Preparing for family finance

Global finance specialist Danielle Suchley shares her tips on saving for babies


Danielle Suchley, 30 years old, is managing director of global financial services company, Finsbury Associates. Mother of Finley, two, and pregnant with her second child, Danielle has some great advice about preparing yourself financially for your child.

Ensure your medical insurance
One of the biggest things I learnt from having my first child Finley was to check exactly what my medical insurance covers. Medical insurance wasn’t something I’d specialized in before but it’s something I’ve done extensive research on since having Finn. Finley was born with a serious tongue tie and had to have surgery. A tongue tie is defined as a congenital birth defect, which my insurance didn’t cover, a 30-second operation ended up costing us Dhs12,000. We were lucky enough to be able to cover this cost but had it been a severe congenital birth defect and we had not had the insurance, the outcome isn’t worth thinking about.

Check your maternity policy
Another thing I learnt was that maternity leave in the UAE is nowhere near long enough! I was ecstatic when I read recently that they were thinking of increasing maternity leave from six weeks to 12 weeks. I found it very hard adjusting to motherhood and having to leave my child after such a short amount of time. Some of my friends had Ceasarean sections, with a recovery time of six weeks, then had to go straight back to work which they found hard going.

Sort out your will and guardianship
As a standard and basic precaution, parents should document who they intend their guardians to be for their children. This is even more vital in the UAE, when close family are often not present. From a work prospective, guardianship was one of my biggest eye openers. I was advised to get my will and guardianship attested process has made me see how how hard it is for people to get the right advice when it comes to guardianship. Finsbury Associates therefore produce a guardianship document free of charge for parents who want it.

How do you plan on making your children financially aware?
I’m super keen that Finley and his soon-to-be sister know how to budget with pocket money from an early age into their teens. I don’t think this is something that has nearly enough emphasis in schools. Finley’s only two years old, so I could give him Dhs1 or Dhs100 and he wouldn’t know the difference. However, when he does have more of an understanding of money I will certainly be giving him pocket money and try to structure it in a way that he saves. Finley has a little money box at the moment but I do eventually want to open him a bank account where he can deposit money and gain an understanding of growing capital.

How can new mums save money?
Be thrifty. There is a serious case of competitive mum’s syndrome in Dubai, which I was absolutely sucked into in every way shape and form… I had to have the biggest and the best for Finley when in reality he was growing out of things in a couple of months, if not weeks! A real gem that I discovered was Baby Bazaar market that is held once a month. Everyone takes their used baby items and sell them at low prices. Knowing about this has saved me an absolute fortune!

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