Financial planning is a key priority in 2014

This comes as money tops the ‘worry list’ for half of parents in the UK with nearly four in ten (39%) concerned about not having enough put aside for unexpected expenses.

As we enter the new year nearly one in five (19%) parents are planning to review their finances as part of their 2014 resolutions, compared to just 13% in 2013.

Less than half (46%) of parents had a budget for their household finances in 2013 but reassuringly of those that did, 81% managed to stick to it throughout the year. Over the course of a year, almost two thirds (65%) of parents plan their monthly spending around the outgoings they have in a particular month.

When it comes to managing the household finances throughout 2014, over a third (36%) of parents plan to share the responsibility equally between them. However, it’s mums who generally keep a closer eye on day-to-day finances, with 30% checking their statements daily, compared to 22% of dads.

Encouragingly, 91% of parents know exactly how much they have in their current account. However, they’re not so sure when it comes to knowing specific details of their accounts; just 27% know whether there are any charges on their current account but they don’t know what these charges are.

A further 29% are unaware what the APR is on their credit card, highlighting that while credit cards can be a useful way to help manage the family finances, it’s important to ensure you’re using a card that meets your needs, whether that’s an extended period of interest-free credit each month, or loyalty points on spend for example.

Almost four in ten (37%) parents have less than £100 left in their account at the end of the month and 15% tend to be in their overdraft. For those with money left at the end of the month, over a quarter (26%) plan to save this, with dads set to save more than mums (30% v 22%).

Colin Kersley, CEO of M&S Bank, commented: “It’s encouraging to see that parents are taking action to plan their finances for 2014, but to plan effectively families need to be aware of any interest or charges they are paying on their accounts.

“By understanding all of their out-goings they can look forward to the new year on a sound financial footing.”