Nobody said being a parent was easy

Looking after a child and raising them to adulthood is a staggering amount of responsibility and comes with a hefty financial cost.

Raising a child has never been cheap, but in recent years, the overall financial cost of being a parent has been rising steadily. It turns out there’s more to parenthood than simply clothing and feeding your child.

To help fully represent the different total costs that go into raising a child, we surveyed 1,500 Brits from across the nation to see how much they’ve spent or are spending on raising their children.

Calculating the averages of this data, we’ve been able to determine the cost of being a parent in the UK, as well as the most expensive parts of looking after a child and the most expensive places in the UK to raise a kid.

What is the average cost of raising a child?

Based on the data we collected, the average cost of being a parent in the UK and raising your child to the age of 18 is a staggering £225,521 - nearly a quarter of a million pounds.

Parents spend an average of £12,540.02 on their child per year, with school uniforms, childcare, food, and baby groups being the real budget busters. In fact, 41.4% of parents we surveyed say they regularly go over budget.

A further 58.2% of parents state that they’re much more budget-conscious since having a child, and 61.5% feel they’re far more responsible with money now they have to account for more outgoings.

Fortunately, despite budgetary concerns, 88% of parents say they truly believe that having kids is worth it, but roughly half didn’t expect the expenses to be so high. As a result, 77% of parents put savings away for their kids, with 83.9% agreeing that it’s important to teach their children about money and budgeting.

Interestingly, 76.9% of those we surveyed mentioned that they actually started to budget more efficiently for other areas of their life after having a child.

The most expensive parts of raising a child

When it comes to the most expensive parts of raising a child, without a doubt the costliest aspects are food and healthcare.

The average food bill for a child alone costs parents around £1,545.14 per year, averaging them roughly £27,000 over 18 years. Healthcare costs are similar, at £1,194.50 per year and around £20,000 after 18 years.

School uniforms also cost parents an exceptional amount of money. While they might only spend £967.03 per year on shirts, shoes, and blazers, after a child has passed through the entire education system, uniform costs set parents back by £12,571.39.

Other sizeable expenses include childcare, which costs an average of £1,774.80 per year (£10,648.80 by the time a child reaches adulthood), and baby groups, that cost an average of £1,344.45 per year and £5,377.80 in total.

Cost of being a parent infographic

What is the most expensive city to raise a child in?

Now that we’ve touched on the various expenses incurred by parents when raising a child, let’s turn our attention to the trends across the UK. Naturally, these vary from city to city.

Unsurprisingly, London is the most expensive place in the UK to raise a child, costing parents £20,060.71 per year, and £278,316.40 by the time the child reaches adulthood. London is then closely followed by Manchester at £18,115.77 yearly, and £250,641.22 in total.

The three other most expensive cities in the UK for raising a child include Norwich, costing parents £16,084.56 yearly, and £224,029.78 overall. Southampton totals £15,529.41 per month, and £218,931.08 in total. And Belfast sets parents back £15,157.21 on a monthly basis, and £210,583.15 by the end of childhood

Zooming in on specific costs per city, it seems parents in Belfast spend the most money on food, roughly £146.65 per month, while Glasgow is much cheaper at a cost of £98.46. Southampton spends the most on healthcare, £146.83 per month, while parents in Edinburgh spend as little as £23.57.

Manchester appears to have the most expensive school uniforms, £113.81 per month, but again, Edinburgh is startlingly cheaper at a paltry £22.86. Glasgow has the most expensive childcare, sitting at a monthly cost of £282.50, with Bristol being much cheaper at £82.27.

Lastly, London spends £128.47 on baby groups per month while Cardiff spends just £47.

Children are expensive, and it’s looking like these costs will only increase in the coming years. This makes it even more important than ever to start budgeting for your children now, especially if you’re looking to have children in the near future.

Having a sizeable nest egg set aside for your kids provides invaluable reassurance. You could ensure your kids are protected and financially stable, should anything happen to you, by taking out life insurance.

Here at Reassured, our expert team will work with you to find the right life insurance protection for you.

From life insurance for parents to over 50s cover, get in touch with our team today to see how we can help you - our award-winning service is fee-free.

Cost of being a parent infographic - Most expensive cities

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