Parents unprepared for the cost of children

Many parents in the UK are struggling to cope with the financial strain of raising children, according to new research from Santander.

Over half of…

Many parents in the UK are struggling to cope with the financial strain of raising children, according to new research from Santander.

Over half of people (52 per cent) said the cost associated with bringing up their offspring has increased significantly in recent years, with 41 per cent claiming being financially prepared for it is now almost an impossibility.

The average parent believes they spend £537 every month raising their children, displaying the large burden it brings to people's wallets.

Finding this kind of money can be incredibly difficult, especially when families are combatting large amounts of debt at the same time.

Astonishingly, one in 20 parents (five per cent) even said they would not have had a child if they had known how much it would cost to raise it.

A quarter of respondents (27 per cent) said the expenditure required is much more than they ever expected it to be, with the most significant cost being child care services. Parents are spending an average of £187 a month on it, with £129 going on food.

Transporting them around and education-related expenses such as school trips are setting parents back £120 in total, while £52 is being spent on clothing every month.

People are coming up with various ways to get by with these large outgoings. Some 48 per cent of parents said they sometimes accept second-hand goods from family and friends, while 37 per cent actively buy used items from charity shops.

Meanwhile, one in five (21 per cent) admit they dip into their savings to cover the costs and one in ten (11 per cent) borrow money from other family members. 

Worryingly, four per cent have even taken out a personal loan to help cover the costs of raising their children. This can lead to spiralling debts if done consistently and loans should not be relied on if it can be helped.

Richard Al-Dabbagh of Santander Insurance said: "Parents can spend hundreds of pounds every month on their children and it's easy to forget the level of reliance children have on them financially as well as emotionally."

By Joe White

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