Half of households with children struggling to pay bills

2nd August 2022

Latest figures fromcomparethemarket.com’s Household Financial Confidence Tracker, has found that nearly half (46%) of households with children at home, the equivalent of 3.8 million families, struggled to pay their bills over the last month, reflecting the worsening conditions for millions of families across the UK as the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

Financial anxiety is highest amongst households with children, as more than two-fifths (42%) feel stressed regularly about their finances compared to a quarter (25%) without children. Almost two-thirds (62%) of families with children feel more pessimistic about their finances compared to this time last year.

The research also found that some households, particularly those with children at home, are having to take on additional debt or borrowing to afford everyday bills. More than a third (35%) of households with children believe they are likely to take on additional debt to afford bills – compared to 16% of those without children at home.

Many households are cutting back on spending in response to rising prices. Almost two-thirds (61%) of families with children are cutting back on eating out, whilst others are spending less on clothes (57%) and holidays (53%). At a time when the summer holidays are beginning for children of school age, comparethemarket.com’s Household Financial Confidence tracker shows many parents are also having to cut back on spending time at the cinema, theatre or other events (46%). Over half (57%) are rationing energy usage and, concerningly, over a third of households (38%) have cutback on food over the last few months.

Alex Hasty, Director at comparethemarket.com said “Rising costs are a concern for millions of households across the UK, with many families with children at home struggling to afford their bills. The significant increase in prices that households are facing could push some to take on additional debt to meet these rising costs.”

“Money anxiety is a serious issue that is weighing on more and more UK households – during these difficult times, it is crucial people engage with all aspects of their finances and look for savings wherever possible.”