Thinking Of Starting A Family? It Will Cost You!

The average child costs over £210,000 but Greater London kids top this at £220,769

The annual "Cost of a Child Report" from insurance, investment and retirement group LV= has shown that the cost of raising a child until their 21st birthday now totals more than £210,000. Meaning you need £10,040 a year, £836 a month or £27.50 a day! Today's cost of raising a child is up 50% from LV='s first Cost of a Child Report in 2003.

The Report shows that the cost has increased by 4.5% in the last year, ahead of the official headline rate of inflation (CPI) at 3.7% with childcare and education remaining the biggest expenditure, costing parents a mammoth £67,430 and £55,660 respectively over their offspring's childhood. In London this peaks at £11,050 per year for nursey places.

The cost of education, which includes school uniforms, after-school clubs and university tuition fees (excludes any private school fees) has grown by 5.3% over the last year.

Other areas of expenditure that have seen big increases in 2010 include clothing (up 11.7%), holidays (up 6.4%), food (up 5.9%) and personal care (which includes toiletries and bath equipment (up 5.1%).

Where exactly does that money go?

The £210,848 potential cost of raising a child in the UK in 2010 is made up of the following expenditure:


Total cost in 2010

Total cost in 2009

Total cost in 2003

(1st year of the report)

Childcare & Babysitting




















Hobbies & Toys




Leisure and Recreation




Pocket Money








Personal care




Other (includes driving lessons, first car, birthday and Christmas presents)








When do children cost the most?

The cost of raising a child rises the most during university years (age 18-21), when parents could face having to pay out £14,634 a year. New parents face outlaying £9,152 during the first twelve months of a child's life and between the ages of one and four, a child costs an average of around £53,586 - that's £13,396 a year.

The breakdown of parental spending by different years of a child's life is as follows:

  • 1st year - £9,491
  • Years 1 to 4 - £53,586 (£13,397 a year for these years)
  • Years 5 to 10 - £56,856 (£9,476 a year)
  • Years 11 to 17 - £47,820 (£6,831 a year)
  • Years 18 to 21 - £43,094 (£14,365 a year)

Mark Jones, of LV= said:
"Parents are all too aware that having a child comes with a hefty bill when you factor in things like childcare, schooling and holidays over a 21 year stretch. Childcare and education must feel like another mortgage payment for some parents as this is still the biggest outlay and shows no signs of slowing down, particularly when many universities are set to increase tuition fees up to £9,000 a year from 2012. Despite this, I don't think any parent would begrudge any spending on their children and savvy ways to reduce costs and protect income are all sensible measures to consider."

Monica Costa, founder of London Mums told us: “The biggest issues facing London Mums are childcare and schooling. Families moving to London are usually not from London, i.e. either from either areas of the UK or from abroad. This means less access to grandparents and other supporting relatives and increased need to pay for childcare.  The cost of education is incredibly high as well and lack of state schools in the capital makes it inevitable to choose expensive private schools. Peer support groups such as London Mums are very important to create support networks families can rely on when looking for reliable childcare, free advice on school appeals and other parenting issues.“

The report saw signs of this savvy parenting as parents reported thier roles as bargain hunters' was on the increase. Nearly three-quarters (70%) have been actively shopping for lower cost items and ‘value' goods in a bid to cut back.  With nearly half (42%) selling unwanted items on eBay and at car boot sales, and 41% are bargain hunting in second hand shops, an increase from the 31% of parents bargain hunting in last year's report. 

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February 26, 2011