Child benefit cuts + soaring childcare costs = stressed parent. Here’s how to cope!

woman stressed at work

woman stressed at workA nasty surprise will come through the letterbox of over one million households this week, as letters from HMRC land on doormats across the UK informing families that their Child Benefit will be cut.

Normally it’s not until December that you start to dread receiving letters – namely those horribly smug round-robin letters that are the curse of Christmas (see here for some fantastic/horrifying examples…)

But for many families, the sound of the letterbox flapping open and shut will inspire a feeling of dread all throughout October and November – as many families wait to hear how much Child Benefit they face losing.

If you live in a household where at least one member earns £50,000 or more, you will have your Child Benefit reduced or stopped. And the bad news doesn’t stop there — as the government needs to work out how much of your child benefit should be cut, as many as 500,000 parents will have to complete a self-assessment tax form.

If this describes your position, you can find out the full details of the Child Benefit cuts in our article here.

Is there even any point in having two wages coming in?

Childcare is hugely expensive, and many families are finding it’s hardly worth their while having two incomes coming in.

In fact research from The Resolution Foundation think tank reveals that in some cases, a low income couple paying for two children in childcare might be left just £4 a week better off with two incomes than they would be with one.

But even higher earners see their wages eaten away by childcare costs (especially as the government’s benefit cuts start to kick in).

For instance, researchers found that a family with two children and two earners bringing in a total of £44,440 could end up just £4,000 better off than a similar family earning £20,000 less.

However, thousands of families are missing out on thousands of pounds worth of help with their childcare costs.

There is help out there, but you don’t get it automatically – you have to get out and claim it. So make sure you don’t miss our article 3 ways to get help with childcare costs – it could save you literally thousands of pounds!

The cost of raising a child… £300 a month

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that parents spend more than £300 a month just keeping a child in essentials, according to a new study by Santander Insurance.

Simply covering the basics of food, clothes and transport quickly adds up (to an average of £3,700 a year, to be precise).

So, what can you do to offset the cost of the basics?

First, cut the cost of your supermarket essentials with our best buys on your weekly shop section. It’s updated every week, so check back to find out where the lowest prices are.

Second, have a look at our range of money articles. We’ve got heaps of tips, tricks and treats to help you save money, make money and manage money.

Third, to cut down on transport expenses, see how to save on motoring costs and how to get cheap family train tickets.

Simple. You can do all that in minutes, and still have time to write that Christmas round-robin letter…