UK’s ‘sandwich generation’ wracked with financial uncertainty
Data shows the realities for those juggling caring with responsibility for household bills.
The financial struggles for people who look after children and older relatives has increased throughout recent months.
Almost half of the sandwich generation have had to reduce the number of hours they work since lockdown began, to keep up their responsibilities to multiple family members.
The knock-on effect is that over a quarter (27%) are finding it difficult to manage or pay their household bills – compared to less than a fifth (18%) of the wider population.
Drastic measures taken
A staggering 48% of people have had to accept a reduced-hours package from their place of work, which has meant that their ability to pay bills and manage outgoings has taken an unprecedented hit.
The outlook for the coming weeks for this hard-working group shows that 28% of people feel less confident about their ability to pay household bills in the short term. This compares to 22% of households overall.
Anna McEntee, product director at comparethemarket.com, said:
“The crisis has taken its toll on households that have caring responsibilities for both children and elderly relatives.
“These households have had to change their working hours in order to meet their responsibilities as carers which is having a severe impact on their household finances, leaving many struggling to make ends meet.”
Savings and pensions hit
In response to reduced incomes and higher outgoings, many working, sandwich generation carers have had to take action.
Almost three in 10 (29%) have been forced to dip into their savings to help cover the shortfall, while a worrying 16% have had to resort to taking on more debt.
Over a tenth (12%) have even had to withdraw money from their pension pots to ease the cost burden.
Overall, around 38% of dual-generation carers have looked into saving money on bills and outgoings, with 17% smartly taking the opportunity to switch providers of utilities such as energy or broadband to get a cheaper deal.