Are you putting your credit cards before your kids?
Money difficulties are having a serious effect on many children.
A new survey from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers suggests that British children are slipping into poverty, with their health and education suffering as a result.
The economic downturn is putting pressure on jobs, and inflation is affecting the spending power of our incomes. Teachers are finding that more and more children are doing without basic essentials.
Teachers and lecturers mentioned various instances of child hardship and poverty that they said had risen since the start of the recession. Instances included children without underwear, children with injured toes due to too-small footwear and children often going days without food.
Even in more affluent areas, the take-up rates for school trips and activities are dropping as parents struggle to balance their books.
Teachers polled blamed a jump in unemployment and redundancy, a rise in the costs of food and utilities, the recession in general, as well as the lack of affordable childcare.
Going without food for three days
All of these pressures felt in many homes across the country highlight the need for accurate budgeting. If your children are going without food for three days at a time (as one tutor cited in the survey suggested) then there has been a significant failure to cover basic costs.
In the past, when credit was more readily available, it was not unusual for parents to borrow heavily in order to help fund a child’s education. It seems when the recession bites, the children are often the first to suffer.
The teachers’ survey also found that children, who were not suffering physically through lack of the basics, were often suffering psychologically, with 52% of teachers believing children’s mental health was being affected by their parents’ money issues.
If you are prioritising paying credit debts over feeding your kids, you need to contact the CCCS as soon as you can. Creditors don’t want people to starve!
The CCCS counsels hundreds of people everyday who are told that all they can pay towards their creditors is a £1 token payment. It’s often the case that these people counselled are in deficit budget. The most important thing in these cases is to prioritise keeping a roof over their head, the heat on and everyone in the household well fed.
£200,000 a child
With the average cost of raising a child over £200,000, it’s hard to make ends meet when you’re suddenly made redundant or your place of work ends the overtime you’ve been doing for the last five years.
In these situations it’s important to put together an emergency budget, one that covers all the family’s essential costs and outgoings. Often this may not allow for luxuries and almost certainly means that cutbacks will need to be made in some areas.
An emergency budget should make sure that all your main costs are covered but doesn’t include any credit card, store card or personal loan repayments.
An arrangement will need to be made with your creditors at this time and you’d be advised to seek debt advice from CCCS to see what options are available to you.
People worry about their credit rating, but we think you’ll agree that your credit worthiness is irrelevant in the face of a child’s health and well-being. CCCS also have a Welfare Benefits team that will check you are receiving every benefit you’re entitled to in the case of severe hardship or sudden distress.
Our online debt help will assist you in putting a budget together that ensures nobody in your house will suffer.
It isn’t often easy admitting that you’re struggling, but taking the time to use Debt Remedy may provide a solution you didn’t know existed.