Cost of raising a child hits £90,000 before secondary school

The Momentum UK Team 03 September 2012

As the annual cost of bringing up a child reaches over £8,000, many parents could find that they have forked out nearly £100,000 by the time their child hits their teenage years, according to Halifax.

The bank’s ‘Cost of Children’ report reviewed typical costs that parents incur when raising children up to the age of 11. Such costs include schooling (excluding private schools), childminding services and holidays in addition to the day-to-day costs of food, clothes, personal care and pocket money.

The average cost of raising a child up until pre-secondary school age (aged 11) is £91,377. The review looked at the period between 2007 and 2011 finding that the yearly average price of raising a child had increased by over £1,000 in four years, rising over 15% from £7,222 to £8,307.

Education and childcare biggest expenses

At £849, the average cost of putting children through primary school, not including any fees themselves, account for the largest increase in expenditure that parents face, rising 24% since 2007. These costs include uniforms, class materials and stationery, lunches and school trips amongst others.

Nursery and childcare costs marked the second greatest increase in expenses for parents, which have risen by 22% to £3,346 in 2011. Early education and childminding fees combined with the later school costs account for around half parents’ total expenditure when raising offspring.

Martin Ellis, economist at Halifax commented:

"The cost of raising a child under the age of 11 has increased by 15% over the past five years.This has added to the already considerable strain on household finances during the economic downturn.

"Child care costs and education account for half, or £4,200, of the total annual cost of raising a child. This is a substantial sum for most households.”

Parents make cutbacks on luxuries

While childcare and education costs have risen in line with inflation, parents have tightened their purse strings in other areas over the last four years.

The amount parents are spending on clothing items for their children has decreased from 15% from £602 in 2007 to £513 in 2011 while expenditure on hobbies and toys has dropped 6% from £468 to £440.

In spite of inflationary rises, children are also receiving less pocket money than they were 4 years ago with parents currently spending around £319 on handouts now as compared to £311 in 2007.

With rising inflation hitting the cost of bringing up a child, Ellis suggested that ‘sound financial planning’ could prove beneficial to those looking to start a family.