Parents worried about their children's teenage spending habits may shun the Government's flagship Child Trust Fund savings scheme, despite research showing that the graduates of the future may be stuck with £43,825 in personal debt.
Under the Government scheme, when a young person reaches 18 they will receive a cheque for the full value of the maturing fund, which could be as much as £ 40,000, if invested.
However, some parents are concerned that the money could be used irresponsibly by youngsters.
The Government Trust Fund is open to all children born on or after September 1,
2002. Each will receive a £250 voucher to start their account from the Government, while those in poorer families will receive £500.
A second top up payment, also expected to be around £250 or £500, will be made when the youngster is seven.
Parents, guardians, friends or family can then invest up to £100 per month in the account, which is tax free. Funds are either cash or equity-based.
The account belongs to the child who is unable to touch it until turning 18. The idea is that children have some money behind them to start their adult life.
Colin Rothery, a financial adviser with Throgmorton Financial Services, said parents were right to express concern.
"If the 18-year-old wants to use the money to buy a motorbike, go to Australia, spend it in the pub, or on a million things their parents may not approve of, there's nothing a parent can do."
Parental fears also come in the light of a new study released by Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society that suggests children who go to university in the future will need to access large sums of money to pay off debts.
The study predicts average debt for graduates in 2023 will rise to £43,825 in 2023, from £9,210 today.
While the graduates of the future are predicted to receive average starting salaries of £52,910, more than double today's £21,985, the proportion of debt to salary is set to rise dramatically - from debts of 42 per cent of a graduate's starting wages today, to 83 per cent in 2023.
Spiralling costs will also mean the average house could cost £600,000 in 2023, the average first- time buyer property £ 430,000, and annual private medical insurance £1,376.
The research, say Liverpool Victoria, suggests additional savings provided by adding to a CTF may be necessary to avoid financial insecurity in the future.
Father of four Robert Pryjmachuk, managing director of Birmingham corporate advisors Chamberlain, said there was no reason why parents could not use the fund as part of a mixed investment for their children.
"It is hard to see how the Government Funds are a bad idea, they are a method of returning taxation to the household.
"With regards to how a child spends their money, their choice should be informed by parental education in money management," he said.
A spokesman for the Treasury said the idea behind the scheme was to promote saving and financial education among young people.
"Children take control of the account themselves at 16, but they can't withdraw it until 18," he said.
"The Government feels it is only right that individuals make the choices for themselves rather than there being an extra level of parental care."