Consumer: The cost of raising a child rises to £87,000

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Parents have shelled out almost £87,000 raising their child by the time they reach secondary school.

The average cost of bringing up a youngster has risen by four per cent in the last 12 months, with parents spending more than £650 a month on child-related expenses.

The total amounts to 35 per cent of the average UK disposable earnings.

According to the Halifax Cost of Children research, youngsters cost the most in the first year of their life – with parents spending an average of £10,000 (more than £820 a month) before a tot’s first birthday.

The yearly spend drops to around £6,500 for children aged between nine and 11.

The biggest expense of raising a youngster is childcare – at around £320 a month the cost is almost half of what parents spend on their children every month.

Giles Martin, head of Halifax savings, 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’s 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.”

Four out of five parents said that having children has cost them in unforeseen one-off purchases, with 33 per cent shelling out on additional furniture. Thirty-two per cent of parents have had to spend money on a new or different car and 21 per cent have had to buy a bigger house.

Many parents are having to cut back on their own spending to afford their child’s needs, with 51 per cent spending less money socialising with friends and 46 per cent cutting back on eating out. A further 40 per cent spend less on holidays and 34 per cent have had to ditch luxury items such as takeaways and clothing.

Other parents stretch their money further by buying second hand (10 per cent), buying ahead in the sales (nine per cent) and spreading payments across the year (eight per cent).

Mums and dads on a budget have also tried to cut back on buying toys (38 per cent), clothes (32 per cent) and holidays (30 per cent).

Out of those questioned, 35 per cent said they would have more children if they didn’t have financial constraints.

But despite the rising costs, the number of parents with children under 11 who said 
they found the cost more expensive than expected has dropped from 39 per cent to 36 per cent, perhaps indicating that parents are feeling slightly better off in terms of household income than they were last year.

WHAT IS THE MONEY SPENT ON?

The average monthly cost of bringing up a child to the age of is spent on:

Food: £80.33

Schooling costs: £42.65

Holidays: £62.38

Clothes: £39.95

Toys: £26.66

Leisure or hobbies: £42.02

Furniture: £21.87

Personal care: £22.26

Childcare: £321.54 Childcare costs an average of £429 for 0 to two-year-olds, dropping to £425 for two to four-year-olds and decreasing even further to £192 for five to 11-year-olds.

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