The reality of being a modern day single parent

The chances are we all know someone who is a single parent and often hear of the struggles that come with the responsibility. Unfortunately families being split by divorce and other issues are becoming more heard of and often leave single parents in financial difficulty; with research suggesting that 1 in 4 of families in the UK are single parent families. Although being a single parent can be demanding both financially and physically, there are ways to work around it and people you can talk to for useful help and advice.

After looking at research conducted by debt advisors, PayPlan, it’s easy to see why so many single parent families feel a financial strain, with 1 in 10 families using a payday lender or foodbank to help make day to day life more comfortable and help to relieve the stress factor. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why so many families are in debt and why being a single parent can be so difficult. With the schools currently off for Easter and the long summer holidays just around the corner; it’s around these times that being a parent can be more costly, as we try our best to entertain the little ones.

You’d automatically think that day’s out for single parents would be considerably cheaper, with less adults attending, but I was shocked to discover this isn’t the case. Looking at the figures on the infographic below, it seems most attractions and travel operators favour a family of 2 adults and 2 children, over a family of 1 adult and 2 children. Looking at the research collated, you can see that for instance, the cost for 1 adult in a family of 4 containing 2 adults, for the Warner Brothers studio tour is £70 per adult; whereas for 1 adult visiting with 2 children, it would be £112, totalling a difference of £43.

Holidays abroad are expensive for any family, let alone a single parent. It’s hard to believe the difference in price for 2 paying adults with 2 children, compared to 1 paying adult with 2 children. Using the example below, a Mediterranean cruise from specific travel operators will cost just under £2,500 per paying adult for a family of 4, compared to just over £4,500 for 1 paying adult in a family of 3; meaning an astonishing difference of around £2,200.

This research really does put into perspective how hard it is for single parents and the financial burden it carries in everyday life. It really does show you how companies create offers for specific families and not those led by single parents. With this in mind it’s understandable why so many single parents turn to payday lenders and bank loans for help, but in the long run, this can just make the situation worse.

If you yourself or anybody you know is a single parent and struggle with the financial costs then there are people you can talk to help you out of any debt you may be in or just for some professional advice. It would be great to hear your thoughts on this subject or any advice you might have, by using #CostOfSingleParenting on social.

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