Surge in family members saving for children’s education

  • Nearly four in ten (39%) adults are saving money to help the children in their lives cover the cost of higher education
  • More than a third (31%) prioritise saving for their first car & driving lessons
  • 28% are saving to help with deposits on first homes

With Which? revealing more than 8 in 10 families are financially supporting their children while at university [1], Foresters Friendly Society has discovered just how far financial preparations are having to stretch to cover the soaring cost of higher education today.

Indeed, parents are increasingly leaning on the support of their wider family members to shoulder costs, with 39% of relatives helping the children in their lives reach university [2].

What’s more, with new figures from UCAS, the official university admissions body, reporting nearly four in ten (39.5%) of all 18-year olds in England have applied this year [3], up from 38.1% at the same point last year, many families are helping financially to make sure students can make the most of their experience and focus on their studies without significant debt or financial concerns.

And it’s not just education that families are helping with. Learning to drive costs £355 more today than it did 10 years ago [4], with almost a third of relatives (31%) having to fund first cars and lessons.

An additional 28% are saving to be able to help children with the deposit on their first home. In fact, it’s thought it will take most 18-to-24-year-olds a shocking 22 years to save just a 10% deposit to buy a home in Britain [5].

For relatives, saving early to help with major life events has become both a short term and long-term priority.

Erik Vynckier, interim Chief Executive for Foresters Friendly Society, commented: “With the cost of living continuing to rise, it’s clear financial preparation is being shared more readily among relatives, with more adults helping to ensure the children in their lives achieve major life events with minimal stress or difficulty.

If making substantial financial contributions isn’t possible, this approach can be boosted by taking advantage of the range of saving vehicles on offer, ensuring any money saved is working its hardest.

Saving small amounts on a regular basis can quickly become a healthy nest egg.

Opening a savings plan, such as a tax-free Junior ISA, when children are young is a great way to encourage children to engage with money and allow them to see how their savings pot can grow over time with the goal of supporting their future needs”.

[1] – Parents take on second jobs and sacrifice holidays to cover children’s university costs, report suggests

[2] – Parents take on second jobs and sacrifice holidays to cover children’s university costs, report suggests

[3] – Almost four in ten young people in England apply to university – a new record

[4] – Learning to drive costs £355 more today than it did a decade ago

[5] – Telegraph’s ultimate guide to buying first home


2,000 UK adults were surveyed by Atomik research company, between April to May 2018.