As of March 2023, the average cost of a wedding is now a mind-boggling £18,400. This is compared to the £14,066.72 it would have cost back in 2013, and in 2003, it cost just £10,783.12.
Based on the average saving rate, this means that it would take the average Brit 6.5 years to reach the savings required for their wedding in 2023, and upwards of 8.1 and 11.9 years respectively if you were matching the average savings in 2013 and 2003.
Of course, these calculations assume that you stay within your wedding budget.
However, studies suggest that as many as 48% of couples end up going over budget when planning for their wedding, with plenty of unforeseen costs cropping up.
2. House deposits
While buying your first house is a major achievement that everyone should feel proud of, before you can even think about browsing the housing market, you first need to save up for a deposit - the total amount of which will vary for everyone.
However, for first-time buyers in particular, the average house deposit currently sits at roughly £62,500.
This is no small amount for those barely stepping into the working world or currently renting and is several thousand more than the £47,780.99 average for 2013 and £36,627.43 average in 2003.
And if that didn’t already put things in perspective enough, based on the average saving rate, it could take up to 21.9 years for the average Brit to reach this savings goal - though this pales in comparison to the 27.5 years it would take by matching the average 2013 savings, or the staggering 40.6 years it would take if you needed to save this much back in 2003.
3. First homes
Speaking of saving to buy your first home, the average deposit is nothing compared to the average house price experienced by first-time buyers.
In fact, while the average deposit is £62,500, the average price of a Brit’s first home is an astounding £302,010 - that’s £125,020.30 more than in 2003.
And if that wasn’t a steep enough price to pay, if you were to save for a house without considering a mortgage, it would take you an eye-watering 106.2 years to reach this total in 2023, with it taking 133.1 years in 2013 and 196.3 years in 2003.
To top this all off, it’s not uncommon for buying your first home to take far longer than our average suggests, with 32% of people saving for their first home also saving for their wedding at the same time.
4. First children
Few events in your life are more meaningful than the birth of your first child, but even this special day doesn’t come without a substantial financial investment.
In fact, our research suggests that it could cost parents as much as £11,250 per year to raise their first child, compared to just £8,600.58 in 2013 and £6,592.94 in 2003.
Now, while this might not appear nearly as expensive as the cost of other life events, this average cost of £11,250 only accounts for 1 year.
When totalled up for the cost of 18 years of childcare, this means that the average parent is looking at having to save a colossal £202,500 in order to raise their first child to adulthood.
This means that, for just one year of childcare, the average person would need to spend 3.9 years saving in 2023, and a total of 70.2 years of saving to cover the full 18 years.
5. First cars
Lastly, we have perhaps everyone’s first important life milestone.
There’s something distinctly liberating about buying your first car, once you get past the initial price point at least, and fortunately, the cost of buying your first car is much lower than any of the other occasions on our list.
New cars come in at an average of £6,600, though even this smaller investment is nearly double that of previous decades.
Compared to 2023, previous generations' first cars cost only £5,045.67 in 2013, and only £3,867.86 in 2003.
Still, first-time car buyers will no doubt be happy to hear that they only need to set aside funds for 2.3 years before they can afford their new vehicle, though this will be closer to 4.3 years if they were saving the same amount of money as the average person in 2003.