People often save for things together as a group. Examples include birthday gifts, holidays with friends, fundraising for a school event, or funding a child’s university costs. Of course, you can save in your bank or investment accounts. But what if we could harness the power of our family and friends – our community – to increase the chance of achieving savings goals?
Often there is vocal resistance to the concept of saving as a group or inviting contributions towards a gift. This is particularly evidenced during qualitative research with groups. You can also hear it in the recent coverage on “fiver-birthday parties” by the Daily Mail. The reactions range from “it’s not a British thing” to cheeky or tacky. Really? The data does not support this seeming resistance.
Saga estimates that British Grandparents have gifted £37bn to grandchildren. Legal & General research suggests that the Bank of Mum & Dad is one of the biggest gifters towards first-time deposits. This happens because family members talk about money issues and the support they need. And the resulting support, or gift, is given voluntarily.
Fundraising platform GoFundme has previously indicated that “around one in every 20 UK adults” has made a donation through GoFundMe, with “an average of 7,500 donations every day”. Both GoFundMe and PayPal’s Money Pools product are being well received in the UK despite the costs associated with using them and the time it takes to receive the contributions.
None of this sounds like the British being squeamish about inviting contributions towards things that mean a lot to them. Even the parents quoted in the Daily Mail article are evenly split on the subject of a fiver being inserted in a card in lieu of a present.
Social saving is an increasingly popular practice. The correct tool, accompanied by a polite request, can be extraordinarily successful in creating a strong feeling of community.
What is Social Saving?
Social saving is exactly as it sounds, saving as a social group. When saving as a group we recommend having one place where everyone can contribute their money. This stops confusion and lets everyone involved see what’s going on.
Offspring allows you to stay in complete control over who is invited to contribute and who can make contributions towards your goals. And the great thing is that the contributors also get to keep a record of their gifts, and can see how much has been saved in total.
You can use your existing bank accounts which you link to Offspring. Contributions are made using bank to bank transfers and are received in your bank account via faster payments. This means the money arrives almost instantaneously.
Isn't it embarrassing to ask for contributions?
Much like raising money for charity as a group, saving as a group requires you to proactively invite people to contribute. In almost all cases, you will already have a good relationship with people you invite or they will have asked you whether they can contribute. If the ask is polite and contributions are voluntary then the awkwardness can be removed.
Not so long ago people thought using JustGiving to raise money for charitable causes was embarrassing. Now, it’s not so! Just look at how successful Captain Tom Moore was in creating a community to raise money for the NHS during the pandemic using JustGiving. The point being – families and friends – who are our immediate community will often come together to support financially when there is a clear reason.
How do I set up Offspring?
Set up an account by visiting Offspring. You can invite family and friends to join for free and everyone can collaborate to achieve a savings goal. Offspring’s social saving tool can turn your family and friends into a community of savers.
Together, you can contribute towards buying a meaningful birthday gift (not be inundated with plastic tat!), collect contributions towards a fundraising event at a school or collect for that kitty for a golf day, or even save for a child’s education. Once you’ve reached your goal, you can celebrate the pleasure of achieving it and thanking people who contributed towards your goal.
What can I use Offspring for?
The best way to demonstrate what Offspring can do is to share real examples of how people like you are using it.
- Louise has used Offspring to arrange a collection at school from parents in her child’s nursery year group. She said “We wanted to organise a collection to support Halloween activities planned at school. So, I used Offspring to share information about the event and keep track of contributions.”
- Kate said that she used Offspring when friends and family wanted to give her daughter an 18th birthday present. She said “My daughter was keen to learn how to drive. So, I set up an account with Offspring which godparents and family used to make contributions towards driving lessons. I hadn’t realised these lessons can cost nearly £1,000 nowadays! I am happy to say that my daughter is well on her way to getting a driving license and she is pleased to have received gifts that are helping her acquire a skill.”
Interesting! Any other ideas for using Offspring?
- Harry from London said he and his cousins are planning to use Offspring “to help buy a Christmas present for my Grandmother without having to send 30+ of my family separate emails and texts with my bank details on them”
- Romesh said that he is looking to save towards a deposit for a property. He has set up a Lifetime ISA (LISA). He said “Every birthday both sets of my grandparents always gift me cash to buy something useful. This year I am going to use Offspring to channel those gifts into my LISA. And the taxman will top-up my LISA contributions. I have already discussed this with my grandparents and they think it is a great idea.”
Offspring lets contributors leave messages and keeps you updated whenever someone contributes. By tracking your progress towards your goal, you’re much more likely to achieve it, so remember to thank those who’ve helped – it might just encourage them to contribute again!
Give Offspring a try and see how you can save for something meaningful with your friends and family.