Raising children can be hard work as it is, and insolvency specialists Freeman Jones http://www.freemanjones.co.uk have urged parents to make sure that the cost of raising kids doesn’t lead to debt problems.
New research from Child Poverty Action Group, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found that the average overall cost of bringing up a child to the age of 18 stands at £143,000. This is the equivalent of £150 a week that the average parent will have to spend, just to cover their child’s basic needs.
As things stand, with the basic costs of raising a child increasing faster than inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI)), and many parents faced with things such as benefit cuts and wage freezes as the recession continues to bite, more mums and dads are finding it more difficult than ever to make ends meet.
The research has also revealed some stark facts about the impact of raising kids on parents’ budgets. Childcare costs can add up to £60,000 to the total cost of bringing up children – and yet a parent on a full-time job earning the National Minimum Wage would not have enough to meet the minimum costs of bringing up a child.
It’s easy to see how this could lead to many parents struggling to stay within budget – and turning to debt in order to cover costs. With many parents footing the bill for their kids heading back to school or leaving home for university, families are likely to be feeling the pinch even more – with the very real risk of not being able to repay any money they owe.
However, a spokesperson for Freeman Jones has stressed that there are some steps parents could take to make sure they don’t fall into financial problems:
- Budgeting. Having a good budget in place could help you to see exactly how your monthly income is spent and where you could make any sensible cutbacks to help you afford the things you need.
- Adopt some money-saving methods. Depending on what you feel happy doing, there are all kinds of ways you could knock £s off your spending on the kids – from recycling school uniform and using money-off vouchers, to making packed lunches using last night’s leftovers rather than spending money on lunches.
- Plan for the future. It’s not just the cost of bringing up kids now that could be a drain on your finances, but any future costs too (such as college/university fees). If you can afford to put some money aside now, it could give you a pot of cash to dip into for the year ahead.
Anyone seriously struggling with their debts, however, should get some professional advice.