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Families encouraged to have emergency funds

Have you got some extra savings in the bank for emergencies?

 

The advice from a leading charity is that we should all think about having a fund available to us.

StepChange Debt Charity is urging every household to build up at least £1,000 for emergencies.

It wants the Government to help people out and build “rainy days” savings pots into workplace pensions.

The charity says 27 per cent of all households have less than one month’s savings put by, rising to 42 per cent of people earning less than £15,000 per year.

It believes that current Government savings policies have failed to address the particular needs of lower income households.

Mike O’Connor, chief executive of StepChange, said: “Encouraging more saving, especially by people on low income, is vital.

“If they are to have a financial buffer to cope with financial shocks and avoid the slide into problem debt.”

Putting aside that small amount of cash can be really hard for families.

Many are already struggling with the cost of living, household bills and high childcare costs.

Placing an extra £20-£50 in a pot each month or week can be hard for people to find.

There are surprising costs that often pop up for families – such as a broken down car or a school trip.

According to a survey commissioned by teaching union NASUWT, over half of school trips have become unaffordable for many parents.

Over a third of the 1,000 questioned said that the cost of sending children on educational visits is too expensive.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “Despite the encouraging economic recovery, the number of people at risk of falling into serious financial difficulty continues to be a worry.

“We need to do more as a society to break the British taboo about talking about money and money problems, so that people seek advice earlier.”

There are a few small steps families can take when they begin to look at ways to cut down their spending.

Switching to cheaper energy suppliers and cutting back on food waste within the home could start the process of generating a savings pot.

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