The Complete Cost of Raising a Child- Get Ready to Laugh or Cry!


  1. How much does it cost to raise a child in 2021?
  2. What is the average cost of raising a child per year?
  3. How much does it cost to raise a child to 18 in 2021?
  4. What financial help is there?


Just how much does it cost to bring up a child? There’s the million-dollar question! Pardon the pun! Before you panic and need a lie-down, here’s some good advice for any parent out there: Aim to half the money you spend on your children and double the time you spend with them. This is a good starting point no matter what your parenting style and your child will appreciate it.

Feeling more relaxed? Good. Now let’s get started on the estimated cost of raising a child, the cost of a child per year uk and the cost to raise a kid to

How much does it cost to raise a child in 2021?


So, how much does a child cost? This is dependent on a number of factors including geographical location, whether you’re entitled to government help and education, to name a few. The average cost of a child changes from person to person and depends on their particular circumstances. If you want to work out the cost specifically for your set-up, you can fill in all your costs using this form.

The recent annual report by the CPAG (Child Poverty Action Group) found that the basic cost of raising a child to 18 in 2020 stood at £71,611 for a couple and £97,862 for a lone parent.

And research by MoneySuperMarket shows that the cost of kids differs according to gender as well! A relatively cheap maximum of £79,176 for a boy and a maximum of £108,844 for a girl.

The most recent figures in 2021 show that when you include additional costs these figures jump to £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent.😰 We imagine that the latter amount may well be true for children of widows as well.

Before you reach for a stiff drink, it would be a good idea to look at the breakdown of the cost of a child. Knowledge is power after all! Then we’ll have a look at how you can make some potential savings:


Without rent and mortgage, households in the UK spend an additional £1,566 on water. All those daily baths! Maybe switch to showers instead! 🚿


So, how much does a child cost per week in the way of food? In the UK this is £32 according to the Office for National Statistics. Times that by 18 years and it works out at nearly £30,000! It’s probably worth looking at the kind of food that will fill them up for the whole day so you don’t spend a fortune on snacks! And if you have a picky eater, we can imagine the challenge isn’t just the cost of food!


Now, how much does a kid cost in the way of clothing? On average it’s around £8,805 for each child each year. Almost double the amount of money is spent on girls as it is on boys. And we know they want the latest fashionable trainers that cost £100 and will only fit them for three months! This cost, at least, will become less when they stop growing and can wear things for longer.


This can make up more than half the average cost of raising a child! According to, a part-time day nursery costs around £7,000 a year, a childminder around £6,000. If you need someone full-time, this cost is almost £14,000 for a day nursery, a childminder almost £12,000. A nanny is sometimes worth considering if you have more than one child. The cost of a nanny is between £250-400 a week part-time and £400-650 a week full-time. Work out what is best for you here. Costs for babysitters can be found here but are generally 8-12 an hour dependent on your region. If you’re considering it, now might be a good time to move nearer the grandparents! 👴👵


After-school clubs and extracurricular activities can add quite a lot to kids' expenses. Think about the equipment, membership fees and transportation. It’s hard to say no to your child when you can see how much enjoyment it brings them. We know how you feel! Fun fact: on average this is thought to be around £28,000 from birth to 18. OK, it’s not fun. It’s just a fact!


This very much depends on what kind of school your child attends. State schools don’t charge anything for tuition but it’s a completely different story if your child is at an independent school. Even then, boarding school fees are more expensive than day school fees. And some parents, regardless of the type of school their child goes to, choose to pay for a tutor to help their child with school work. Therefore, how much a child costs is dependent on all of these factors related to education. And this is before any talk of university tuition fees and rent!


What is the average cost of raising a child per year?


For those of you who would be happier looking at the annual budget, let’s look at the cost of raising a child in these terms.

So, how much does a child cost per year? The best way to calculate this would be to divide the total average cost of raising a child until 18 by, well, 18! We make it £8,927 for a couple and £10,767 for a lone parent. And remember, this is the cost of one child per year, not multiple children.

Again, you should bear in mind that this is the average and is dependent on various different factors. Of course, costs differ from year to year. And it starts from day one!

When we’re asked, how much does it cost to have a baby uk, the answer sounds great! It actually costs nothing. This is thanks to the wonderful institution that is the NHS!

You might be interested to know that Japan is thought to be the place where giving birth costs will be at their highest: typically this will be $61,810. And the U.S. is also pretty expensive with the average cost of a baby’s birth thought to be around $10,800. The real cost could be much higher as there tends to be a lack of transparency with the healthcare system in the States. We guess you’re already feeling a little better about the average cost to raise a child in the UK now. You’re welcome! 😇

All of a sudden, the estimated £500 it costs in the first month after your child has been born seems quite reasonable! In the first few years you’ll spend upwards of ten times this amount on the big things: car seat, safety gate, highchair, pram etc and the small things: nappies, wipes, bibs, bottles etc. After the first, the average cost of baby per month will go down as a result of hand-me-downs and reusing equipment you already have.

Look at the table for a rough breakdown of costs per age/year:



First year






Source LV= 2016

As you can see, the average cost of a child yearly is highest during the preschool years. So, the cost of raising a child really does get cheaper when they start school (as long as they’re at a state school we might add!

