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The cost of raising a child in Wales 'is £76,600'

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The Halifax says the cost of raising a child in Wales to the age of 11 now stands at £76,600.

Across the UK childcare is by far the biggest outlay, costing parents £3,840 a year on average. This is eating into households budgets, with prices rising by 3% or more than £100 compared with a year ago.

Other major expenditures include food (£960), holidays (£748) and schooling (£511).

As a result of rising costs, half of parents surveyed by Halifax have had to cut back on going out to socialise with friends, while just under half have reduced the number of times they eat out.

A further two in five said they have had to spend less on holidays and a third have cut back on ordering in takeaways, clothing, and other luxury items since having children.


Debt tips for young people from Citizens Advice

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  • Work out a basic budget, including rent, gas, electricity, travel and food
  • Prioritise the most important bills. The consequences for not paying some debts, like rent or council tax, can be much more serious than for others, so paying these first is important. Once you have done that, you can look at your budget and work out how much can go towards other debts
  • Make the most of the offers available to young people. Under 25s can often get discounts on travel and you may not have to pay council tax if you are in full-time education or on an apprenticeship. Check for more information

Citizens Advice: Young people's average debt is £12,215

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A new generation of young people are burdening themselves with "stifling" levels of debt, Citizens Advice has warned, after seeing the number of requests for help from this age group surge by a fifth in a year.

Across Wales and England people aged 17 to 24 have asked the charity for help with 102,296 debt issues in the last year - a figure 21% higher than the previous year.

Citizens Advice also said its analysis of official data, covering the UK as a whole, found that young people have £12,215 of "unsecured" (non-mortgage) debt on average, more than three times the average £3,988 debt just before the financial downturn between 2006 and 2008.

There have also been changes in the types of loans they are shouldering.The charity said that while much of the debt rise is due to student loans, there has also been an increase in "formal" loans such as bank or payday lending, as well as borrowing from friends and family.

Many young people already face challenges getting on the career and housing ladders - doing this while saddled with huge unsecured debts makes it an uphill struggle.

– Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice


Welsh women to benefit from new national living wage

Women in Wales are expected to be among those benefitting the most from the new national living wage, which comes into force next year.

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From April 2016, firms across the UK will have to pay all workers over 25 at least £7.20 an hour, up from the current minimum wage of £6.50.

According to new analysis by the Resolution Foundation, the change will result in 6 million workers across the UK - including 3.7 million women - receiving an average pay rise of £1210.

The analysis suggests that women in Wales, the Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber will be among those benefitting the most.

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