Budget Analysis: The life and times of a working family

Helen Hardwick and her children Photo: Helen Hardwick/Calendar

As a busy family with three children, a dog and a rabbit we can safely say every penny counts!

Both myself and my husband work full time but the children are now at an age where they are in full time school – a relief some may think, no childcare worries, no expensive nursery fees.

Now what do we have instead – Children ‘needing’ the latest trends, children growing and constantly eating, children ‘needing’ the new games to conform with peer pressure but at least we don’t have a nursery to pay.

Today we received notification of the council tax bill; it has gone up since last year, as has the water bill, internet bill, food bill, electric bill and gas bill even the prescription charges have gone up. In fact all our bills have gone up and I don’t just mean by the rate of inflation.

The only thing I know has come down is the Child ‘Family’ Allowance.

But as with everything you get what you pay for – or do you! I haven’t seen any benefit from any of the bill increases, no extra’s from the gas and electric, no more food when I am shopping and certainly no more from the council tax!

At the moment it seems like if you smoke (which we don’t), drink (which we rarely do), drive a car (which we need to for work) etc you will soon be paying even more in taxes.

Helen and her family Credit: Helen Hardwick/Calendar

My local road is FULL of pot holes – will the increase in car tax cover the repairs?

I am not writing this to ‘moan’ about family life and the added and constant expense, I adore my family, it was my choice to have them and I work in order for them to have, not necessarily what they want but certainly what they need.

All I would like from this budget is value for money, is that too much to ask?