Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Cost of Raising a Child

 I've got an interesting guest post for you here, which I've obtained because we're thinking of getting a dog in the new year as I guess a bit of a test run to see if we ever might be responsible enought to have a child - it seems a long way off! Anyway this post makes it all a but more real...

Any parent will tell you that raising a child will cost more than you expect, but a recent survey has shown that the cost of raising a child in the UK hit £200,000 for the first time. The eye-watering cost of £210,847 that parents spend on the average child may seem outrageous, but it includes all expenses from birth until their 21st birthday.

Changing times

The cost, when broken down, means that the average child costs £9668 per year, £806 per month, or £26.49 each and every day.

The report also shows that the cost of raising a child has gone up 50% from the official figures in 2003. This can be attributed to inflation, or the changes in child benefit regulations which have left many families ineligible for aid in raising their children.

Though it officially costs half again as much to raise a child now than it did in the last decade, some things remain the same: child care is the biggest expense in raising children. Parents today spend on average £67,430 per child for care throughout their childhood.

Education costs follow at a whopping £55,660, which includes school uniforms, after-school activities, and the parents’ contribution to university. This can cost much more, however, as university fees are set to rise in the fall of 2012. New parents are urged to consider the rising rates of university fees in their savings as well as expenses that are often overlooked, such as your child’s participation in clubs or sports.

It is also important to start saving before your child is born, as the early years are often the toughest to get through financially. New parents face a whopping £9,152 during the first 12 months of raising their child. After that, parents spend around £13,396 per year from the ages of one to four.

Cutting costs

Though the figures may seem like a doomsday sentence on parents everywhere, the numbers do not have to be this large. It’s possible to cut down on expenses with simple methods, such as not wasting the average £18,518 spend on food. Try instituting a weekly leftover night, or having a leftover party with neighbours or family friends.

It’s also important to teach your children that everything – from the water that they shower with, to the lights that they turn off at night – costs money, and to lead by example in being mindful of your usage.

Nikki Hart writes about Junior ISAs from the UKs leading Junior ISA Advice site.


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