Single parent’s guide to saving launched

Single parents looking to save money online after the Christmas period are being offered a guide to where to find the best bargains by Gingerbread and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Single parents looking to save money online after the Christmas period are being offered a guide to where to find the best bargains by Gingerbread and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Gingerbread says it is expecting calls to its helpline to peak this New Year as single parents start to face post-Christmas bills and the impact of government cuts which the organisation says hit them disproportionately.   “After a year of rising food and fuel prices many are down to the bone and want ways to protect their families from the recession’s worst effects,” it states.

Getting connected – the single parent’s guide to getting the most out of the internet – includes tips on everything from where to find the best bargains, to using online banking to pay the bills. It’s the result of a partnership between RBS and Gingerbread which started in 2009 as part of the bank’s MoneySense financial education programme.

Gingerbread Chief Executive Fiona Weir said: “Calls to our helpline will surge this New Year as worried single parents struggle to cope with January’s bills.  This month’s VAT rise will make it tougher still, with families estimated to lose hundreds of pounds a year as result of the hike.  We have developed the Getting Connected guide so that more single parents can use the internet to try to stay on top of their finances and save wherever they can.  The full guide is packed with enough advice to turn even a complete novice into a savvy surfer.”

Money worries account for around half of all the problems raised in calls to Gingerbread’s free Single Parent Helpline (0808 802 0925).

Gingerbread’s top five tips for getting connected are:

– If you don’t have a computer at home, head down to your library, where it’s often available for free
– Do your weekly shop online from most supermarkets – you’ll find all the special offers (and avoid impulse buys!) – Fancy a good read without splashing out?  Sites like www.readitswapit.co.uk are a great way to treat yourself for free
– If you want to expand your mind without the tuition fees, www.bbc.co.uk/learning is packed with short online courses
– Create a simple budget planner to stick to on sites like rbsmoneysense.co.uk

RBS Community Investment Manager, Jennifer Coleman said:  “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Gingerbread, with new evidence showing that those who live in the poorest homes are two-and-a-half times more likely not to have home internet than those who live in the wealthiest homes . We hope this guide will help encourage single parents to gain more access and confidence to use the internet. Our own RBS MoneySense website is a perfect example of a website parents can start to access online to help them budget, track, save and manage their money in the New Year. The Gingerbread website now also features video top tips from single parents which are great for other single parents to gain inspiration.”

Find the guide, and a great new online film, at www.gingerbread.org.uk





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