The decision to start trying for children is a monumental one and there are countless factors to weigh up when planning a family.
Not least the fact that the average cost of raising a child is still on the rise, with increasing inflation attributed as a primary factor.
With nursery and childcare costs to weigh up, as well as the pressure of higher bills, there are many things to ponder.
Can you afford to have a child?
This is a question that many would-be parents face when deciding whether or not to try for a family.
In 2021, it was reported the basic cost of raising child up to the age of 18 was a little over £76,000 for a couple, while for a single-parent family the figure stood at £103,000.
Throw in the additional costs – such as childcare and housing – then the number climbs to £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for lone parents.
It is important to have a strong understanding of your income and expenses when planning for a family.
Biggest costs when associated with raising a child
So, with the average cost of raising a child climbing, what are some of the biggest expenditures to consider?
It has been reported that childcare costs have grown at a rate four-times faster than a family’s wages since 2008, with approximately half of what families spend on children attributed to childcare costs.
But other areas are pricey too, such as education. There are books, stationary, and uniforms to think about, as well as money for school dinners or packed lunches and any additional equipment for sports or extracurricular activities.
Birthdays, spending money, and hobbies pinch the pockets, while it costs around £16,000 from 0-18 in buying clothes. Cribs and beds, prams, nappies and bottles contribute towards costs, while the increased use of technology – such as phones and iPads – add additional pressures.
Then there is the standard household spending, which on average is over £550 a week. Planning and sticking to a weekly budget is essential when trying to keep down the costs.
How to watch the costs
So, how can you save money and watch the outgoings when raising a family?
Well, first and foremost make sure you are regularly reviewing your budget but also that your budget is realistic for your household incomings.
Shop around for things like phone and internet providers, consider getting a water meter to reduce water costs, encourage those in the house to be energy savvy to reduce energy bills, and try batch cooking for lower outlay on meals.
Look around for deals and discounts, for instance did you know those in the health service can make the most of a Amazon NHS discount, consider using second-hand shops for clothing, and when it comes to Christmas and birthdays keep gift lists small and when possible set money aside to prepare for when the time comes.