Being a single parent is hard when there is only one wage coming into the house, or even worse a parent that can't work due to children commitments where there is no wage coming in and they are relying on Universal Credits. With the summer holidays coming up, I am panicking (along with many other parents in the UK) about the cost of the summer holidays coming up. It is a common knowledge that food banks are strained more throughout school holidays because the parents that rely on free school meals are struggling to find the money to feed their own kids in the school break. Luckily some areas, like ours runs a lunchtime meal service for parents that are struggling. A school will open at lunchtimes and parents go to meet other parents and get a cooked meal.
Days out for some parents are almost none existent, we are lucky because we can just about afford to have some days out and we often find free or really cheap things to do. But I can only afford to do this because my second income is from my blog. My wages from my day job pay the bills so we can survive but working on the blog means we can actually LIVE! It gives me a small extra income, but like all freelancers that work for themselves, the work isn't always regular and you can go for some weeks without work or income.
As you can see from the Infographic we have added here, 1 in 4 families come from a single parent family and 90% of those families have a mum as their parent and only 10% of them being men. But when you go out for the day, you can only ever get family tickets for 2 adults and 2 children. Companies like Virgin Trains offer a family ticket for £49.95 for 2 adults and 2 children, whereas if you travel as a single parent, you have to pay nearly £100 because you are not eligible for the family ticket. After a survey was conducted by Pay Plan it was discovered that a single parent will pay £2,904.95 more, compared to a two-parent family. It will be even more if a single parent takes their child on holiday because you always have to pay for a hotel room based on two adults staying there and then the children. You can get single parent rooms, but they are far and few between and they get snapped up as soon as they are available.
Times are tough at the moment, but they are harder for single parents, I work in retail on minimum wage, I love my job, but minimum wage really isn't a real wage to live on. We need something to be done so families stay out of food banks and can support themselves and their children.
Are you a single parent? If you have some tips, please leave them in the comments section of the blog below.