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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Tradewind Recruitment: DT/Design and Technology Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school that needs a t...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school in Cambridgesh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Daily, short and long term Supply Teachers urgently required.

£115 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Supply teachers required throughou...

Tradewind Recruitment: Graduate - Newly Qualified Teachers Required For Sept 2015

£21000 - £50000 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: Graduate Teachers/ Newly Qua...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks