Young women 'filled with dread' at worsening cost of living crisis

The EADT Your Money Matters logo. Inset: Tara Spence and Maureen Reynel

A new survey conducted by the Young Women's Trust has revealed the difficulties young women are facing as they come out of the pandemic and into the cost of living crisis. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/Sarah Lucy Brown

The difficulties young women in the East of England are facing as they come out of the pandemic and into the cost of living crisis have been revealed.  

The Young Women's Trust poll has found that young women aged 18 to 30 are more likely than young men in the same age category to be struggling with the cost of living and presented evidence of a widening financial divide between young women and young men.

In the East of England, just under half (49%) of young women described their current financial situation as 'not that comfortable' or 'not at all comfortable' and 38% reported that their financial situation had worsened over the last 12 months.

71% of young women said the cost of living had made things financially difficult for them and 54% agreed it was a 'real struggle' to make their cash last until the end of the month.

48% of young women reported they are 'filled with dread' when they think about their household finances, with 17% saying they have been unable to afford food or essential supplies in the last 12 months.

27% agreed that sometimes they have to choose between food and heating and 11% have fallen behind on rent or bills in the last 12 months.

Chief executive of family support charity Home-Start in Suffolk Tara Spence said: "Despite a range of equality legislation designed to level the playing field, the reality is that the lack of accessible and low cost childcare, flexible working across sectors and minimum wage is not in line with inflation meaning many young families find it impossible to escape low paid roles and access the work place."

Tara Spence

Tara Spence is the chief executive of family support charity Home-Start in Suffolk. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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Ms Spence added: "At Home-Start, many families tell us how difficult it is to access low cost childcare and in many cases families that pay for childcare to allow them to work, only just break even.

"However, what we see time and time again is the strong role that confidence, aspiration and self-esteem play in helping families to develop a sustainable life."

Maureen Reynel MBE, founder of FIND foodbank in Ipswich

Maureen Reynel MBE is the founder of the Families in Need (FIND) foodbank in Ipswich. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Founder of the Families in Need foodbank in Ipswich Maureen Reynel MBE said: "At Ipswich FIND, agents refer people to us and the food parcels are sent out from there.

"Nobody will go hungry if we know about it - I would encourage these people to seek help."