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How much does it cost to raise a child?

How much does it cost to raise a child?

Nov 3, 2020

Your family is your most valuable asset. While you can’t a price on your children, it is possible to work out how much they cost in the years between their birth and their independence.

So, how much does it cost to raise a child?

Every year, the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) publishes a report detailing the cost of raising a child in the UK. Here’s what you need to know.


It costs more than £150,000 to raise a child until the age of 18

From nappies to driving lessons, providing for your child is likely to be one of your biggest outgoings. And, in recent years, these costs have been rising as everything from childcare to higher education have become more expensive.

In an October 2020 study, the CPAG examined the full cost of raising a child until the age of 18. They found that the cost was:

  • £152,747 for a couple
  • £185,413 for a lone parent

Since 2012, this has risen more than 5% for a couple, and more than 19% for a lone parent, mainly because of rises in the cost of childcare.

If something were to happen to you on the day your child was born, you would need to leave more than £185,000 to meet all the costs of raising your son or daughter to adulthood. Do you have the life insurance in place to ensure that?


The top 10 costs of raising a child

So, if it costs more than £150,000 to raise a child, where is that money going?


1. Childcare

Almost half of the amount a parent spends on their child goes towards childcare. And, according to the TUC, the cost of childcare in England in the last 12 years has risen four times faster than the growth of families’ wages.

2. Education

By the time you’ve paid for uniform, stationery, books, school trips and countless other things to support your child’s education, the costs can mount up.

3. General household spending

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average spending for a household is more than £550 a week.

4. Hobbies and interests

Whether you’re paying for swimming lessons, football club, drama society or piano lessons, supporting a child’s interests can be costly.

5. Pocket money

Whether you give your child an allowance, or you pay them for doing household chores, the bill for pocket money can quickly add up.

6. Clothes

According to research from MoneySuperMarket, clothing a girl from the age of one until 18 costs more than £28,000.

7. Birthdays

Planning birthday parties and buying presents takes a lot of preparation – and expense.

8. Technology

Once your child hits a certain age, they will want the latest games console, phone, or tech. The cost of keeping your child up to date with the newest gadgets will mount up.

9. Baby kit

Buying everything you need for a new arrival is costly. From cots to prams, car seats to nappies, the early years can be a drain on your budget.

10. Leisure and days out

During school holidays, children will want to be entertained. A day out to the zoo, soft-play, or even just a cinema ticket all need to be paid for.


It costs more to raise a girl than a boy

Research from MoneySuperMarket has revealed that it costs more to raise a girl than a boy.

According to their data, it is £29,708 more expensive to raise a girl, mainly because of the additional cost of clothes, accessories, jewellery, and toiletries.


Get the peace of mind that your child is financially supported

As we have seen, raising a child is an expensive business. So, if you’re a parent, it’s vital that you think about how your child would be financially supported if the worst happened.

If you’re the main earner in your household, you may want to ensure that your wages are replaced if you’re no longer around. With the cost of raising a child averaging more than £8,000 a year, it’s important to ensure you have enough life insurance to ensure your family can maintain their lifestyle.

If you’re not sure how much life insurance you need to put in place, our life insurance calculator will help.

The value of a parent’s unpaid work

Many people assume that, if they are not the main breadwinner in the household, they don’t need to put any life insurance or other protection in place.

However, it’s often just as important that stay-at-home parents or part-time workers have cover.

Mums and dads undertake hundreds of regular tasks as a parent, from teacher to babysitter, taxi driver to cook. So, it’s important to consider what would happen if you weren’t around to do them.

Legal & General research estimates that that the value of the unpaid work of a mum is worth £29,535 a year, while the unpaid work of a dad is worth £21,601.

If you were seriously ill and couldn’t work, or if you were in hospital for an extended period, could your family afford to cover their day-to-day costs? If you’d like to provide financial support at what will already be a stressful time, consider Critical Illness cover. Compare Critical Illness cover quotes here.


Grandparents also provide valuable help when it comes to raising a child

If you’re a grandparent then you might think that there’s no financial value in the support that you give to your family. However, you’d be quite wrong.

Two in three (65%) working parents say that they could only afford to work due to the grandparents’ help with childcare.

Grandparents help with childcare for, on average, eight hours each week. If parents were to pay a childminder for the same amount of time, they would spend around £71 per week.

So, even if you’re just a part-time carer for your grandchild, your family could still struggle financially if you’re no longer around.


Get the peace of mind that you have the right protection in place

As we have seen, raising a child is an expensive business. With the average couple paying out more than £150,000 to bring up their son or daughter, it’s vital that you consider how you could support your child if the worst happened.

Life insurance gives you the peace of mind that your family will be able to maintain their lifestyle if something happened to you. Critical Illness cover gives you a tax-free lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer, a heart attack, or a stroke.

It might cost less than you think to put the right cover in place. And, as we take a lower than standard commission from the providers we work with, you’ll also save money when you arrange your protection through us.


Get a life insurance quote today, or compare Critical Illness quotes online.



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