have a debit card (and pay for it) and soon will be forced to pay the bank because they allow me to keep my money at their bank. My money... The money they do big business with.
I no longer consider the bank or insurance company trustworthy. Those days are over since at least 20 years. My savings have more value in an old sock as at the bank. I gave up on all those insurances since the chance they payout is very small. So is the chance you will ever need them (exception car insurance, if you damage something, health insurance and the funeral insurance might be helpful).
More and more people are jobless but the prices keep rising. Asking 1200 euros a month for an old rental apartment is normal. So is 3-6 euros for a loaf of bread, 6 euros for one kilogram of apples and over 20 euros for one kilogram of 'cheese' produced in a factory with the taste of plastic. Poverty increases and so does the number and amount of taxes we have to pay, the number of food banks, and second-hand shops (asking sky-high prices).
How to survive if your monthly payments, the costs for living (food not included) are 30% higher than the income is the big question. During the past year's, I learned to pay myself first again. With 'paying myself first' I mean my saving boxes, saving for my children and me. Yearly I search for the cheapest insurances, provider and electricity company. A loyal customer is not rewarded but the new one is.
I stopped buying things a long time ago.
I opted out the possibility to take a loan and recently cancelled my Visa card. It's pointless to pay, keep paying for something you might need once. Besides, it's not said all those companies that insure you still exist in twenty or thirty years or at the time my youngest children turn eighty years old. I need money to live now not in thirty years. Today is my future and it is not what I expected from it. After year's of 60-80 hours hard work a week one's life should be improved. It did not. It went downhill.
I do no longer count with a pension, I do not save for it either. I don't see the point of it. Those companies wasted too much and only fill their account plus if I do not ask for it, cannot ask for it, they won't pay me. Since I am a woman they won't pay me that much anyway. I worked my asses off but the pension for women, women with several part-time jobs, started years later. Too late for me. I might be able to buy one French fries a year from that amount. If French fries still exist.
I recently found a bank that charges no fees and am trying it. The debit card is free and so is online banking. Saving I will continue no matter how small the amount is. Not only for my children but myself as well. It won't be at the bank though. If I lose I prefer to lose because I bet on the wrong horse, not because others took my money and ran out or I am charged for services they not given.
Cryptocurrency is a good option. I made one child enthusiastic and I really hope it learns how to earn with it. It will take time but it's not impossible even not if you play it safe. I wish the youngest shows more interest in it too since these children their futures depend on it. I doubt their profession will still exist at the time they finished school. I have strong doubts about those promises of a better future. Our government doesn't care, proved in the past decennial they do not care ripping off the people, do not care about the own nation, are fine with the alarmingly increasingly of poverty. They have no issues with breaking down everything the elderly built and worked hard for. If they are that selfish, stick to their plan I don't see any need to give up on mine. We have to live, have a right to live a healthy, happy life. A life without pharmacists who rule and earn enormous amounts and if that isn't possible? If it cannot be extended, it must be extended.
Decennia after decennial I motivated myself to hang in, continue, not to break rules and pay my debts first. I did it with the hope it would be better, my future would be. Instead, I live in an old house (I moved to save money) and cannot afford to warm it during winter and our meals went from three to two small ones. Fruit and vegetables became rare. Bread I no longer eat. On a much longer-term, this is not the way. It took long enough. I no solution will come I need and will change the rules we live by and let the rich ones, companies and government taxes wait for their money for a change.