Parent trap: Raising kids costs more than a house, new report says

© Cathal McNaughton
Parents will spend more money on raising a child than on the cost of an average semi-detached house, a new report has found, with offspring now costing a whopping £221,843.

The vast sum, which includes all expenditure on a child between birth and the age of 21, outstrips the average price of a semi-detached house, which comes in at £219,255 (US$317,000).

The report by LV= insurers, released today, suggests that the rising rates of childcare are behind the increasing cost of rearing a child to adulthood. LV= says the cost of childcare has increased to more than £2,500 a year and £13,000 over five years.

LV= also suggests that a third of child-based expenses are spent on nursery, nanny and babysitting fees, which make up more than £70,000 of the total. It marks an increase from £67,586 in 2015 and £50,592 10 years ago.

Education is also one of the main areas of spending when raising a child, with the insurance company estimating that the total cost of school all the way through university is £74,430.

If parents opt to send their kids to private school, the fees could add an extra £141,863 for a day school, or an eye-watering £260,927 if it’s a boarding school.
The comparatively good value essentials for parents include £19,004 on food, £10,942 on clothing and £4,614 on pocket money.

Regionally the cost of raising a child also varied, with London unsurprisingly taking the lead, with the total cost exceeding £250,000. The cheapest region is Yorkshire and the Humber, where parents can expect to pay £214,559 to bring up a child.

Overall, kids now take up a third of the net income, and as many as two thirds of parents surveyed by LV= said they struggled to make ends meet. Three in five said they had to ask family or friends to help with childcare.

Myles Rix of LV= said: “The cost of raising a child is at an all-time high and, with the price-tag of childcare continuing to rise, family incomes are being stretched even further.”