Parents spend £35,000 on kids by the time they reach five

Parents are spending an average of £35,000 on their children by the time they get to five years old, according to new research by insurance company Aviva.

A survey of over 2,000 parents found that on average parents spend around £6,990 a year or £586 a month on their children in their first years.

Parents spend more on childcare than anything else: in the region of £1,140 a year, or £95 a month. By comparison, money spent on things like entertainment, food, and clothes tended to average out at considerably less, for instance, they spend £58 a month on clothes on average and £56.20 a month on family trips and leisure activities.

Aviva says the research shows parents like keeping up with the Joneses and that the North-South divide has a significant effect on spending power. One in five of the parents (18%) surveyed said they’d spend money just to feel they’re keeping up with other families. And about a third (36%) knew other parents who boasted about how much they were spending. However, only one in seven (14%) admitted they’d given in to children’s demands and bought things they don’t really need.

London was found to be the most expensive place to raise a child (although the North-East and the Midlands aren’t far behind). Wales is the least expensive area: costing less than half as much in places like Holyhead (£352 a month or £4,220 annually) as it does in areas like Holburn (£809 per month or £9,712 per year).

The survey also showed that over half (52%) of parents had opened a savings account in their children’s names; while 8% had started saving for a house deposit. Some 42% had taken out life insurance already, while one in five (20%) had made a will. Aviva has an online child cost calculator so you can check how your monthly spending compares to that of other parents.

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