Before you decide to emigrate to somewhere cheaper, we’re going to give you a bit of comparison to from around the world to make you feel a bit better. We’ve been asking how much does it cost to raise a child. The following table shows the top five most expensive countries to raise a family. Even though it isn’t a direct comparison, we think you’d have to have a number of children to come near these costs! Remember, this is the annual cost.


Cost per year

Extra information



Superyachts and superstars mean super high prices!



This is one of the most expensive places for nursery costs.



People from Luxembourg are on average the most affluent people on the planet according to the International Monetary Fund.



People from Singapore pay more than £30,000 a year on living costs and a three-bedroom house will set you back around £27,000 a year!



Living costs are the third highest in the world at over £40,000.


At the other end of the scale, if you do decide to up sticks, it’s worth considering Turkey (£15,326), Georgia (£17,210), Kazakhstan (£18,467), Argentina (£19,025) or Malaysia (£20,287) where the price of raising a family is considerably cheaper.


How much does it cost to raise a child to 18 in 2021?


So, how much does it take to raise a child in 2021? We’ve already mentioned: The most recent figures in 2021 show that when you include additional costs these figures stand at £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a single parent.

Let’s look at what you, and the government, can do to help with the cost of raising a child uk.👊


What financial help is there?


It’s one of the most expensive times to raise a child so if you’re struggling with the cost of a child to 18 and are on the poverty line, or if you just want to know what you’re entitled to or how you can reduce costs, then read on.

Government help


Extra information

Maternity Grant

1. If you’re expecting your first child or more than one child (twins, triplets etc) and already have children.

2. If you’re on certain benefits already.

This is a one-off payment of £500 to help with the cost of having a baby uk.

There is more information here.

Child benefit

If you have a child under 16 or a child under 20 in approved training or education.

Paid every 4 weeks. Apply here

Only one person can get it for a child.

If you or your partner earns over £50,000, you may have to pay some back.

Child Tax Credit, via the Universal Credit scheme

Adult guardians (over 16 years of age) receive money every year for childcare

This is a complex system which takes into account the family element, child element and disabled child element for your household.

There is more information here.

Tax-free childcare

All of your children to help with childcare costs.

Up to £500 every three months for each child up to a maximum of £2,000 a year and up to £1,000 every three months for each disabled child up to a maximum of £4,000 a year.

There is more information here.


If you still need to look at ways to save or if you aren’t applicable for the above, here are some more ways to make your money go further! There are many things you can do to reduce the average cost of a child per year.

  • Buy second-hand   

Your child doesn’t need to have everything new. This is a particularly easy way to reduce the average cost of a baby in the first year. There are many ways to save on stationery, clothes, and school. 📕

  • Eat cheaply

This doesn’t mean buying low-quality food. Make sure you shop at low-price supermarkets, cook in bulk at home and then freeze the meals, and be aware of when food is reduced each day at your local supermarket.  

  • Avoid keeping up with the Jones’

Remember what we said about halving the money you spend on your kids and doubling the time you spend with them? This is especially true for big events like Christmas, birthday parties and holidays. These events can really leave a hole in the budget if you don’t plan for them. The cost of raising a child in the uk is hard enough without putting this added pressure on yourself. Why not look at our Christmas saving ideas, make the most of some fun board games and consider a staycation! The best times you have with your child are often not related to the money spent. Try this:

Ask your child what three things they are grateful for at the end of each day. Their answers might shock you. It’s unlikely to be, ‘my expensive school bag’, ‘my new smartphone’ or ‘my denim jacket’. It may well be, ‘I made a new friend’, ‘I had a chocolate bar for lunch’ or ‘I found an interesting leaf on the way home from school’! 🍀

  • Make your child contribute to the team effort

If your child is like other children, we think that they probably enjoy getting pocket money! If you pay a cleaner or are constantly tidying up after them, stop! Cancel the cleaner and make your child do work around the house for their pocket money. You don’t just get given money in the real world after all, and this work ethic will serve them well in the future and give them some valuable life skills!

If they want to earn more, get them to clear out their room, do a car boot sale or sell it online and give them a percentage of the profit. You’ll earn a few pennies this way too.

When they start work full-time and they’re still living at home, they can also start paying you rent! Well, how much should a child pay to live at home we hear you ask. It’s up to you, but we think that a contribution which also allows them to save money and enjoy their wages is best.  

  • Shop around

Make sure you’re getting the best deals from nappies to utility bills to holidays and insurance. There are plenty of comparison sites to look at and remember, loyalty doesn’t count for much these days. For this reason, take the time to look around for new deals rather than let your policy automatically renew and you’ll save a significant amount! Here is a good place to get up-to-speed with the best money-saving tips and news.

We get it, the average cost of a child in the uk is pretty steep, especially when you look at it as a total figure. But how can you put a price on a little bundle of joy, a sweet seven-year-old, a difficult teenager or a well-rounded young person? They won’t be young forever, and trust us, you’ll miss these days when they’re older!

Cost of raising a child matters but so do lots of other things: family time, memories, achievements, and all the highs and lows that come with being a parent. So, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the ride. Just be sure to put a little aside as you do! 💰