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How well can your family cope with the financial crisis?
Families across the UK are struggling to pay the bills amid the economic downturn, but some are better able to cope than others.
by Michelle McGagh on Jun 28, 2012 at 09:37
If you are young, northern or female then bad luck, you’re probably finding life difficult at the moment and are struggling financially. But if you are retired then you may never have had it so good.
A report by Scottish Widows' Centre for the Modern Family, Family Resilience, has looked at who is struggling most in the current economic climate and details five key ‘pillars of resilience’ that make Britons’ lives better.
The bad news is that the majority of British families are under pressure. Of the 1,500 people surveyed, 78% said they are finding family life harder than they were a decade ago. Just 7% of people are living comfortably, while 39% are getting by and 21% are finding it difficult to cope.
‘Financial worries are top of the list of concerns for families today, with almost half saying that they are one of the biggest challenges their family faces. Half of families now have less cash left over at the end of the month and unemployment looms large – with 8% of people having lost their job and a further 17% saying that one or more members of the family have become unemployed within the past 12 months,’ the report said.
Impact on the young
Unsurprisingly, finances are the top concern for all families, but young people aged between 18 and 34 are being hit disproportionately hard. Over half, 53%, in this age group have financial problems, 25% have employment issues and 16% have housing problems.
They are also more likely to be pushed towards payday loans, fail to pay household bills and mortgages, and 13% have even skipped a meal to make sure their family eat well.
To try to manage their finances, 35% of people of all ages have dipped into their savings, 19% have borrowed money from family, and 13% are relying on credit cards to fund their essential living costs.
‘The research found a widening gap between those who were coping reasonably well in the current climate, and those who were struggling – and the big dividing line was age,' the report noted.
‘The challenge for government and financial services companies is how to communicate with this generation, and how to change their attitude to saving.’
It’s nothing new that women are the losers when it comes to finances; they tend to have smaller pension pots despite living longer and earn less on average despite laws on gender equality. But it also seems that women are bearing the brunt of the financial concerns.
The research showed women are feeling less in control, less resilient and cited financial problems as causing them more worry than men.
They are more likely than men to say that financial challenges are the biggest problem they face. More women than men say they have less cash left over at the end of the month, 54% compared with 45% of men.
More about this:
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