The important lesson I learnt from Downton Abbey about my daughter's future
I'm a huge fan of anything historic, architecture, antiques, stories, so it's quite weird that I hadn't watched Downton Abbey until recently. I'd caught the odd part of an episode here or there whilst living with my mum but never really got into it and was confused by the amount of characters with their own storylines. I've had a lot of time off over xmas and decided to go from the beginning and watch all 4 seasons. The weirdest thing happened though. Yes, bear with me, I had a life realisation after watching Downton Abbey! In a TV show full of heirs, fortunes, life and death, I asked 'what have I set up for my own daughters future?'
For anyone who isn't a Downton viewer, the show starts with the family finding out that their estate and fortune will be going to a distant relative and heir instead of their first born daughter, Lady Mary. Lady Mary seems stuck up and snobbish, but her interests lie firmly with what is best for her family and the abbey (I can so relate Mary, you and I are like soul sisters). So the show goes on, with various worries over who will inherit the estate and the large fortune. The main characters have children. Will they inherit the fortune and Downton? If you hadn't realised yet, THERE IS A LOT OF INHERITING AND HEIRS.
At one point, Lady Mary is talking to some dude (Sir Richard I believe his name was) about furniture. She says “Your lot buys it, my lot inherits it." What a line! I looked around my flat and realised all of the beautiful things I have inherited. An Edwardian silver ladies mirror, old Photographs, antique inlaid beauty boxes, bedroom furniture, books and vintage records. Then I thought about all of the things that my mother has inherited herself from her parents. There is so much more love and story when you inherit a fabulous well made item that will last the test of time than buying a new modern piece. That's why I always prefer to buy antique or vintage, though I know it's not possible with everything. But I wondered, what my daughter would inherit? Do I have any new items of pure quality, or am I spending my money on cheaper mass produced items because then I can get more stuff? I made a promise to myself to save up and spend a little more on items that will hold their value and quality over the years that can be passed down to her when she starts her own family.
Next, I thought about her inheritance. She may only be one but we hadn't thought much about starting a savings or fund for her, other than it being something on the to do list. It's now TOP of my to do list! I thought back to my childhood and wondered if my grandparents hadn't set up the savings funds they did for me how much harder things could have been when it came to buying a house, or my first car. Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way a trust fund kid, but I definitely had help of which I am extremely grateful for. It seems nowadays we are all too caught up in this idea of 'save when you have more money' but in reality it just gets put off.
You can find some great savings accounts out there which give good rates and tax free savings for children. If you set up an account that you can't withdraw money from, then the rates can be even better. I'm no expert but I used the money saving expert website and got some good advice.
So there you go kids. I guess you can find revelations anywhere if you are open to it!