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Cost of raising a child hits 10-year high of £222,000

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The cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 has reached an all-time high of £222,458, new research reveals.

This is more than £4,000 up on last year and £82,000 (58%) more than ten years ago.

Education and childcare remain the biggest financial strains for parents, according to the study by insurer LV=.

The cost of education including uniforms, after school clubs and university costs has shot up from £32,593 to £72,832 per child in the last ten years – a 124% increase. Childcare costs have also rocketed from £39,613 in 2003 to £63,738 today – a 61% increase.

From birth to 21, parents spend an average of £19,270 on food and £16,195 on holidays – which now cost 4% more than last year. In fact, in the last decade, costs have risen in all areas of expenditure apart from clothing, which has seen a 5% drop.

The hefty costs of raising children has led more than three quarters of parents (76%) to make cutbacks to make ends meet.

While many are reining in spending on luxuries such as holidays (45%), more than a quarter are also cutting back how much they spend on essentials such as food (27%).

Of those parents who are cutting back, 68% have switched to buying cheaper or value goods. Vouchers and discount codes are also popular, with 56% of these parents using them to save on shopping bills.

A report from Aviva this week also revealed the pressure on parents. It found UK families are spending nearly £4,000 more than a year ago on household expenses such as food and transport.

Mark Jones, LV= head of protection said: “The cost of raising a child continues to soar and is now at a ten year high. Everyone wants the best for their children, but the rising cost of living is pushing parent’s finances to the limit. There seems to be no sign of this trend reversing. If the costs associated with bringing up children continue to rise at the same pace, parents could face a bill of over £350,000 in ten years’ time.”

Over the last ten years, London (£239,123), the South East (£237,233) and the East of England (£233,363) have remained the three most expensive places to raise children. Ten years ago this was closely followed by Wales, whereas now it is Northern Ireland (£232,883).

Families in the South West have seen the biggest hike in costs, now paying £100,077 more per child than they were ten years ago.



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