Financial crisis putting families on hold

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Family plans are being shelved by four in 10 couples because of money worries, it was disclosed yesterday.

Would-be parents are postponing the arrival of their first child for up to four years, according to a survey of 2,412 childless couples.

Saving to buy a home is the leading reason that couples put off parenthood, while 22 per cent want secure jobs before having children. Many blamed the soaring prices of food, petrol and utilities.

A spokeswoman for Skipton Building Society, which produced the report, said: “The impacts of the global financial crisis over the past four years really are far-reaching and it appears to be affecting traditional family structures as well as people’s personal financial aspirations.”

Nearly half of couples questioned said they feared being older parents as a result of the delay, and working long into retirement to support children. Those already parents are also curbing family plans.

Of the 1,758 couples surveyed, 70 per cent admitted wanting more children but had decided against it and 60 per cent felt that the credit crunch had permanently thwarted their plans to have another baby.