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Parents feeling the pinch

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26/09/2008

British parents are going into debt and making significant personal sacrifices because they don’t want their children to miss out, according to National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

Nearly a third of British parents are increasing their overdrafts and more than a quarter are taking out a loan or using their credit cards to fund their children, suggesting that many are willing to risk their financial security to provide for their offspring.

For many, the pressure to pay comes from not wanting their children to miss out on the best opportunities, be it cultural trips, sports and music lessons, extra tuition and so on, although for some it is simply because they cannot resist their kids’ demands.

Some parents are so determined to provide the best opportunities for their children that they make significant personal sacrifices to do so, including spending less time with their family. More than half of parents work extra hours to fund their children, while a quarter have taken on a second job to find the money.

Parents make other sacrifices too, with 76% cutting down on socialising, a similar percentage spending less on clothes, nearly two-thirds paying less for holidays and over a third cancelling their gym memberships.

Tim Mack, senior savings spokesperson for NS&I, said: “It is only natural that British parents should want to put their children first and make sure that they have the best opportunities available, but this is having a significant impact on their wallets.

“Parents and families need to plan their household finances carefully, trying not to dip into their overdrafts or go into debt, but instead thinking about which outgoings are essential. This should help parents resist children’s demands for things that are just nice to have.”

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