"My boys couldn't be loved more than they are if I was a millionaire"
Asda mum Alison lives in Maidstone, Kent and is a civil servant who left school with eight O-levels and left home at the age of 18.
However, it is unlikely that her two sons will be financially independent before they are in their 20s – particularly as her eldest son Bill wants to be an architect.
“As far as I know that will take seven years of training,” says Alison. "I’m burying my head in the sand about the cost of university for now. Every penny I earn is gone by the end of the month.
“I pay everything that I have to pay – rent, council tax, utilities, childcare – and then hope that I can feed my children and run the car on what’s left.”
Alison’s eldest son Bill is 13 and her youngest, George, is nine. Her husband Terry died seven years ago and so the family relies solely on Alison’s part-time salary.
She says: "I worry more about what the job market will be like for them. Who knows what will happen in 10 years time but the way things are going there will be fewer job opportunities.
“My biggest hope is that they’ll both be happy in whatever they do.”
To make ends meet Alison has had to cut out treats like takeaways which means she has to plan meals more than she used to.
Although her budget won’t stretch to a family holiday both boys will be going away on trips this summer with school and their cubs and scout groups.
“You can’t buy the thing every child needs – love,” says Alison. “My boys couldn’t be loved any more than they are if I was a millionaire…but I do think it would be lovely to be able to take them on a nice sunny holiday!”