I was recently sent a report on the cost of a child. LV have compiled the report, which you can find here. I was quite shocked when I first looked at it, the fact that one child will cost £227,266. Nearly a quarter of a million pounds. That's an awful lot of money. It is also up 2.2% from last year. I have just checked using the online site, and my two children will cost an average of £342,547. I don't even want to think about that amount of money. It includes, childcare and babysitting, education, food, clothing, holidays, hobbies and toys, leisure and recreation, pocket money, furniture, personal and other (birthday presents, driving lessons etc). I guess I can understand the childcare element. Last year whilst I was at university and my husband was at work, childcare for our two children three days a week cost over £9,000. That's a lot! Luckily this is a lot less now that the boy is at school.
However, we have just started noticing the cost of birthday parties. Luckily our children have birthdays which are only a week apart, so we can cope with a joint party, which means less expense. We also only spend a maximum of £50 per child for Christmas and birthdays. They get so many toys from other people that it's pointless spending a lot on them. This year my son is getting a bike, so family are chipping in too.
You can easily save money on clothing as well. My children's wardrobes are made up of lots of hand me downs, charity shop finds and purchases from ebay, along with the occasional new item from a supermarket. My daughters clothes have all been given to her and we are so grateful for them. I then hand all her clothes down to my hairdresser, so they definitely get a lot of use! We buy toys from charity shops too, and have a good toy recycling system, where we give lots of toys back to charity shops every time we get a new one.
There are plenty of options available to make sure that children do not cost a complete fortune. You just have to make the most of those opportunities and save money wherever you can. Although, I do keep thinking that we could have bought a massive house for £342,547, but my children bring me more happiness than a huge house. No, really, they do. *logs on to property site and stares wistfully at large houses*
Disclosure: I thought this report was interesting and have not received payment for writing this post.