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Cost of raising a child to secondary school drops to four-year low

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There’s good news for parents struggling through the expensive festive period: the cost of raising a child has fallen to its lowest level since 2014.

Excluding childcare, parents spend £330.66 a month on average on each child, down from £355.66 a year ago, according to the annual Halifax Cost of Children report.

This means the average cost of bringing up a child to 11 has dropped to £43,647 in total, down from £46,947 in 2017. In 2014, the total cost from newborn to secondary school was £42,488.

In London, the monthly cost rises to £480.50 or £63,426 in total, 45% higher than the UK average.

Unsurprisingly, the cost of childcare inflates the numbers.

National statistics from the Family and Childcare Trust show average childcare fees are £350 per child per month, taking the overall monthly cost of raising a child to £680.

According to the Halifax report, cash flow remains a problem for parents, with 19% borrowing money from friends and family and 13% taking out personal loans to make ends meet.

Two in five parents have made cut backs since having kids, with the same amount saying the cost of raising a child is more expensive than they thought it would be. Some 40% said they would have more children if it weren’t for the financial constraints.

Giles Martin, head of savings at Halifax, said: “Having children changes your life, but it undoubtedly impacts your bank balance too. Despite small reductions in spending on things like food and clothes leading to a four-year low in the overall cost of raising a child, pinch points like Christmas and the summer holidays continue to put an increased strain on the family purse-strings, making it harder for parents to save.”

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