Thursday, 14 August 2014

The (Alarmingly) High Cost of Raising A Child

Sometimes I wonder where our money disappears too, it arrives in our account and departs just as fast.  Then when I sit down to work out why it does not hang around for long I remember my two little permanent residents, the boys who need clothes, toys and food and far too much costly entertainment it would seem!!! 

As soon as I appear at the school gate its not to be enveloped into a cuddle, it’s to receive the latest line of requests.  “Mummy I NEED to go to Drayton Manor” “Mummy I MUST to go to the soft play centre” and “Mummy can I HAVE…” and the list goes on and on.  Until quite frazzled I just beg if we can go home and do something there.  Especially having had a look at this cost of raising a child calculator from Natwest, I might need to adjust our expenditure to stop myself having a mini heart attack about the overall cost of living with kids!!!  You can put in the figures from baby to teenager for various items and see how much each of your wonderful children will cost you.
I liked seeing the national average for how much children get for different things, like the £6 weekly pocket money.  Youngest is just as happy with coppers right now but eldest has learnt that he prefers silver coins better!  I do not know how much longer I have before they prefer the pound coins or worst still notes!!!    We spend a bit more on books than the national average as we subscribe to Reading Chest, but I love investing in the children’s education, hopefully it will pay off and then I might get a refund on all the thousands spent raising them!
The average on toys is £60 a month, but I guess that is mainly focused on birthday and Christmas.  I am fortunate that the blog provides the majority of the boys toys so in that respect I have made a saving of sorts.  But for us food is our main expenditure.  It seems even a small basket of shopping can easily cost you £50+ these days, its quite frightening how expensive it has become to feed a family.  This is one place I could do with being more careful.  I noticed Tesco have a price promise, which I liked the sound of; you get a voucher at the end of your shop for the difference between Tesco and its competitors prices.  
For clothing do not be afraid to have a nose around charity shops, it’s amazing what you can find.  Often you can pick up brand new (with tags on) items at a fraction of the price.  I also do not feel my boys need expensive clothes because they are growing so fast, so I probably do not spend £80 a month on each of my boys.
My overall total for the boys from 0-17 is probably much less than most, but then again I am lucky I do not have childcare costs as I blog and can do it around the boys activities and holidays.  It seems childcare is the most expensive cost when raising a child, so if you can get a flexible job or have grandparents who can help nearby it makes sense to utilize them, otherwise your eyes might just water over how much you will spend over the years!!!  That calculator by Natwest might just be the best contraception going!

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