To put it bluntly, it takes over £230,000 in average to raise a child until the age of 21 in the UK. This number is 63% higher than what it was in 2003. This should make you pause for a while and think if parenting is really for you considering the amount you need to spend for it.
To make it even more difficult, 1 in 5 mothers have returned to work right after giving birth so they can provide for the needs of their babies. Even if both parents are working, it would take around 30% of their gross annual income to provide for the needs of the child. Forty-four percent of all parents have to cut back on other expenses and make certain sacrifices just to make ends meet.
The picture is pretty clear by now. Raising a child in the UK in recent year has not been easy. If anything, it will continue to be more expensive as the cost of living goes higher and demands increase over time.
Where does the money go?
You might wonder why it costs a lot to raise a child. According to studies, most of the expenses go to surging childcare fees. This includes health care and education. These two items on the list eat up most of the income earned by the parents. In the UK, the cost of these two expenses alone has gone 50% faster than the country’s inflation rate in over a decade.
In fact, the cost has become too high that parents even have to make sacrifices on certain items. For instance, more parents spend less on toys so they can provide for more important and basic needs. They even sacrifice their budget for food at home due to the rising costs.
The negative effects
Due to the stunning cost of raising a child in the UK, several parents have second thoughts on having a second child. Recently married couples even had to postpone their plans of having kids up until they feel like they are more financially stable. Seeing mothers go back to work right away is a sad thing.
Although the UK has better maternity leave policies than many other major countries, it is still not enough. Mothers still have to go back to work right away in fear of losing their job. Others have to take extra jobs just to meet the demands of a growing family. Each year, the cost of raising a child increases by about £2,000. It is twice the country’s inflation rate.
Parents who have decided to get babysitters have to spend an average of almost £70,000 per child based on the current rates. As some of them earn more if they go back to work, they would rather hire someone to babysit. In more affluent parts of London, this amount goes even blow up to over £80,000.
The other expenses
Although education and health care make up a significant portion of the overall cost in raising a child, there are a lot more on the list. This includes clothing, toys, holidays, furniture and others such as birthday parties and recreation. For parents who could not afford the increasing cost, other parts of the budget have to be removed.
According to studies, the first four years of a child’s life is the most expensive. It is also the years that require utmost attention. During these years, children need more frequent trips to the doctors. They also need intensive care from a babysitter. There are also a lot of baby products necessary to address their needs.
This includes milk, diapers, strollers, baby carriers, chairs, monitors and many others. The good thing is that there are stores providing all these basic needs at an affordable cost. Some of them can even be bought online. Therefore, parents no longer have to spend a lot of time at the stores. Online stores like BabyGearGuide can provide these needs.
Despite the fact that raising a child costs a lot, more parents are still hopeful that they can have their own family in the future. They start saving money so that there won’t be a need to postpone plans of becoming parents. A lot of British people are aware of this reality and they are becoming more prepared to face it.
Also read: Increasing Awareness of Recycling in the UK