Victoria B on 22 October 2020
Q. Is Child Benefit enough and what you do spend it on?

Children are expensive. And while I'd not want to have kids just to access money, many in low incomes have no choice but to be I'm low incomes. It's not the parents fault if they're poor, and children shouldn't suffer accordingly. No parent willing wants their children to suffer hunger or shame for their status in our society. I've got two kids, which means I get £35 per week. Once upon a time this was spent on outings for the kids, or clothes, or travel costs. Back when I didn't owe the gov so much and my income support was enough for me to feed and provide a basic lifestyle for my family. Pre-covid. Now I'm in different types of debt and food and entertainment for the kids cost so much more. So now the child benefit goes mostly on food. £5 per week covers the milk man. I normally use five to get the kids a little treat, the rest goes onto my Iceland card then every two weeks I buy a load of food. Mostly meats and carbs. Veggies and fruits are so expensive. I did treat my kids to some frozen pomegranate, my daughters favourite, but that's £2 per bag (equal to two frozen meals or four pasta meals) so price wise, fruit is very expensive. Basically that's what the money gets spent on. Food for my kids. Before covid, and mostly before universal credit (I'm sure I'd have been better able to cope financially with covid if I was still on income support) I would get the child benefit monthly, and use that £70 odd to take the kids for a special outing, somewhere a little outside our local bus passes range. Maybe the city or a different tourist town up the coast. We'd have a picnic and an adventure. Then what was left got saved for shoes or clothing needs. My kids never went without back then. It wasn't much true, but it was enough for one nice day. And it's good for little kids who are easily impressed with free stuff like beaches and parks. But for older kids, who need different (expensive) tech stuffs to keep up with school, peers, culture.

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