THE cost of raising a child to the age of 11 has jumped almost £3,500 in the last 12 months alone, new research has found.
It means parents spend around £87,000 bringing up each child, which works out at more than £650 a month, according to Halifax.
Perhaps unsurprisingly parents in London face far higher bills at £122,500, while Wales and West England enjoy the lowest costs at £76,600.
Childcare is by far the biggest outlay, costing parents £3,840 a year on average. Worryingly, this is eating ever more into households budgets, with prices rising by 3% or more than £100 compared with a year ago.
Other major expenditures include food (£960), holidays (£748) and schooling (£511).
As a result of rising costs, half (51%) of all parents surveyed by Halifax have had to cut back on going out to socialise with friends, while 46% have reduced the number of times they eat out.
A further two in five (40%) said they have had to spend less on holidays and a third (34%) have cut back on ordering in takeaways, clothing, and other luxury items since having children.
The research also highlighted how the first year is by far the costliest, with parents shelling out almost £10,000, or £820 a month, on their baby.
Costs do thankfully drop as the child gets older and childcare costs reduce, to just over £6,500 a year, or approximately £550 per month, for a child aged 9-11.
Halifax savings head Giles Martin said: “For many parents, the first 12 months of parenthood can be frantic and as our research shows, often the most expensive. Having children is a huge commitment, both financially and emotionally.
“With unexpected costs along the way for the majority of families, it is important to be realistic about how much things are going to cost and how much can be saved to meet the future needs of a growing family.”