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UK Mothers Sacrificing Food To Feed Children

by Jim ONeil on February 18, 2012

in Debt

In a very unfortunate development, one in five UK mothers is reportedly skipping meals so her children do not go hungry. Netmums discovered this in its recent study, which indicates that as many as 70 percent of UK families are facing a financial crisis.

A decrease in income or additional price increases for basic items could push these families over the edge into financial ruin. It is a sad state of affairs and something that must be addressed immediately.

The parenting website studied 2,000 UK mothers and found that one-quarter of their families survive by using credit cards. An eye-popping one in 20 uses payday loans regularly just to cover living expenses. Nearly one-half of the families polled admitted to selling or pawning belongings to get money for daily needs.

One in 100 copped to dealing with a loan shark just to remain afloat during these difficult economic times.

The desperate financial situation that many families are facing takes its toll in many ways. Fifteen percent of those studied claimed to be “desperate” due to the debts they had accumulated. In addition to falling into debt, one in six parents participating in the survey was under treatment for a stress-related illness with financial causes.

Three percent of parents surveyed felt that they could not cope with the pressure and claimed they were “suicidal.” They saw no way to improve their finances, despite the many borrowing options and ways to consolidate their debt.

According to this study, nearly two-thirds of UK families are bringing in less net income than they did this time last year. The majority of those polled, 61 percent, said they were short on cash each week. Two in five claimed to need only an extra £20 each week to make ends meet.

One-third need £50 per week and one in ten need £100 more each week.

In the scheme of things, this is not an outrageous amount of money and payday loans are able to cover this shortfall. However, without additional income to make up for the shortage week after week, consumers dig themselves into debt because they cannot repay the loans.

They roll the balance from one term to the next, increasing the amount of interest and fees they owe. This repeated borrowing is enough to put any family into dire straits.

One mother informed Netmums that if it came down to being able to feed either her children or herself, she would feed the children. Sally Russell, founder of the parenting website, said it was “shocking” that seven in ten UK families are living on the financial edge.

She commented that mothers should not be sacrificing meals just to feed their children.

Ms. Russell also stated that mothers should not be resorting to loan sharks in this day and age. Though no credit check loans from reputable lenders offer a short-term financial solution, these should only be used in emergencies. Otherwise, the likely result is a never-ending cycle of using borrowed money to cover living expenses.

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