By Daniel Hunter

A new study reveals that the role of the domestic goddess is changing, making way for a new breed of domestic economists, as households are forced to take more control of their finances and stretch tight budgets further.

The research, commissioned by Barclaycard with Mumsnet members, highlights that, despite the economy showing signs of growth, families are being forced to get savvier with their spending as more than half (52%) have changed the way they spend to maximise what they earn through rewards.

Similarly, two thirds (65%) admit to keeping a regular check on reward and loyalty points, demonstrating that it is becoming essential for boosting their family’s finances.

Interestingly, it seems there has been a shift in roles in the household. Whilst most families continue to follow the tradition of having one main income earner, the financial responsibility of the supporting partner is becoming more important as a result of the recession. Although they don’t bring a wage into the household, almost one in five see their role as managing the household finances and making budgets work harder.

Family purse strings may be tightening when it comes to spending and our research has shown that mums are cramming an average of four reward or loyalty cards into their wallets as they look to get more back from their weekly spend than ever before. When it comes to indulging in rewards, having time together as a family is a priority with the most popular choices being to treat the family to a day (75%) or meal out (67%).

Kirsty Gallacher, TV presenter and busy mum, commented: “Reward cards are a great way to get savvier with your spending, as they enable you to get more from the purchases you make. Barclaycard’s new Freedom Rewards credit card means that you don’t need to fill your purse with lots of different cards — you have one card that you can use everywhere.

“Having two young boys, I know just how important it is to spend quality time together as a family, so it’s no surprise that people prioritise treating loved ones when redeeming rewards.”

Nick Clements, Managing Director at Barclaycard UK said: ”Despite the economy growing over recent months, families are still feeling the pinch and are always looking for ways to earn more from their everyday spending. Our customers want the flexibility to look for the best value without being tied to shopping at just one brand."

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