Parents in the UK have been borrowing from their children’s savings accounts to tide them over until pay day. Mums and dads have taken at least £55.6m in total as they struggle to meet bills and the cost of living.
The team at www.MyFavouriteVoucherCodes.co.uk undertook a study into the personal finances of UK-based parents, revealing just how much they have borrowed from their children’s savings accounts in the past year. It found parents borrowed on average £50 a month.
They also found that four fifths of UK parents have struggled to financially get through at least one month in the past year. Seven per cent said they had to resort to borrowing money from their children’s savings account.
The top reasons for having dipped into a child’s savings account
- Needed a little money for everyday essentials – 75 per cent
- To avoid going into an overdraft and facing charges – 46 per cent
- To help cover an unexpected bill – 30 per cent
- To ensure there was money available if needed – 28 per cent
- To help pay for treats for the children – 12 per cent
Almost all parents (90 per cent) stated they paid the money back into their child’s savings account on their next pay day.
With roughly 19.4 million families in the UK (according to the Office of National Statistics), this means that approximately 1,113,560 families dipped into a child’s savings account, to the tune of £55,678,000 borrowed.
It was found that 82 per cent of UK adults have struggled at least once in the year to make it through the month with enough money.
Of those, 51 per cent have dipped into overdrafts and savings accounts to get by, while a further 16 per cent have borrowed money from friends and family and 7 per cent even admit they’ve dipped into their children’s savings accounts.
The jump in the cost of living is putting household budgets under pressure, with some having to choose between heating and eating.
Here are some resources available if you need help.
Citizens Advice is an independent charity offering free, confidential support with legal, consumer, housing, debt and other problems. Its website details what help is available and where your nearest bureau is, for face-to-face advice.
Helpline: 0800 144 8848 (open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
The Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust supports a national network of more than 1,200 food banks, providing emergency food for free to those who need it. You can use its website to locate support wherever you live.
Helpline: 0808 208 2138 (open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
Turn2us is a national charity providing practical support to people who are struggling financially. Its website includes a benefits calculator and details of schemes and grants in your area, including for energy and water bills.
Helpline: 0808 802 2000 (open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
Julian House, Managing Director of www.MyFavouriteVoucherCodes.co.uk, said: :“In the past few months alone we’ve seen costs rise across the board, from fuel and household utilities, right through to food. Many families within the UK are struggling to get by, having to choose between paying a bill or putting food on the table.
“No family should be left in this position. Thankfully many children have no need for the money in their savings account right away, so it allows parents to dip into these accounts when needed, and we have no doubt that a lot of thought goes into doing that beforehand and there is likely to be a lot of guilt, possibly even shame, in doing so.
“The real shame is that parents are being made to make these decisions. While costs continue to rise, people should naturally look to make savings wherever they can.”