5 reasons why so many working parents are struggling financially
Becoming a parent can be life-changing. Whilst it is said by many to be their greatest achievement, it also brings financial challenges and logistical issues. Here are just a few of the reasons why so many working parents are struggling financially.
According to Habito, first-time buyer mortgage completions were recently at their highest in over a decade so owning your own home is still something that most strive for. It can have its drawbacks, however. Whilst low-income working families can apply for government assistance to help pay with rental costs, there is little to no help available with mortgage interest payments. This can leave some families struggling month to month should their working situation change or they fall upon hard times.
Childcare costs can be one of the biggest burdens on a working family with many paying a four-figure sum every month just to have their children looked after. Many have had to decide that one parent will give up their job because they are worse off overall once childcare costs are accounted for. This can also have long term effects because the longer someone is out of work, the harder it is to get back in. Many mothers, in particular, are giving up their careers because childcare costs are simply not affordable. Whilst some families are entitled to benefits that can assist with a portion of the costs, it still doesn’t fully alleviate the issue.
The cost of extra-curricular activities
Whist not essential, most parents want their children to get regular exercise, develop social skills or have some form of activity to look forward to each week. Costs can mount, particularly if you have a large family. Even group swimming lessons can cost as much as £40 per month just for one child.
There are many supermarkets and more affordable shopping outlets stocking a range of children’s clothes and shoes which is a welcomed relief for many working parents nowadays. Children’s clothing and footwear are charged at zero rate VAT which makes a big difference to the overall cost. However, many older children these days are wearing adult size shoes. These are subject to VAT. Many parents are paying astronomical amounts because they are effectively buying adult-sized shoes for their children. Various petitions are being shared across social media in a bid to have this reviewed.
School uniform policies
School uniforms can be another huge stress inducer for many parents. Several council-run schools insist that parents buy logoed clothing for every child. This can prove crippling for parents regardless of income. One jumper with a logo, for example, can cost anything up to around £16, sometimes more. Many schools even ask that children wear polo shirts, trousers and skirts bearing a logo. If they don’t, children may be sent home. Blazers are also considered essential in some schools. It is important for children to dress appropriately in school. But these policies are viewed by many as extreme and unnecessary.