Parents growing more concerned about family finances

Parents in the UK are growing increasingly concerned about their family's finances, according to new research from Barclays.

The report found m…

Parents in the UK are growing increasingly concerned about their family's finances, according to new research from Barclays.

The report found more than 10.5 million (82 per cent) people with children aged 18 or under are anxious about their outgoings over the next 12 months.

However, the bank states nearly three-quarters of these individuals (71 per cent) could be making the most of the business skills they already have in order to improve their household money management.

Indeed, the Barclays Your Bank report states too many people who do not currently feel in control of their income and expenditure continue to ignore or put off the practicalities of financial management, with nearly a fifth (18 per cent) admitting they avoid it as they do not enjoy it.

Meanwhile, 14 per cent put the blame on trying to avoid family arguments and a further 14 per cent claim it is so complicated that they do not know where to begin.

Barclays is now urging the public to face their fears now and want them to put their wealth of business knowledge to the test in order to get their finances back on track at home and it would like them to share their ideas on how banks can help.

Indeed, the report comes as the institution launches a new commitment to listen further to customers and make changes based on their feedback on how Barclays can help them manage their finances more effectively.

Professor Robert Blackburn, Kingston University Small Business Research Centre, said: "The ever increasing pressure on family finances – rising costs and widening breadth of expenditures – mean that a more systematic approach to managing our money may be necessary. Family financials can benefit from a more considered ‘business' approach, with parents putting their work skills to the test, creating a happier and more enriching family home."

Financial education from a young age is encouraged by Barclays and the research supports the need for parents to involve their children. Worryingly, only nine per cent of parents feel their kids have a good knowledge of their household family finances, meaning they may miss out on important skills that would be useful for future money management. 

Barclays Money Skills provides an education programme, which includes managing a budget, calculating percentages and understanding how lending works for 11-19 year olds.

Kingston University laid out some helpful pieces of advice for families under pressure, the first of which is to find time for the whole family to sit down and discuss what is important for the year ahead. This should involve a discussion of their goals and ambitions to ensure a happy balance.

It advises households to track their main outgoings for the next month and review how this matches with income. Shopping around for the best deals on monthly outgoings such as food and utility bills could also free up more money for the family to make effective use of.

With budgets being constrained in the UK it is really important for people to implement financial management at home to ensure there is enough money to achieve everything that needs doing.

By Amy White

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