Bringing up a child now tops £200,000, if you're lucky...

Cost soars by 43 per cent and is now highest during the university years

The cost of bringing up a child has risen to more than £200,000 for the first time, according to a survey released today.

Figures show the average parent is likely to have forked out more than £201,000 per child by the time their offspring has reached the age of 21. The cost has increased 4 per cent over the past year and 43 per cent in the seven years since the survey was first launched.

The biggest cost is childcare at £54,696 – which includes nursery fees, after school and holiday clubs – and education at £52,881. However, there were some signs that childcare costs are beginning to peak as they only went up by 1.6 per cent over the past 12 months.

The cost per year of bringing up a child is now highest during the university years – aged 18 to 21 – following the introduction of tuition fees. It works out at £13,677 a year.

Campaigners said they were "not surprised" at the results of the survey. Margaret Morrissey, from the pressure group Parents Outloud, said: "Historically, you didn't have to expect to keep on raising a child until they were 21.

"You saw them through their schooling and that was it. The cost of them continuing with their education is extremely expensive."

She added that the cost did not always end at 21, either, as "more and more youngsters were now returning to live with their parents after university as a result of the debts they had run up".

Aggressive advertising aimed at children had also made its mark on parents' pockets. "Ten-year-old children are totally aware of all the things that you have to have to keep up with the other children and it's very difficult for parents to stand out against them," Ms Morrissey added.

"Even if a school encourages its pupils to cycle to school in the interests of the environment, it costs in terms of the latest designer bicycle or scooter."

There is some good news for parents from the survey, carried out by investment and insurance group LV=.

One in eight parents report their children specifically asking for less pocket money to ease the financial burdens on the family during the recession. Despite this, though, pocket money crept up by 5 per cent during the past year to a lifetime total per child of £4,338.

In addition, 77 per cent of all parents said they were forced to cut back on expenditure during the past year because of the economic situation. However, "tightening your belt" was slightly on the wane as this compared to 81 per cent the previous year.

Spending on holidays and fun family days out had been worst hit with almost half of all parents saying they had to reduce spending in these areas.

A "make do and mend" mentality had spread to the purchase of clothes with, again, half the parents surveyed saying they had reduced spending in this area.

Parents were shopping more wisely, too, with a third buying more second hand goods to make ends meet and 37 per cent selling unwanted items through eBay, other online sites, via their local newspaper or car boot sales to raise money.

Some (19 per cent) were cancelling spending on insurance products or income protection cover.

Mike Rogers, LV= insurance group chief executive, said: "It's always tempting to look at short-term measures when trying to save money. While it may seem that cancelling insurance policies or protection plans is a good way of stretching the budget, it's really important to keep the bigger picture in mind – to ensure your family's financial security would be protected if a parent were unable to work due to accident, illness or unexpected job loss."

The survey covered nearly 4,000 adults and was carried out during January. Perhaps unsurprisingly, parents in outer London faced the biggest cost is raising a child – £220,769. Yorkshire and Humberside was the cheapest place at £177,706.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Year 3 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Teacher Required We are curr...

Year 5 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 5 Primary Teaching positionRands...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution