Single Parents Struggling To Save

Posted in: Research Last updated: 06 Apr 2007

Single parents are struggling to save for their children’s future – just one in six have made regular payments into a child’s savings account1 – according to new research by Engage Mutual.

With the number of single parent families on the rise2, and despite last week’s budget bringing increased Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit in a bid to reduce childhood poverty3, the research reveals that single parents are less likely to save for their child’s future as married parents. Just one in six (17%) single Mums and Dads with children under 16 made regular payments into a child’s savings account in the last six months1, compared to 42% of couples.

Furthermore, of those who are able to save, single parents are putting aside significantly less than their married counterparts, saving an average of £122 per child under 16 in the last six months, compared to those married (or living as married) who saved £189 for each of their children.

As part of its 3GB campaign4, examining how money impacts family relationships, Engage Mutual asked a representative sample of 795 parents with children under the age of 25 how they had helped their children financially in the last six months.

Tighter purse strings for lone parents

As well as finding it difficult to save for their children’s future, lone parents are less likely than couples are to give their children under 25 pocket money. 45% of single parents have given their children a regular allowance averaging £27.30 a month over the last six months, compared to 50% of married parents, or those living as married, who have given an average of £36.50 a month over the last six months.

Financing education

However, when it comes to financing their offspring’s education, single parents are leading by example. 17% of single parents have helped fund their children’s education or pay back their student loan, making an average contribution of £2,929 compared to 16% of married couples or couples living together who contributed £2,366.

Karl Elliott, 3GB Spokesperson for Engage Mutual Assurance, said:

“Rising childcare and education costs, along with increases in the cost of living, mean that today’s parents are feeling growing financial pressures in bringing up children. For lone parents, living on a single income, these pressures may be especially hard to deal with.

However, parents should not despair of saving for their children’s future. Tax exempt child savings plans and Child Trust Funds provide simple and affordable means to saving for children. By making small and regular payments into these accounts, parents can save towards the costs of their children’s education and first steps onto the property ladder”


1 In the six months to 25th January 2007

2 Office of National Statistics Focus on Families http://www.statistics.gov.uk

3 Guardian Unlimited 16th February 2007 http://society.guardian.co.uk

4 ‘3GB’ is Engage’s Three Generation Britain research index. Research was conducted by YouGov across a GB representative of 2,312 adults (including 795 parents with children under 25) in January 2006. The research explores the financial relationships of care between the generations and investigates shifts in traditional financial provision.


The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.