A young Black woman in a wheelchair talking to an older Black woman on a bench in the park.

Parents' tips on supporting children's wellbeing in the cost-of-living crisis

  • 5 min read
  • 05 October 2022

Author: Parents and carers

Topics mentioned: money and mental health

About: We asked parents and carers to share their thoughts about the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and money worries on children, and their advice on how to support them through this time. Here is a selection of the responses.

Try to avoid projecting your own money worries onto your child

"If children see their parents are worried, they take on those worries. So let them know it will be okay and that we can brainstorm ways to save money, like turning equipment off rather than to standby. That way they feel they are contributing."

a parent


"I grew up very poor. My mother put her worries on me from a young age and my father wasn’t a great support, so I held a lot of burdens. Children can be told things are going to be tight, if age appropriate, but not overwhelmed with it."

a parent

“It’s important we remember that these worries aren’t for kids, so reassurance is massive. At the same time they will see it on social media and feeling helpless isn’t fun, so give them their bit to do – making sure food isn’t wasted and simple things like that.”  

a parent

Do talk about the financial situation with your child

“I work with young people and when we talk about money I ask what their specific worries are and we talk through those scenarios. We discuss how it’s parents’ responsibility to worry about money and that families can also get support from community groups and agencies. Talking is key to support young people with fears.”  

a professional working with young people


“I would tell young people that you can only pay what you have and not to be afraid to ask for advice or help.”

a parent


“My daughter and her boyfriend are moving into their first rented accommodation with friends soon. They do all their own cooking and we’ve talked about collecting all the supermarket coupons, fuel bills etc. She listens but she doesn’t seem as worried as me.”  

Janet, parent

Work out ways to cut costs together

“Make a family plan to cut costs by doing things like turning lights off, or putting jumpers on. Make it a team challenge.” 

a parent 


“My daughter’s friend has decided to stay at home rather than go away to a new city for university, so she can limit costs and also help her mum with childcare for her younger sibling.”  

Rachel, parent

I have young children and we are going to plan a ‘want versus need’ activity. We do ‘charity shop challenges’ already, so they will also be able to have some of the things they want, like new books.
a parent

Help children learn about money, budgeting and what matters to them

“Teach them about money and budgeting; how to cook, cutting your cloth according to your means, what borrowing is good and what is bad. Skills are the answer.”  

a parent


“It doesn’t help that my daughters see so many young people who have made lots of money being “influencers” and order enormous online “hauls” on social media. It gives quite a warped sense of value and it makes it harder to put good intentions about talking to them about money into practice.”   

Louise, parent


“Young people are mobilising. Mine are 13 and 11 and polar opposites, but their friendship groups all agree that taking the system down is what’s needed. They are self-directed. It’s inspiring to watch the next generation get angry and I can’t wait to support what they do.” 

a parent

Help them learn to manage their pocket money, however limited it may be, and to save. Children should be allowed to be children and to not have adult responsibilities.
a parent

Our guide has more information and advice about looking after your own and your child's wellbeing through the cost-of-living crisis; the links between money worries and mental health; and how to find practical support for your family.

Money and mental health

Where to get further support

  • Childline

    If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

    Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

    Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

    Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

    Opening times:
  • Citizens Advice

    Provides information and advice on issues such as divorce and separation, benefits, work, universal credit, debt, housing and immigration.

    Webchat service available.

    If you're experiencing problems with debt, you can call their debt helpline or use their debt webchat service.

    Opening times:
    9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday
  • Turn2us

    Helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other help – online, by phone or face-to-face through partner organisations.

    Opening times:
    Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm
  • The Mental Health and Money Advice service

    Practical online advice and support for people experiencing issues with money and mental health, including information about benefits and managing costs related to mental health, as well as budgeting and savings tools.

  • National Debtline

    Information and advice on managing bills and debt, including debt management plans and council tax arrears. The charity offers template letters to use when contacting lenders and suppliers as well as a free helpline and webchat service.

    0808 808 4000

    Opening times:
    Monday to Friday 9am - 8pm; Saturday 9:30am - 1pm

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