If you’re expecting a child or planning a family, you’re possibly wondering what price tag comes with bringing up a baby. With toys, food, clothing, childcare, holidays, education, and recreational activities to consider; it’s easy to get overwhelmed by potential child-raising figures.
But having a child is an incredible addition to your life and you shouldn’t let anything spoil it. So, Babythingz, a leading provider of early years’ products including cosytoes and footmuffs, has researched the average cost of typical child-rearing items and given you a selection of handy saving tips to help you prepare for your future family.
Current child-raising figures
The most recent figures regarding the cost of a baby and raising a child put the cost at anywhere between £75,000 and a far heftier £230,000. So, let’s break this down.
According to a study carried out by the Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and financial services business, Liverpool Victoria (LV); you are likely to spend an average of £231,843 when bringing up a child from birth. Although this sounds expensive, research conducted by Child Poverty Group (CPAG) places the typical price tag attached to raising a child on the minimum income standard by a two-parent family at £75,436. Likewise, a study carried out by Moneysupermarket gave an average of £94,030.
So, which is correct? Chances are, all of these figures are credible. The research collected by CEBR and LV includes the cost of childcare and full education (including university) — which reportedly account for £70,466 and £74,430 respectively — up until the age of 21, while the figures from CPAG only go up to the child’s 18th birthday and exclude childcare, housing and council tax. Similarly, the figures collected by Moneysupermaket focused on specific baby- and child-related products — such as baby gear, toys and teen clothes — rather than education fees and childcare.
The cost of raising a child from baby to adult also appears to vary rapidly between UK locations. For example, if you were to raise your child until 21 in Wales, you’d fork out £38,494 less than if you were to do the same in London (according to figures from CEBR and LV). Overall, the average costs of raising a child are:
- £242,413 in Northern Ireland.
- £233,136 in England.
- £230,988 in Scotland.
- £215,144 in Wales.
Try not to worry too much about the above prices. These costs also include luxury items, such as a first car and driving lessons, which your child could help out with by the time they reach working age. It’s also worth bearing in mind that there are many ways you can ease the financial pressure of child-raising by applying for the right child benefits and child tax credits, as well as making and planning cost-saving tactics early on in your child’s life.
Average cost of raising a baby and how you can save money
Now, we’re going to look at typical baby costs from birth and how to implement good money-saving tactics to help slash the overall cost of bringing up your baby.
Birth and newborn essentials
Although how your baby is born is entirely your choice, this will significantly affect how much a baby costs even before it’s born. Figures from Private Healthcare UK suggest that the average cost of an epidural in the UK not provided by the NHS is £1,459, while the average private ultrasound is £327. With a private birth (one-night stay) ranging from £1,600 to £5,900, according to Private Pregnancy, the cost of giving birth without the NHS might be more than you anticipate.
Clearly, there’s opportunity for you to save money by opting for an NHS assistance when you have your baby. But what about after that?
A study of 1,104 parents of kids aged one year and under showed that we typically spend around £500 in the first few weeks of our newborn’s life. This includes around £184 on toys and furniture, £243 on clothes and £24 on nappies. Since these are unavoidable items, how can we save money?
Firstly, why not switch from disposable nappies to cloth and re-use rather than re-buy? Eco-friendlier, you also won’t have to dash out before the shops close to get more. When it comes to the nursery — and if you’re feeling up to it — why not buy cheaper items and spruce them up yourself to save cash? You could then take some time to research which toys will be most beneficial and durable for your child online to make sure you get quality that will last.
Since Moneysupermarket predicts that we’ll spend around £5,667 on baby gear for kids between 0 and three years, and the CEBR report puts the cost of the first year of a child’s life at £11,498 overall, cutting costs from the beginning might be a wise move!
As your baby grows into a toddler and before they go into mainstream school, you may choose to start taking them on holidays. This is excellent for their sense of development and for spending quality time with you, however, it can also contribute significantly to the cost of raising a child. According to the CEBR report, holidays account for £16,882 of the overall child-rearing cost. So, how can you bring this figure down? By opting for a staycation!
Forget hefty flight costs, you can lower the price of your getaway by choosing a location around the UK where you and your little one can swim, cycle, relax, and explore. Go camping and enjoy the great outdoors for free or book small but regular weekends away — there are great family offers available online at some of the country’s best city and rural locations. Plus, your child’s age means you can go away during term time without incurring a penalty or harming their education.
School years and pre-adolescence
The same CEBR report noted that the ages of 5 to 17 years are the cheapest for parents at £8,640 (compared to £11,498 for the first year, £15,806 for ages one to four years, and £17,815 for ages 18-21 years). However, kids grow quickly at this age and regularly having to buy new items of clothing will start becoming a part of you and your child’s life.
According to MoneySupermarket, a child’s school items will cost their parent approximately £3,182 between the ages of 4 and 18. But you can lower this cost by adopting some budget-friendly methods when it comes to buying school supplies. For example, why not buy your child a size bigger in clothing at the start of term, so you don’t have to repurchase the same item when they’ve grown out of it mid-year?
High-streets and supermarkets are great places to go for bulk buying uniform essentials that don’t need the school logo, and even just researching bargains and discounts for sports kits online before you buy can save you plenty in the long run.
As tech items can cost parents around £7,329 and pocket money should apparently only cost parents approximately £3,063; you could consider encouraging your child to use their cash allowances to enjoy taking part in sports, outdoor activities or another non-tech hobby. That way, they may not be as demanding of the latest expensive games console or gadgets as they grow. Once they reach working age, it’s also an excellent idea to encourage your child to secure a part-time job. According to a study by the UK Commission on Employment and Skills, kids who didn’t take up a job during their school years were not ready for full-time employment later in life. Getting a Saturday job will not only help to develop their social skills, earn good references for further education or employment opportunities, and take responsibility for their own schedules; but they can also start self-funding their weekend activities and driving lessons to ease the pressure on parents.
Having children is a fantastic experience, so don’t let the cost put you off. There are simple ways to avoid forking out unnecessary cash, as well as plenty of advice out there for parents who need childcare assistance or help funding education. Browse online for more money-saving tips!