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5 min read

Starting a Family? Here’s How Much it Could Cost


  • The average basic cost for raising a child is around £74,000;
  • It’s estimated child benefit only covers 22% of this;
  • We’ve recommended four tips to make the first year more financially bearable
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Starting a family cost

As some experts are predicting a baby boom in early 2021, there’s a chance you might be thinking of starting a family with your significant other – or perhaps you already have a little one on the way. If this is the case, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions right now. Don’t worry though, it’s all worth it in the end!

Regardless, we’d recommend getting on top of your finances while you have the chance as – and you might know this already – starting a family can be expensive.

How much does raising a child cost?

The Child Poverty Action Group calculates that a couple will spend an average of £74,333 raising a child to the age of 18 – and that’s just the basic cost. The full cost exceeds £150,000.

The group also calculates that child benefit only covers 22% of the basic cost – which suggests families need to find this money from somewhere. If both parents are working full time on a decent salary, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. However, it’s common for one parent to stay at home for years looking after their children.

4 ways to make that first year more affordable

The good news is that you won’t need around £74,000 straight away. There are also several measures you can take to minimise the cost in those early years.

1. Create a strict budget

If you’re not budgeting already, now is the time to start. Detail your expenses and how much you’ve got coming in. This should give you a great idea of how much you’ve got left over and what you may need to cut back on.

This should also indicate whether your financial situation needs to improve within the near future.

2. Realise your kid has no expectations

Especially in those early years, your child has no expectations regarding how the world works. Fundamentally, as long as he/she is healthy and happy, you’re doing great. This is a learning experience for everyone involved so don’t worry about making everything absolutely perfect.

3. Don’t be drawn in by expensive products

Remember what we said about your kid having no expectations? The same applies to products. Chances are, they will be just as happy with a toy which costs £10 compared with one which sets you back £50.

Similarly, there are plenty of high-tech solutions out there which look fancy but are way too expensive considering you’ll only be using them for a few months. With a bit of savvy shopping, you could save yourself hundreds of pounds.

4. If help is offered, accept it

Although there are some products which you should buy new – such as a crib mattress – gifts from parents and close friends shouldn’t be refused. Whether second-hand clothes or just the offer of a takeaway, take all the help you can get.

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