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It’s amazing how far-reaching the impact sky-high costs of housing has had on Generation Y.
The fact that such a high portion of most people’s income is sacrificed for rent or a mortgage doesn’t only limit the amount you can spend on leisure. Research shows that it is actually making starting a family financially unviable for many people in their twenties and thirties, and young couples are thus effectively being priced out of having children.
And in post-Brexit Britain, the possibility that things could get a whole lot more difficult cannot be discounted. All we know for sure is that our financial futures are particularly uncertain, and many young families are likely to have it tough for the foreseeable future.
So how to ease the burden, and take some of the pressure off your shoulders as you look to carve out a stable financial future?
The savings account(s) trick
One of the more underrated means of accumulating a significant bank of savings is to have multiple accounts. You can even label them in your mind if you like, and have one account for a holiday fund, another for paying for your child’s education, another for a rainy day and so on. Even if you start by just putting £10 a month into each, it’s a good habit to get into, and the nice thing is that when the time comes to pay for these things, there is likely to be no added strain to your normal day-to-day budget.
One of the best ways to get your finances into shape without spending a penny is through debt consolidation. These serve the purpose of collating all your various expensive debts into one single, low-interest loan – which effectively makes your overall debt cheaper (and more convenient) to pay off. After all, we’ve all delved a bit too deep into using our credit cards from time to time. But rather than being stuck with APRs in excess of 20 per cent, it makes sense to condense it all into something more affordable.
One of the most prohibitive costs of all when it comes to having children is childcare. But there is a voucher scheme offered by most employers which can save you up to £1,000 a year per child. You can find out a bit more about them here, but essentially the key saving comes in whereby you are able to fund the cost of childcare from your pre-tax salary, which is a huge boost for working parents. Although bear in mind no new entrants will be able to enter after April 2018.
Yes, it’s a bit grim, and not something anyone likes to think about. But the truth is that around 3-4 in every 100 children will lose a parent before they complete their education. The importance of life insurance cannot be underscored enough. The last thing you would want if, heaven forbid, you were to fall terminally ill, would be the added pressure of leaving your family saddled with debt, mortgage or even just the day-to-day costs of everyday life with nothing to cover them. It’s the insurance you hope never has to pay out, but definitely one well worth considering.
Keep your kids entertained – for free!
Especially during holidays, it’s a challenge to keep your kids occupied, and often involves spending a lot of money in order to do so. But it need not be that way. For starters, there is an endless line of activities such as museums, galleries and even day music festivals which are absolutely free. What’s more, there are also many holiday sports schemes which offer coaching clinics for things like tennis, football and swimming which don’t cost a penny either.
A bit of savvy and a happy future
Although it is sometimes easier said than done, the best thing to focus on is living within your means, and to try and save wherever possible. These are daunting times financially for young adults, and there aren’t any immediate signs that things are going to get easier. But with a bit of savvy and discipline, you can still ensure that you and your family will enjoy a prosperous future – free of the financial burdens which, sadly, afflict so many people in this country.