£36,800 needed for happy families?

Family income

Family incomeA generation of future families in the making could have to go without essentials due to the rising expenses associated with everyday living in the modern age.

This is view of Chris Johnes, Oxfam's director of UK poverty, after he saw the latest research conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

It revealed that working families with children across the UK are being dealt a "damaging triple financial blow" of increased childcare costs, more expensive transport and cuts to tax credits.

What the research says…

This is leaving many with the "monumental" task of trying to earn enough to get by. For example, the report calculates that a couple with two children have to earn £36,800 for an acceptable standard of living - up by almost a third since 2008.

Under a so-called minimum income standard worked out by the foundation, single people need to earn £16,400 a year, a lone parent with one child £23,900 and pensioner couples £231 a week.

At present, under a quarter of the UK population live below the standard - some three million more than in 2008.

"This year's research shows that a dangerous cocktail of service cuts and stagnating incomes are being keenly felt by parents," said Julia Unwin,chief executive of the JRF.

"Many working people face the risk of sliding into poverty. It illustrates how anti-poverty measures are needed to address not just people's incomes but also the costs that they face."

Find ways to earn extra money

Boosting your income through selling old or unwanted items is an effective way of combating growing household expenses. You can either do this online through websites such as eBay or at car boot sales and local markets.

If you find you have unused rooms in your house, why not turn it into a spare room and rent it out? Or rent any other unused assets in your home. By doing so you it will create a steady flow of income to help balance the books.

Also, have you ever considered working from home? Parents who do so are able to fit work hours around looking after their kids, which means waving goodbye to those excessive childcare costs. Here's some inspiration for top ways to make money at home.