The cost of loving
..is soaring all the time
‘Of course parents want the best for their children, but before spending a fortune they should talk to other parents to find out exactly what they need.’
Pregnancy & Birth magazine has recently issued a report claiming that funding the first five years of a baby’s life is likely to cost parents in the region of £20,000 – and that’s if they are careful with their money. Splurges on organic food or designer clothes could bring the bill up to £37,000. Childcare alone could add a further £7,000.
Food came out as the most expensive item (£2,433), followed closely by clothes (£1397) and toiletries (1800).
The magazine’s editor, Valery McConnell, put the high level of spending down to parents’ anxiety to provide the ‘best’ – regardless of their income. As she points out, ‘There are so many wonderful toys on the market nowadays, but they also come with an educational tag. So if you don’t buy these toys you could be seen as denying your child a vital stage in his development.’
A spokesman for the National Family and Parenting Institute advised first time parents to be cautious and to do their homework before splashing out, saying, ‘Of course parents want the best for their children, but before spending a fortune they should talk to other parents to find out exactly what they need.’
But don’t think you’re safe as soon as they turn six because the spending doesn’t end there. As children get older, apparently parents have to dig even deeper into their pockets. The study also reveals that, between the ages of six to sixteen, the total bill for each child is a hefty £53,413.