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Cost of raising a child soars to £222,000

Lana Clements
Cost of raising children soars. Image: Fotolia

As the price of education and childcare shoots up, raising a newborn baby to the age of 21 years old now sets parents back an average £222,000.

The cost has leapt by £4,000 over the past year alone and £80,000 in a decade, according to a new report.

Uniforms, after school clubs and tuition fees, have all contributed to the cost of education more than doubling in a decade to £73,000, while childcare has increased by half to £64,000.

Alongside these hefty bills, parents will spend more than £19,000 on food and £16,000 on holidays, found the study by insurer Liverpool Victoria (LV).

Parenting in London is the most expensive region of Britain where raising a child will cost nearly £20,000 more than the country average at £239,123.

The findings come as a separate report reveals parents find a child most financially stressful during the first two years of its life.

During this time one fifth of parents will argue about money with their partner and the same amount will see their debts increase. More than half will fret about income, according to the findings from insurer Aviva.

In fact, 45% of recent parents report that a lack of money will stop them having any more children.

Louise Colley, head of protection sales and marketing for Aviva, said: “It’s no surprise that having children has a huge financial impact on families, but it’s interesting to see how immediately the financial pressures are felt.”

Pressure to spend more – and for longer

Parents’ money concerns are aggravated by their offspring further down the line, when many feel the pressure to buy the latest expensive gadgets, including iPads and tablets, for their kids.

Nearly half of parents with 11-15 year-olds reported feeling coerced by their children to spend beyond their means.

Mark Jones, LV head of protection, said: “Everyone wants the best for their children, but the rising cost of living is pushing parent finances to the limit. There seems to be no sign of this trend reversing. If the costs associated with bringing up children continue to rise at the same pace, parents could face a bill of over £350,000 in 10 years time.”

But the cost of children is expected to end when a child reaches the age of 21. As a likely result of today’s tough economic environment, many of today’s parents expect to keep plying their children with money even when they are an adult, according to Aviva’s research.  

A significant number expect to put in money for their child’s first home, as well as helping their children with the cost of starting a family of their own and pursing their career.

[Free guide: Saving for your child's future]