How much does it cost to raise a child is a question you may ask yourself if you are looking to start or expand a family in the near future.
High inflation means the cost of everything from groceries to energy bills has increasedaverage childcare costs in the UK(opens in new tab)are also rising sharply, making the cost of raising a child ever more expensive.
To knowhow to get 30 hours of “free” childcare(opens in new tab)and see if you qualify for thattax-free childcare allowance(opens in new tab)can help reduce childcare costs to some extent. But there are a whole host of other costs that you need to consider as well.
Sue Learner(opens in new tab), editor of daynurseries.co.uk, says: “The cost of raising a child is at its highest level ever, with childcare and accommodation the biggest costs.
“Parents also face higher living costs with higher mortgage interest rates and higher rents. Similarly, food and energy bills have been hit by inflation.
“Having children brings a lot of joy for parents, but also stress and the burden of fatigue and financial worries. So it's good to know all the help and grants that are available to cover the costs of raising a child."
How much will it cost to raise a child in 2023?
It currently costs an average of £202,660 to raise a child up to the age of 18, according to a digital wealth managerMoney farm(opens in new tab).That works out to just over £11,000 a year, or £938 a month.
However, as costs rise, this number is expected to increase in line with general inflation.
Costs also tend to vary depending on the age of the child, as shown in the table below:
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|Between the following age groups||Average total cost||Average Monthly Cost|
|0-3 years old||£44.097||£918,69|
|4-5 years old||£23.149||£964,54|
|6-8 years old||£29.590||£821,94|
|9-11 years old||£27.847||£773,53|
|12-14 years old||£24.656||£684,89|
|15-18 years old||£49.791||£1.037,31|
|Average total costs from pregnancy to age 18||£202.660||£938,24|
*Includes purchase of items such as cot, stroller and car seat.
The early years can be a particularly expensive time due to additional one-off and ongoing costs. Community Manager at Childminder Tiny,Lisa Holmes(opens in new tab), explains: “The first few months of a child’s life require many initial purchases – from strollers to cribs to car seats – as well as ongoing expenses such as food, diapers and clothing.
"Then, once a child has their first birthday, many parents will start thinking about childcare, which can be difficult as children under the age of 3 are not entitled to 30 hours of free childcare."
The average cost of a full-time place in kindergarten for a child under the age of two is just over £14,000, according to research by the children's charityHeart(opens in new tab).
But while costs fall once children start school, they peak between the ages of 15 and 18 due to higher spending on vacations, trips, food, clothing and technology.
Breakdown of the cost of raising children
- Essen: Spending on groceries gets more expensive as a child gets older, increasing from an average of £2,700 at the age of 0-3 (£675 per year) to an average of £9,959 at the age of 15-18 (£2,489 per year).
- Clothing: By the time the child turns 18, a total of £11,554 will have been spent on clothes, according to Moneyfarm research.
- toys and technology: Parents can expect to spend an average of £3,850 on toys from birth to age 11. Around £2,000 will be spent on computers, laptops, tablets, games consoles and smartphones aged 6 to 18.
- activities: Parents spend an average of £3,145 on enriching activities for their children, e.g. taking them to the theater or cinema, while sports clubs and courses cost an average of £14,500 from the age of four.
How much does it cost to raise a child in the first year?
"In the first year of raising a child you can expect to spend around £11,500," he saysChris Rudden(opens in new tab), Head of UK Investment Advice at Moneyfarm.
However, the exact cost depends on whether you need to buy everything from scratch. Families with more than one child can likely reduce some of these costs because items such as cribs, strollers, stair gates, high chairs and car seats can be reused rather than bought new. Certain items, such as clothing, can also be reused for second and third children.
It also depends on when you need childcare, if you need childcare at all.
How much budget should I budget for raising a child each month?
How much you should budget for each month will depend on your child's age, but overall you could expect to spend around £700 to £1,000 a month.
Remember that costs go down once your child is entitled to free childcare and again when they start school.
Parents of three and four-year-olds get up to 30 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year, although you may still have to pay for things like food and nappies. Please note that you will receive the free hours from the semester from the age of 3 and not on your child's 3rd birthday.
How can I make raising a child more affordable?
As well as looking for waysreduce your childcare costs(opens in new tab)Whether it's taking time off, taking advantage of tax-free childcare, or asking grandparents for help, there are a number of other steps you can take to reduce the cost of raising a child.
Buy used or borrow from friends
Use sites like Vinted, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay to buy second-hand gear and clothing whenever possible, and resell anything you no longer need. Alternatively, borrow or buy from friends where you can.
Request benefits and grants
There are a number of benefits and grants that you may be entitled to.child support(opens in new tab), for example, is a government payment to help families with the cost of raising children. You get £21.80 per week for your first child and £14.45 per week for any additional children.
If you are pregnant or have a child under the age of four, you may also be entitled to theHealthy Start Program(opens in new tab). This is a government initiative that gives you £200 a year for everything you need for your baby.
Then there are theSure Start Maternity Benefit(opens in new tab)which is offering a one-off payment of £500 to help with new parenting costs. You must use certain services, e.g. B. Universal Credit to qualify.
Save at your grocery store
From the hunt for thecheapest supermarket(opens in new tab)to using supermarket loyalty cards, there are many ways you can reduce your grocery needs and save money.
A spokesman for the life insurance brokerCalmed down(opens in new tab)says: “Plan your meals in advance and buy in bulk. Consider preparing meals at weekends to save time and money during the week.”
Look for free or cheap activities
Many libraries have free singing groups for babies and toddlers (you also have the bonus of being able to borrow books), while websites such asdayoutwiththekids.co.uk(opens in new tab)AndVisit England(opens in new tab)can help you find cheap activities in your area.