The cost of raising a child inches up to £218,000

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The annual Cost a Child Report from protection and retirement specialist LV=, reveals the cost of raising a child from birth to their 21st birthday now totals a record £218,024.

This equates to £10,382 a year, £865 a month or £28.44 a day.

The report shows the overall cost of raising a child has increased by 3.3 per cent in the last year with education and childcare remaining the biggest expenditures, costing parents a massive £71,780 and £62,099 respectively.

The cost of education, including school uniforms, after-school clubs, and university tuition fees, has experienced the biggest rise, with a five per cent increase in spending over the past year.

However, some expenditure has decreased since last year as three-quarters of parents look at ways to cut back, with spending on hobbies and toys down five per cent.

The overall cost of raising a child has increased by 55 per cent since LV=’s first Cost a Child Report in 2003.

With the cost of living at the forefront of the nation’s minds, many parents are looking at other ways to be economical with the family budget. To reduce outgoings, 67 per cent of those mums and dads planning to cut back, are hunting down lower cost items or ’value’ goods in their weekly shop.

Over a third of those cutting back are buying items from second-hand shops and 34 per cent are making extra cash by selling goods on eBay and at car boot sales. Nearly a third of parents making reductions to their outgoings have devised a specific budget for the family to stick to.

Over the last 12 months the cost of raising a child has increased the most during university years (age 18-21), when parents could pay as much as £17,459 a year, up five per cent from last year. New parents have also seen the cost of the first year of their child’s lives increase 2.8 per cent to an average of £10,261.

Mark Jones of LV= said: “Our report shows education costs have increased dramatically and despite financial pressures, many parents are seeking out savvy ways to ensure they can still afford their children’s higher education prospects. With tuition fees increasing this year we expect to see more parents making significant cut backs across the family budget to accommodate this.”

The report found 42 per cent of parents who thought their children would to go to university still hoped their child would go despite the planned increase in fees.

Many parents will be sharing the cost of university with their children. 15 per cent of parents said their children will need to fund part of it themselves, while 10 per cent of parents will be cutting back in other areas to fund the costs associated with university, and 8% will plunder their savings.

Significantly one in five parents who thought their child would go to university have now said they won’t due to the increase in tuition fees.