Asda Mumdex reveals fears about stalling opportunities for kids and the cost of parenting for longer
Asda Mums say social progress is faltering but having a happy family matters most
- Monthly tracking figure shows mums’ overall economic confidence slips down the pessimism scale to net-16 per cent
- Mums’ fear that for the first time in generations, their kids cannot look forward to a better quality of life than their own
- Asda Mums worry about the cost of parenting for longer, with half of mums already supporting their children financially for longer than their parents had to support them
- Kids remain mums’ top priority, spending nearly double on their children than what they put away in savings
- Mums, however, remain positive about role of the family – less money means more time spent together
Today, Monday 21st May 2012, Asda’s second Mumdex economy report reveals that tough times remain, with Asda Mums feeling more gloomy about the future than they were last quarter. The overall Mumdex optimism score falls from net -8 per cent to net -16 per cent1.
The substantive research, made up of a panel of 4,000 mums, shows that fears over the balancing the books are affecting not just mums’ concerns for the family budget in the here and now, but real threats to their kids’ futures and their family’s quality of life.
Mums’ gloom is driven by a significant increase in their pessimism about the future of their family’s quality of life, down from net 23 per cent optimism in February, to net 6 per cent this quarter and a fall in optimism about their household finances, down from net 6 per cent in February to net -6 per cent. While finances remain a very real concern – the Asda Income Tracker shows families are substantially worse off now than a year ago – Asda Mums’ biggest worry is, by far, the stalling number of opportunities available to their kids.
Social progress, the idea that each successive generation will have more opportunities than the last, is seen to be faltering. Over a third of mums believe their kids have fewer job and educational opportunities than they did when they were growing up.
Asda Mums fear that one of the fundamental aspirations they have for their children – getting a job which satisfies them – is becoming unobtainable, with 90 per cent stating they are worried about the kind of job prospects their kids will have. Half of Asda Mums support government apprenticeships as a way to reduce the level of youth unemployment.
Stalling opportunities for the young are also having a direct impact on Asda Mums’ role as a parent. Half of mums say that they are already or will be supporting their children financially for longer than their parents had to support them. Parenting for longer is also having repercussions for Asda Mums’ own financial circumstances and retirement plans.
The cost of raising children remains mums’ top challenge of parenting – while they feel powerless to improve job opportunities and education, 68 per cent of Asda Mums are protecting the money they have to spend on their children. Asda has seen this replicated in its stores, with sales of kids treats like magazines and small toys up 11pc year on year.
Despite the gloom around their children’s futures, Asda Mums remain optimistic about the role of the family, with one in four mums saying that having less money has reminded them that spending time with their family gives them more pleasure than spending money on activities or objects.
Judith McKenna, chief operating office at Asda said:
“What this quarter’s Mumdex makes clear is that it’s tough and getting tougher. Mums have one eye on balancing the day-to-day, and the other firmly on the future and what it holds for their kids.
“While economists and politicians are talking about a double dip recession and austerity measures, what concerns mums most are the real long-term consequences for their kids.
“They can handle the here and now, but they’re less sure about the impact for their families in the years ahead.”