Before I was a parent, everybody told me relentlessly that children are expensive and you will be selling your toys. Well, I have to say I agree they are costly, and we have been lucky so far, but I am sure in the future, we will get hit harder.
However, my little girl is now 4, and I thought I would look and see if I can work out how much having one child will cost and then see if it is cheaper when you have two children. So here we go. Let’s take a look at how much parents spend on an average child.
In 2003 the Centre for Economics and Business Research first calculated cost figures for parenthood for children from birth to 21 years old. Then in 2016, they recalculated the figures, and they said that a child born in 2016 would now cost £231,843, which was a 65% increase. As I write this, we are in 2022, seeing massive inflation rises, and I now think you are probably going o add another £100,000 to that figure which is an eye-watering amount of money.
So, to get the £323,843, let’s try and simplify the maths a little and divide £323,843 by 21 years, and we get to 15,421.09, which is still an exceptional amount of money a year to find but let’s keep going and let’s divide that figure by 365 to get how much a day it costs, and it is £42.24.
However, the early years of childhood are the cheapest, and the average may well be £42 a day. Still, you probably won’t start spending that till they get a bit older, and according to my parents, kids start to get really expensive when they want cars and higher education costs along with trying to keep up with the latest fashion or toy trend.
Before I carry on, I will also point out that you will never have the money if you only have a child when you think you can afford it. I am nearly five years in, and to be honest, it does not feel too bad so far, so don’t let these figures put you off starting a family.
Factors that contribute to the cost of raising a child
There are a few things that will contribute to the cost of raising a child, and some of them are;
Daycare or childcare – Childcare is one of the highest costs for working parents as you need to make sure your child is looked after whilst you work to earn money to support your family, and according to the Daycare Trust in 2013, the average cost of childcare was £115 per week.
Nappies – Nappies will be a significant cost in the early years, and they can range from as little as 10p each to over 50p each, so you could say you could spend anything from £100 to over £1,000 on nappies in the first year depending on what brand you go for and how often you need to change them.
Food – According to the Food Standards Agency, a basket of food for a 6-month-old baby costs an average of £37.42 per week, which equates to £1,988.24 over 52 weeks. As they get older, this will obviously cost more as they will be eating more and you will be buying them bigger sizes of clothes.
Clothes – Clothes are another big cost when you have a baby or children as they seem to grow out of their clothes so quickly and you need to make sure they have a good supply of clothes for all weathers, special occasions, and everyday wear.
Education – Education is free in the UK up to the age of 18, but there are other costs such as school trips, sports club fees, and new uniforms as they move up through the school.
Holidays – You will need to factor in holidays when you are working out the cost of a child as you will want to take them away on holiday with you, and this can be an expensive time.
How much do parents spend on an average child?
As you can see, there are many things that you need to factor in when you are working out how much it costs to have one child, and if you have more than one child, the costs will obviously increase.
I have read many different articles on this subject, and the figures seem to vary quite a bit, but I think it is safe to say that you could be looking at anything from £10,000 to over £20,000 a year to raise one child, depending on your circumstances.
How much parents save by having more than one child?
The average family spends £523.60 a month on their first child, but this falls to £385.80 when they have a second child and just £290.20 for a third, according to the report from the website VoucherCodesPro.co.uk.
So, in theory, if you have three children, you could be saving over £1,000 a month, but this obviously depends on your circumstances and how many children you have.
You have probably found this page by searching How much do parents spend on an average child? And you are searching for that because you are trying to work out if you can afford to have a child or not. If you are in this situation, I would say that the best thing to do is sit down with a pen and paper and work out your income and all of your outgoing costs to have a clear idea of what you can afford.
One bit of advice that my mother told me many years ago was that you could never afford to have a child, and the time is never right, but you will always find the money when you need it. Oh, hang on, she was talking about having a dog, but the same, I think, can still be said about having children.
There are a lot of things to consider when you are trying to work out how much it costs to have a child, and I have only just scratched the surface with this article, but you should get the idea, and from this, basically, you have to ask your self does it really matter how much having a child costs.
I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any further questions, then please feel free to leave a comment below, and I will try to answer them as best I can.
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