How Gen Z sees the world: British youth talk about their favorite literature, films and music


The China International Fair for Trade in Services kicked off in Beijing on September 2. As the guest of honor, the United Kingdom has assembled the largest delegation to participate in the exhibition. More than 60 UK companies and organizations are taking part in the event, showcasing the dynamism and diversity of UK brands in areas such as creativity, education, technology, healthcare, and financial services. As one of the major countries in the cultural and creative industries, Britain has many excellent works in literature, films, and music. At London's Russell Square, CGTN stringer asked members of the local Gen Z community to talk about their favorite books, movies, and music.

Raising children can be costly, as indicated by a recent study estimating the average annual cost of raising one child in the U.S. to be nearly $21,000. While parents can anticipate childcare costs from birth to kindergarten, they should be aware of the unexpected expenses that may arise as their children grow older. These unforeseen expenses can range from birthday parties to sports fees and can put a strain on a family's budget. To avoid being overwhelmed by the "kid tax," parents can take certain steps to plan ahead. One common expense that may catch parents off guard is back-to-school shopping, which has become increasingly expensive. According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $890 on back-to-school items for the 2023-24 school year. In addition to clothes, notebooks, and electronics, there are other costs associated with going back to school, such as school fees, Chromebook insurance, teacher appreciation funds, PTA dues, pictures, tutoring, field trips, and fees for band and athletic uniforms or college entrance exams. It's essential to budget for these additional expenses to avoid financial surprises. Activities can also be a significant source of unexpected expenses for children. Whether it's participating in sports, school plays, or music lessons, the average family with kids enrolled in extracurricular activities spends $731 per child, according to LendingTree. These expenses can include membership fees, equipment, uniforms, costumes, and travel costs. It is crucial for parents to factor in these costs when planning their budget. Another area where parents may face unexpected expenses is medical costs. While having insurance helps, dental and medical expenses can still strain a carefully planned budget. For example, orthodontic treatment, which can cost thousands of dollars, is a common expense parents may face. Additionally, children are prone to accidents or illnesses, and their medical needs can arise unexpectedly. To afford these unplanned expenses, there are several strategies parents can employ. Creating a sinking fund specifically for anticipated future expenses can be helpful. A sinking fund involves saving money for a specific purpose, unlike an emergency fund. Parents can estimate the costs of activities or other recurring expenses and set up automatic transfers from their paychecks into the sinking fund. Even smaller amounts transferred regularly can provide some extra padding when unexpected costs arise. Parents can also save money by shopping their closets, participating in clothing and gear swaps with other parents, and buying used items when possible. Checking if they already have school supplies from the previous year or using items that can serve as alternatives for uniforms or costumes can help reduce expenses. Local thrift stores, dollar stores, and consignment shops can also be good sources of affordable items. Exploring financing options may also alleviate the financial burden. Some providers, such as orthodontists or sports teams, may offer monthly payment plans instead of requiring the full amount upfront. This can help make the expenses more manageable over time. By implementing these strategies and thinking creatively, parents can reduce their financial stress when faced with unexpected kid-related expenses. While raising children will always come with costs, being prepared and proactive can make a significant difference in managing the "kid tax."

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