Family spending hits £459 a week, forcing mums back to work

28 November 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
As the cost of living continues to rise and the average weekly family spend hits £459, more and more families are reliant on two salaries, putting the family at financial risk and forcing 4.4 million mums back to work.

Research from Scottish Widows has revealed that the cost of running a home requires 47 per cent of households to rely on more than one income in order to live comfortably, forcing mums to return to employment.

And, according to Scottish Widows, the reliance on two incomes means that households are putting themselves at risk of being unable to survive financially if one of the bread-winners becomes unable to work as a result of critical illness, death, disability or an accident.

Commenting, protection market director at Scottish Widows, Richard Jones, said: "The reliance on two incomes is the only way to maintain a decent standard of living for many families and with the rising cost of living this isn't likely to ease off any time soon. If something should affect the health of either earner that prevents them from working then there may not be enough money to run the home."

The news that families are reliant on two incomes is revealed amid the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, which show that the average weekly family spend for 2007 was £459.

According to the statistics, the main culprits for pushing up family spending were transport and gas and electricity costs, which, considering the statistics are from 2007, is expected to remain the same for 2008 after the recent oil inflation and consequent price hikes.

And, as costs soar, so has household debt, particularly for households with children. According to Scottish Widows, the average household with dependant children has £88,500 outstanding on their mortgage, compared to an average of £77,500 for childless homeowners.

In addition, households with children have short term debts of £9,359 compared to £7,223 for those with no dependant children. Mr Jones comments: "For many households, living with debt has become an acceptable situation. While the country was enjoying economic boom this was sustainable but now everyone has to tighten their belts more than ever.

"People need to make sure they protect themselves financially so if they do get into difficulties they have the vital back up in place to look after their families and loved ones."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd