With inflation reaching a 40-year high and predicted to continue rising into the Autumn months, the cost-of-living crisis bites deeper into UK homes and fears amongst kids are growing.
It comes as no surprise that our panel of Trendspotters have been sharing their thoughts and feelings on the increased cost of food, fuel and household bills during our weekly chats.
But Gen A's normal chatter of school worries and friendship dramas now sits so closely to the harsh and heavy fears of a post-covid recovery and economic crisis. This is a generation carrying the weight of the world on their tiny little shoulders.
“Russia is sending troops to Ukraine – there might be a war. UK are part of it a little bit and have given Ukraine some weapons. If war happens then gas prices will go up because of Russia.” - Fatimah, Age 11
We looked to our unique omnibus tool to shed further light on where their thoughts and concerns lie, and what hopes they have for the future.
As you'd expect school finishing for summer (56%) and family holidays on the horizon (49%) have been top of mind for kids. But around one fifth have thought about their summer plans being cancelled or changed (22%) and a similar proportion believe they’ll not be able to do activities this summer because they’re more expensive than before (17%).
Getting to grips with their feelings, we asked kids what’s been really getting on their nerves lately. Sitting just below the somewhat ‘normal’ grievances of homework (47%) and fallouts with friends (38%), around a third of kids are concerned about the cost of food (30%) and fuel increases (28%), and over a quarter about household bills becoming more expensive (25%).
"I know that gas and electric bills are going up." - Harris, Age 10 “Gas and electric bills are going up and food prices too. I used to buy a bottle of Lucozade for £1.20 and now it's £1.80.” - Tyler, Age 12
"The prices for fuel are going up now." - Fatimah, Age 11
We know kids are amazingly perceptive and it’s likely they are taking on some of their parent’s worries. Two thirds (66%) of those surveyed think their parents are worrying too much about the cost of living, and 1 in 4 (40%) agree that it is getting on their nerves!
Given the ubiquity of the crisis, it seems Generation Alpha are hearing it from their parents, consuming it through their social media feeds, and experiencing it IRL.
"The electric prices are going up which is pretty bad because Mum has to pay all the bills." - Caylen, Age 10
"Electric bills are going up and Mum says we're limited to 4-minute showers – I think she’s joking?!" - Harris, Age 10
“I saw loads of meal prep things on TikTok, and it was showing how much you can save per meal.” - Gabi, Age 11
We put the power into Gen Alpha’s hands by asking them to choose one rule to put in place if they were to become Prime Minister. Just under two thirds (57%) would make things cheaper for everyone, whilst only one third would get rid of school and homework (33%).
This is a generation grounded in equality and fairness, and their high levels of conscientiousness is allowing them to form strong options on some of the biggest issues facing the UK today.
Without a doubt, it’s been a tough two years for Generation Alpha and it’s clear their heightened awareness of the world around them is taking its toll. As families are expected to face further financial pressures over the coming months, the concerns of cost-of-living could continue climbing up the hierarchy of kids' chatter and leave a lasting mark on this generation.
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