Monday, 22 October 2018

Parents forced into overdrafts to cope with rising costs

NEARLY a quarter of parents in the South East of England use their overdraft facility in an average month, it has emerged.

Following the recent increase in the Bank of England’s base rate, research by credit information provider Equifax has highlighted the financial challenges some families are facing on a monthly basis.

Twenty-three per cent of parents living in the South East confirmed that they go overdrawn in the course of an average month — with mortgage payments among the areas of expenditure coming under pressure as a result.

Fifty-one per cent of families surveyed believed they would be able to survive financially for up to four months if they lost their job.

However, just over a quarter (26 per cent) said they would only be able to last a month or less financially if they faced this situation.

“With the Bank of England making its first interest rate increase in a decade, UK households may well be worried about what it means to their budgets,” said Lisa Hardstaff of Equifax.

“It may not sound like a big rise, but even an additional small amount added to an already tight household budget can add financial pressure.”

The findings also highlight the added financial pressure on parents during the school year. According to the research, parents in the South East spend on average £1,517.40 per school year per child on extracurricular activities, uniform, wrap-around care, school lunches and technology compared with the national average of £1,400.

With government cuts in education funding, many schools have a school voluntary fund which can cost the parents surveyed on average an additional £13 per term.

Extracurricular activities add up to £72.47 while wrap-around care costs £140.18 per term. With school lunches costing £124.08 a term per child, it’s easy to see how the costs soon mount up.

“Our survey shows that while 66 per cent of families in the South East appear to be managing their current budgets, others are struggling to pay their credit card debt, leaving them vulnerable to additional charges,” added Lisa Hardstaff.

“As we enter the Christmas period, which traditionally can add additional pressure to already financially stretched families, we urge them to use a budget planner so they can see all their financial commitments and help to prioritise payments.”

The Equifax budget planner can be downloaded from


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