Parents ”worried all the time” about children’s financial future, claims survey

More than a third of parents are in a state of panic about family finances, reveals a new survey.

Nearly nine out of 10 parents (88%) feel anxious when making purchases – including ”essentials” – claims the survey of 1,000 people by free parents shopping club KidStart.

This anxiety has hit the middle classes particularly hard because of recent economic changes, including the child benefit cap, according to Clare Scott Dryden at KidStart.. Recent reports have suggested that middle earners, contributing to taxes while facing a loss of income, could be £10,000 worse off per year.

“And in addition to family finance pressures, the changes are affecting families emotionally,” said Scott Dryden.

She warned symptoms of middle-earner anxiety – stress, guilt and panic, particularly about how the financial situation will affect their children’s futures – were overwhelming parents.

In a bid to alleviate parents’ stress, and help make savings for their children’s future, KidStart has set up the ‘Save a million for UK kids’ campaign’.

The campaign encourages parents to share ways to save money in an online community – ideas are shared via the website.

The campaign is being championed by a panel of leading experts from parenting groups, financial industries, retailers and children’s charity Barnardo’s.
Child behaviour expert Eileen Hayes said: ”There is a significant psychological cost of this anxiety.   The number of children suffering in one form or another is already at an all-time high, so we don’t want the financial pressures that parents are feeling to be passed on and cause any more anxiety to their children.  This sort of stress can cause family breakdown.

”Often families suffer in silence when things get hard but that is the worst thing to do. KidStart’s campaign offers  a way for families to share their discomfort and to realize that other families are in the same situations.

”Sharing experiences makes the process easier to bear as well as focusing on the positive – a way to share money saving ideas.”

Ideas have included:

  • Playing games with your kids when doing the weekly shop – if your child can find five items from the shopping list ‘on offer’ or cheaper, then what you save goes into your child’s ‘piggy bank’.
  • Get a free monitor from your electricity supplier to show your household usage. Make sure nothing is left on standby and check it before you go to bed
  • KidStart is a shopping club, launched in 2008,  which is free to join and works by partnering with retailers, allowing parents to save when they shop, as a percentage of what they spend goes directly into their child’s bank account or trust fund.

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