Children are back at school, and summer is officially over. If you were fortunate (or brave) enough to get away for a family break this summer, you may not need reminding that a family is expensive.
How expensive? It is hard to generalise, and every family tots up the costs in different ways, but many people may be spending close to quarter of their income on their children. We may remind ourselves that the sacrifices are worth it.
At Continuum we are taking a fresh look at family finances, and whether there may be ways of making the sacrifices a little easier to bear.
The cost of raising a child
New-borns require constant care and everything from cradles to nappies. In the first few months of your baby’s life, the expenses will come in thick and fast. Costs for clothing, food and toys and furniture all add up fast.
Insurer Liverpool Victoria has estimated that the cost of the first year of a child’s life alone soars to £11,498.
As they find their feet, the need for special equipment reduces, but the need for clothing and food (and probably wear and tear on your home) increases. During the pre-school years if you need to pay for childcare, it can cost hundreds of pounds a week. Taking a career break to make the most of their pre-school years can be more expensive still.
Going to school may free up some time, but it still means costs, from the school run to activities and keeping them fed and clothed. A child or two may mean the extra cost of a larger home.
According to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 which has to include childcare and housing cost adds up to an average of £150,753 for a couple. The extra costs of childcare make things even more difficult for single parents, adding up to £183,335. A study by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR) for Liverpool Victoria suggests the costs are even steeper: £229,251 to raise a child from birth to age 21, from the maternity ward to university graduation.
The simple fact is that having a family may complicate – and place strain on your finances.
Getting family finances fixed
You can probably do without the luxuries like a new car each year and holidays to exotic places. But you will still have retirement to save for, and probably a mortgage to pay off.
The extra costs of a family might make that more difficult, which is why professional financial planning can be vital.
To start with, it might look impossible for you to meet your financial goals. This is where expert help from Continuum can be really valuable. Our experts can work with you to develop a budget, show you how to make the most of your money now, and even if things may be tight for the next few years, how you can start looking forward to a more prosperous future.
Your family may mean that you have to make financial adjustments, but with the expert help of the Continuum team, those adjustments may not be as great – or as long lasting – as you might first think.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Request a callback
Our services at Continuum are delivered by some of the most qualified advisers in the UK, to create the ultimate client experience.