How much does a baby really cost? Kids cost a fortune! The ‘Cost of a Child’ report from 2017*, shows that to raise a child (excluding housing, council tax and childcare) costs £75,436 for a couple and £102,627 for a lone parent family.

The insurer, Liverpool Victoria (LV) has calculated that the total cost of raising a child to 21 is over £250,000. This is for state school education, and if you add in private school, this jumps up to £373,000 and to £500,000 for boarding school.

  • Where the Money Goes (LV 2016)
Child Care & Baby Sitting £70,466
Education Linked Expenses (trips/uniform/school lunch etc.) £74,430
Clothing £10,942
Other £14,195
Holidays £16,882
Food £19,004
Furniture £3,408
Pocket Money £4,614
Personal £1,130
Leisure & Recreation £7,464
Hobbies & Toys £9,307


  • How to Financially Plan For a Family

There is so much to think about when you have made the decision that now is the right time to have a family. Money can play a key role – is the house where you are living big enough for now? Will you need to move if you had a second child? Who will look after the child? Will you go back to work? Will you split the maternity and paternity care? Then a few years down the line the financial thoughts more towards education, catchment areas, after school clubs, paying for uniform, holidays at peak times etc…

  • When Is the Right Time Financially?

There might never be a ‘perfect time’ financially to start a family. Money was my biggest worry when we were thinking about having children and worrying about money consumed a lot of my thoughts when I was pregnant. My husband and I also gave ourselves the biggest headaches work wise too. I had just moved my advisory business to a new firm and my husband had just gone self-employed, so we felt very unsettled financially. There were a million reasons to just “wait an extra year” but in the end we decided to bite the bullet.

The first year costs the most and it is not surprising really when you consider all the items that are marketed to you as an essential buy. It feels like there is a gadget for everything! It costs on average £11,498 to have a child in their first year.

When I was pregnant with our first child, we used a nursery list with a department store. This is similar to a wedding list but for when you have a child. This meant that family who wanted to help out could buy from the list, but it also was really useful to get the advice from the staff about what was essential and what was not. I was so glad to have all the breast feeding accessories (nipple shields etc.) that I wouldn’t have thought to have bought myself. But at the same time it was helpful to see the total cost of everything in one place – that way we could prioritize the list to suit our budget before pressing go.

I hope that this hasn’t scared you too much! Please pass on to any family or friends that you think will find it useful.

Lots of Love

Miss Lolly xx

*Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)