Married life after the big day — what are the costs that lie ahead?


For many people there seems to be a lot of hype in the run-up to a wedding day with years and years of planning and a lot of money! Our own wedding day was pulled together in a matter of weeks for a total budget that came in at under £2,000. A wedding is just a day. Marriage is for life, and the next few decades and all it involves can be costly!

We have got together with Angelic Diamonds, retailers of engagement rings, to take a look at some of the costs that you’ll face long after the wedding day itself has been and gone.



Starting a family

For many couples, having children is the next big step after marriage although in our case, there were already three that accompanied us on our big day itself. Our fourth was due nine months later – how’s that for a honeymoon baby? And, of course, there were then the other nine that came along.

It is said that the average time a couple in the US waits between getting married and having a baby is approximately three years. Starting your own family can be as cheap or as costly as you make it, of course. Here are just some of the costs to take into account:

When you factor in nappies, clothing, nursery furniture, toys, and a pram, the cost of a baby can total £3,120 in the first year of your child’s life alone. If you plan on attending activity classes with your new-born, such as sensory or swimming classes, you could be looking at an additional cost of around £465 annually. 

How you feed your baby can result in different outgoings too with an average of £165 added to this yearly cost if you plan on breastfeeding, or a whopping £1,040 should you opt for bottle feeding.

After maternity leave, child care expenses will need to be worked into the budget. Mike and I always covered our childcare between us, with me working evenings out of the home, being on call overnight and then working from home whilst looking after the kids during the day, whilst he covered days at work. This way of working around each other meant that though we were ships in the night for several years, we did avoid having to pay out for childcare. Statistics have shown that for a relatively well-off couple in the UK, the cost of childcare is the highest in the world. In Britain, the average cost of sending a child under two to part-time day nursery is £122.46 per week. For full-time care, this rises to £232.84. It can depend on where in the country you live as to what costs you will face — part-time day nursery can cost around £42 more per week in London than the British average and full-time care increases by £73 in the capital.

When you first have a baby, their first day at school can seem a long way off but, if you are considering sending your child to a private school, you are looking at stumping up an average of £14,102.  At the age of ten, it’s likely that they’ll be asking for their first smartphone. Personally, we don’t feel they are necessary until they hit the teens but whenever you feel the time is right to give in to their request for the gadget, estimations provided suggest that you can expect to fork out around £27 per month — or £324 per year.

Then you need to take into account the extras such as the cost of an average package holiday (£3,133 for a family of four), and those Christmas and birthday presents, of course.


Upsizing into a bigger home

Moving into a bigger home might also be on the horizon as your family grows. If this time does come, you will be facing some extra costs in order to make the move.

According to Compare My Move, the estimated cost of moving to a new house in 2018 in the UK is £8,885. The figure is based on the average UK property price – currently standing at £226, 071 – and also takes into consideration costs such as stamp duty (based on this price in this case at £2,021), and estate agent expenses at £3,391. This overall cost also considers general moving costs, which can add a further £1,236.66 to your list of expenses. Not cheap.

If you’re selling a house you also need to consider a few hidden costs. One of these is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which can cost you between £60 and £120. Getting a professional survey of your new property before you buy it to check the condition of it will help to prevent any nasty surprises rearing their heads furthr down the line, which can prove costly. Depending on the type of survey you opt for, they can cost anywhere from £400 to over £1,000.


Getting a new car

Along with moving to a new house and starting a family, you might also find yourself needing to trade in your old model for a new er car.

Of course, it’s up to you how much you spend on a new car, but you should expect it to set you back a few pounds! The running costs of the average family car in the UK costs £1,000 more than in the USA and Australia, £1,825 more than Japan and £2,000 more than in China. Motoring is anything but cheap here, it seems!

According to What Car? the top ten family used cars sit between £8,000 and £14,000. And, if you were to choose a top new car, you can expect a family-suitable vehicle to cost between £16,995 and £29,495.

If you’re unsure on how much to spend on a new car, the advice from MoneyUnder30 is as follows:

  • If you’re looking for a cheap car that gets you from A to B, you should budget around 10-15% of your annual income.
  • For a safer and reliable vehicle, budget between 20 and 25% of your annual income.
  • If you consider a car as a lifestyle item and not just as a form of transport, consider spending around 50% of your annual income on a car.

If you thought the saving and spending was finally over with the wedding day, think again! It’s only just begun…



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