BIRTHDAY parties, laptops and mobile phone contracts mean parents are spending more and more on their teenage children.
Research by insurance company Aviva shows it costs £25,000 to raise a teenager in Leeds and parents are feeling increasing pressure to keep up with expectations.
Alistair McQueen, Aviva’s savings and retirements manager, said: “There is a certain amount of pressure coming down on parents from advertising and pressure from their teenage children. ‘Keeping up with the Jonses’ is certainly a driver behind the figures.”
Parents are spending close to the same amount to support their children between the ages of 13 and 19 (£24,416), as the average worker earns in a year (£25,2931). Nationally parents are spending £28,000 on raising a teenager with the highest spending on children in London.
The top costs for parents in Leeds are birthdays and special occasions, which come to £410 a year, food and drink outside the family homes, including school meals, which comes to £382 a year, and essential clothing and shoes at £364 a year. Parents spend £188 a year on technology although they have concerns about what it may expose their children to.
Those surveyed said refusing to spend money on teenagers has led to conflict among families, with 22 per cent of mums and dads having fallen out with a teenage child for saying ‘no’.
Parents of 13 to 15-year-olds are more likely to feel pressured by their children than those with 16 to 19-year-olds, the study suggests.
The research also found that the pressure on parents does not end when their children leave their teenage years behind – with another £15,406 also being needed to guide each child between the ages of 20 and 25 years old.
During these years, many young people move out, graduate from university and then boomerang back into the family home.
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