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Single parents 'struggle' to save

Single parents are "struggling" to put aside money for their children's futures, a new report has claimed.Just one in six single parents have made regular payments into a child's savings account, according to research commissioned by friendly society Engage Mutual.Only 17 per cent of single parents with children under 16, who were questioned in a YouGov survey, said that they had made regular deposits into such an account within the past six months.In contrast, 42 per cent of couples said that they had done so.The survey also revealed that single parents were able to put aside less money to help their children than married people, saving an average of £122 for each child under 16 in the past six months, compared to the £189 couples saved.Lone parents also said that they found it difficult to give their offspring pocket money, with 45 per cent of those with children aged under 25 having given them a regular allowance of around £27.30 a month over the last six months.Fifty per cent of couples said that they had given their children an average of £36.50 a month over the same period.Nonetheless, researchers found that those bringing up a child alone were just as likely to put money aside to fund their child's education as their married counterparts.Some 17 per cent of single parents said they had either helped fund their offspring's studies or paid back their student loan, contributing an average of £2,929 compared to 16 per cent of married couples who provided £2,366.Karl Elliot, a spokesman for Engage Mutual's financial campaign 3GB, said: "Rising childcare and education costs, along with increases in the cost of living, mean that today's parents are feeling growing financial pressures in bringing up children.""For lone parents, living on a single income, these pressures may be especially hard to deal with," he added.The results of the survey reflect research previously carried out by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) back in September 2002, when the thinktank reported that 67 per cent of single parents had no savings.

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