Two-fifths claim they will start a family without a secure job

Close to 4.6 million UK adults expect to start a family in the future but do not expect to hold a secure job when they do, according to research from …

Close to 4.6 million UK adults expect to start a family in the future but do not expect to hold a secure job when they do, according to research from Santander Insurance.

Two in five people (41 per cent) who believe they will become a parent in the coming years say it is unlikely they or their partner will have solid employment when they do, while 54 per cent think they will start a family before getting married. 

Unfortunately, 44 per cent claim it is unlikely they will be living in a home that is large enough to comfortably raise a child by the time they become a parent.

The survey, which questioned 2,002 people, found 55 per cent of individuals who hope to start a family in the coming years expect to do so before becoming a homeowner, while just less than half (48 per cent) said they probably will not have any household savings by the time they have a child. 

On top of this, 65 per cent still expect to have outstanding debts – not including a mortgage – and 83 per cent do not believe they will have started a private pension at that point.

Debt is a major factor for prospective parents in their decision to have a child. Many couples plan to have a baby at a specific point in their life but find that when they reach that time they are still lumbered with large amounts of debt. Getting on top of money has become a struggle, especially in these tough economic times, and sometimes people are forced to have a child when they do not feel financially prepared.

Santander also asked current parents if they had a secure job, were married or owned a home when they started a family and found that a higher proportion did in the majority of cases. Only a third (33 per cent) of parents were without solid employment when they had their first child and just 29 per cent did so unmarried. Two-thirds of existing mums and dads (55 per cent) did not own their home when they had their first child, while 37 per cent said they lived in a house that was too small to bring up their child.

However, 68 per cent of current parents did say they too were struggling with debt when they had their first child, revealing that this is a long-standing problem.

Having a baby is a costly venture for any couple and it is important they do all they can to reduce the amount of money they owe. Debt management is a good way of doing this and is definitely something prospective parents should consider as raising a child can end up putting them further in the red.

Richard Al-Dabbagh, head of marketing at Santander Insurance, said: "Parents are increasingly prioritising having a child over other aspects of life such as home ownership and marriage. The financial commitments involved with all of these things are significant and against a backdrop of squeezed incomes it's simply not possible for every family to tick every box. 

"However, having some form of financial contingency is vital. Parents spend around £540 per month raising a child on average, which is why having some kind of provision in place to support their children if anything should happen to them is so important."

By Amy White

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