Financial Planning

How much does it cost to raise a child?

14 July 2021 | Posted by Frankie Jones
Father and son on laptop

With the average cost of raising a child increasing all the time, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. From the larger costs like childcare and education to the smaller things such as new school uniforms and games consoles, it all adds up. Find out how much it costs to raise a child to the age of 18 to get your finances in order before the big day comes.

The cost of raising a child is £71,611

According to the CPAG, bringing a child up from birth to 18 years old costs £71,611 for a couple and £97,862 for a single parent. Obviously, if you support your child after the age of 18 (for university, for example) then this figure could be much larger.

The reason why single parents pay more might be due to fixed costs such as transport and rent and other fixed costs being shared between fewer people. Plus, you can’t rely on a partner for childcare when you’re working.

The key costs to consider

With a newborn baby, you have the upfront costs to consider (unless you have generous friends who throw you a baby shower!) so you can expect the first month to be quite expensive. But childcare is usually the biggest expense of all, so as your child grows up you can still expect to be spending a chunk of your income each month.

Baby gear 

This includes more expensive items like a car seat and pram. Don’t forget about the cot, which will cost you on £129.50 on average, or as much as £700.

Maternity/paternity leave

Statutory maternity and paternity leave is paid for up to 39 weeks, but you’ll only get 90% of your usual salary for the first 6 weeks, and you can expect this to decrease after. If you’re lucky, your employer will offer a more generous package, but remember to factor in this reduced income when you’re budgeting for having a baby.

Household spending

Of course you’ll already be paying for these before the baby arrives, but you can expect to pay more for things like food and water when there’s one more in the house. To save on food costs, why not try making your own baby food?


The average cost of sending a child under two to nursery full-time is £232.84 a week, but this will vary based on where you live. Luckily, you can get free early childcare for all three and four-year-olds in the UK.


If you need someone to look after your child while you’re at work, you could be paying around £228 a week for this.

Kids’ toys

The average child enjoyed £299 worth of toys a year in 2019, but how much you spend is up to you. It’s worth shopping around for deals or buying second hand where possible.

School items

The cost of school uniforms, shoes, lunches and school trips adds up. The average cost of uniform alone was £230 in 2019.


If you’re sending your child to private school and helping with university fees, you could be shelling out hundreds of thousands in tuition fees. But even if you’re sending them to state school, don’t forget to factor in the cost of things like stationary and private tutoring.

Clothes and footwear

It depends on where you shop, but expect to pay on average around £46 a month on clothes for your child. Shoes tend to cost even more!


Parents spend an average of £60 a month on holidays for their children. So it’s worth considering staycations as a cheaper alternative. And take advantage of restaurants and activity centres offering deals for little ones.


While hobbies like football and camping are at the cheaper end, learning a musical instrument, gymnastics or ballet tend to be more expensive. Choose wisely!

Tech and entertainment

This research found that the cost of childrens’ entertainment has risen by 25% over the last 5 years. Keep costs down by borrowing from friends and buying refurbished technology.

Pocket money

How much pocket money you give your child is a personal thing. But the average child in the UK gets around £28 a month.


With the average child’s birthday party costing a massive £320, it’s worth setting money aside for annual events like birthdays and Christmas to avoid any nasty surprises.

If you’re worried about the cost of having children, these budgeting tips might help.

Or if you want to get ahead of the curve and prepare your finances for having a family, download Claro’s free budget planner and start saving.

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