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Mums And Dads 'Feel The Pinch' Of Extra Curricular Activities

Sep 6, 2007
Parents may find pressure on their finances is being compounded due to the cost of funding their child's extra curricular activities, new figures indicate.

Research carried out by Alliance & Leicester suggests that as schoolchildren across Britain return to the classroom for the start of the new term, their mothers and fathers could well find that their ability to manage their money is squeezed due to the expenses of various out of hours pursuits such as music and sport.

According to the financial services firm, the love of the sport could see football-mad children pressurising their parents' capacity to handle areas of their finances such as mortgages, utility bills and personal loans. Those looking to get the latest kit for their soccer-loving offspring could be set back by up to 115 pounds. Meanwhile, with 40 pounds the average cost of joining an after-school football team, as well as transport expenses for going to and from training and matches, consumers may well "soon see the bills mounting up". Overall, the sport was said be costing parents throughout the country 314 million pounds every year.

The study also showed that children looking for a career in classical music could well be putting financial strain on their loved ones. A violin starter pack costs some 79 pounds, while this expense rises to 199 pounds for a beginner's clarinet set. In addition tuition classes are revealed to stand at 20 pounds an hour. Meanwhile, the parents of budding Kylie Minogues and Robbie Williams could be set to pay up to 35 pounds per hour for a private singing lesson, as music lessons set the nation back a total of 3 billion pounds.

Ross Dalzell, manager for savings for Alliance & Leicester, said: "of course, every parent wants their child to be able to take part in extra-curricular activities on offer inside and outside of school and to support their every ambition. But costs will mount up on top of the price of compulsory uniforms, school dinners and school trips. Parents will feel the pinch if they have not made financial provision for their child's extra-curricular activities; especially if they have more than one child at school, or if their child takes part in more than one activity."

Mr Dalzell suggested that by regularly saving money consumers "can easily build up to eliminate stress and absorb these additional costs". He added that Britons may also wish to use money received from a payrise or bonus as a way of easing such pressure on their finances.

For those struggling to supplement the various costs of their child's activities, a low-rate personal loan may well be an advisable option. In July, research conducted by the Alliance Trust Research Centre showed that a growing number of British families "continue to borrow big and spend bigger" despite increasing pressure being placed on them by rising utility bills and a slow in real earnings growth. Commenting on the study, Shona Dobbie, head of the firm, said: "Far from never having it so good, we've seldom had it so bad, with homes squeezed by lower earnings growth, higher mortgage repayments and chronic council taxes, to name just a handful of issues."
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop, where our visitors have access to all types of finance from payday loans and unsecured tenant loans, to self employed loans for homeowners.
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