Here's How Much Starting a Family Could Cost


  • The average basic cost for raising a child is more than £74,000;
  • It’s estimated child benefit only covers 22% of this;
  • Here are four tips to make that first year more affordable

With some experts predicating that 2021 will start with a baby boom, it’s reasonable to assume you might have a little one on the way – or at the very least are thinking about starting a family.

After all, you’re not reading this article for the sheer hell of it.

If you’re about to become a parent, you’re probably battling with a range of emotions ranging from joy to terror. One of the aspects you’re probably most worried about is money though. This is understandable as raising a family can become very expensive indeed.

The good news is there are several measures you can implement to make that first year more affordable.

How much does it cost to start a family?

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) estimates that, on average, a couple will spend just over £74,000 raising a child to the age of 18. That’s a substantial amount of money but, worryingly, that’s only the basic cost. The ‘full’ cost comes in at more than £150,000.

As a parent, you’ll have access to additional forms of income you might not have had before. However, CPAG calculates that child benefit will only cover 22% of this cost. Parents will therefore have no make up the shortfall somewhere. Although work is one solution, for many this will not be possible.

Fortunately, you could cut the cost of the first year through a few simple tips:

1. Start budgeting

If you’re not already budgeting, now is definitely the time to start. It’s important to get an idea of just how much you’ve got coming in and going out. With any luck, this budget will demonstrate you’ve got some cash left over at the end of each month. However, it may show you need to make some changes before your little one comes along.

2. Accept help when offered

From second-hand products to just the offer of a takeaway, take help from close friends, family, and loved ones where offered. This is partly for your sanity, but the financial support can make life much easier as well.

It’s worth noting that some goods should not be purchased used, such as a crib mattress, but – generally speaking – most baby products can be picked up for a great price second-hand.

3. Don’t buy expensive

There is an extensive market for baby products, with each item varying dramatically in price. However, there are often few differences between a toy which costs £10 compared to one which is £50 – at least from your child’s point of view.

A similar concept applies to clothes. There’s no point in spending hundreds of pounds on outfits for your baby which they might grow out of in a few months. Shop smartly and you could save yourself a substantial amount of cash.

4. Your child has no expectations

This point relates to the above but is crucial for your sanity as well. Although you may have an idea of how your child’s life should be, they have no such expectations. Therefore, don’t stress and spend lots of money on products which may not get used. As long as your kid is happy and healthy, you’re doing a great job.

Struggling to make ends meet? Get in touch

If you’ve created a budget but struggling to see just how you can afford to raise a family, get in touch. We could potentially put you in control of your debts through a debt solution known as an IVA.

This could stop creditor contact, write off substantial amounts of what you owe, and leave you making just one payment each month. To find out if you would qualify, click the button below: