Counting the Cost of Childcare
This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.
Forget the requests for a new phone, bicycle or games console; how much would you guess your little one(s) cost you from birth until after university? More than a holiday abroad perhaps? Try £218,000. Yikes.
This figure, published in ThisMoney.co.uk, equates to around £10,400 a year, £865 a month or £28.44 a day.
Sure, such statistics go beyond the bare basics. If you’re a parent like me, you might be bracing yourself for the future. I have a six-month-old daughter and a five-year-old son. Their nursery and after-school club fees will cost nearly £900 a month alone when they both attend in January.
So, why so much?
The figure is based on how much a child costs to raise, including:
- an annual holiday from the age of one
- going to a state school, full time from age five to eighteen
- attending a private nursery from six months until they are five assuming both parents will return to work
- going to university for three years where tuition fees and living costs are paid in full by the parents
But it’s not just the long-term expenditure. The Child Poverty Action Group estimates that essentials, such as buying a pram, clothes and other child-related items, have risen faster than inflation..
Breaking Down the Costs
While £218,000 may seem like huge figure, it becomes easier to visualise when you break it down into its various components. According to the research, £62,099 of that total goes toward childcare and babysitting alone. That’s over three times the amount it costs to feed a child from birth into early adulthood, the total of which rings in at £18,667.
Of course, there’s the all important ‘other’ category, which accounts for all those additional costs (driving lessons, Christmas and birthday presents, etc.). This accounts for £13,761 of the overall figure.
Other outgoings taken into account include: clothing, holidays, hobbies and toys, leisure, pocket money, furniture, personal care and education.
In addition to ongoing childcare costs, many parents start to put money aside for their children’s futures from the minute they’re born. This often includes saving for their education and taking out a life insurance policy , which helps towards the cost of raising a child.
I look forward to January with a little trepidation, and I know my partner and I will feel the squeeze when we pay for our children’s supervision. It is clear that money can’t buy love, as the Beatles once sung. We give them that for free. However, money will certainly be needed to sustain them from birth through school and beyond. Being realistic about these growing costs and planning for the future now could pay off.