Parents expect to be plunged into debt as a result of the expense of having children at home during the school holidays, with the average parent going £126.95 into the red, according to new research by Morrisons.
A third of parents, (35%), are likely to find themselves in debt – 8% between £250 and £500. Almost one in five parents, (18%), are dreading the holidays due to money pressures, with over half, (53%), more concerned about the financial impact of the break than they were last summer.
The study was conducted among more than 1,600 members of the Netmums community, and found that parents are turning to desperate measures to cope with the financial toll of the holidays.
Parents are predicting spending an average of £31.59 per child per week extra over the course of the summer holidays on food, entertainment, childcare and days out. In order to help cover these additional expenses, almost a fifth of parents, (17%), will resort to selling or pawning possessions, with 15% borrowing on overdrafts or credit cards and 12% borrowing from friends or family.
Over half of parents, (53%), are also planning to take on additional work for the summer, with the average parent working an extra 4.9 hours per week, and 7% due to work over 15 additional hours per week.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of Netmums, said: “It’s an extremely worrying time for parents, who are already feeling the pressure of the economic climate and are faced with the issue of having to fork out for meals and additional childcare which would normally be fulfilled by the school during term time. It’s of particular concern that getting into debt – or worse, defaulting on household bills – are measures being considered as options by worried families.”