Your feedback is essential to help us improve - click here to take our 3 minute survey.

The basic cost of raising a child until 18 in the UK is £71,611

The basic cost of raising a child until 18 in the UK is £71,611
Image source: Getty Images

If you are planning a family, you might be interested in finding out the cost of raising a child in the UK. It helps to be prepared after all. Life insurance comparison site Reassured has calculated the costs involved in raising a child until 18 in the UK. We take a look.

What is the average cost?

The basic cost of raising a child up to the age of 18 in the UK is £71,611 for a couple and £97,862 for a single-parent family.

The cost can depend on the gender of the child, since it costs up to £79,176 to raise a boy and up to £108,884 to raise a girl.

For all children, when taking into account additional costs this increases to £152,747 for a couple and £185,413 for a single-parent family.

What are the additional costs?

According to the study, there are several additional costs involved.

Associated housing costs

As well as rent and mortgage payments, UK households spend £1,566 a year on water, electricity and gas.


UK households spend an average of £4,805 a year on food.


UK households spend £11,723 on clothes for girls and £5,887 on clothes for boys. On average, this amounts to £8,805 per year per child.

Are there any other costs?

Yes, there are a number of other possible costs to consider when raising a child in the UK.


Childcare can be expensive, taking up as much as half of the overall cost of raising a child. Taking time away from the world of work to look after your children could reduce your childcare bill by a considerable amount.

You can also check out our article for useful information on how to budget for childcare costs.

Hobbies and pastimes

This includes anything from after school clubs to days out and other extracurricular activities. You will need to factor in the cost of equipment, transportation and entry or membership fees.


While it’s true that state education is free, you may want to privately educate your children. If you decide to do this, you will need to do some research. For further information check out our article on private education.

What about government help?

There are benefits that you can claim for help with the cost of raising a child in the UK.

Child Benefit

You will get child benefit if you are responsible for raising a child who is:

  • Under 16 years of age
  • Under 20 years of age and in approved education or training

Only one person can claim Child Benefit. There is no limit on how many children you can claim for. The benefit is paid every four weeks.

For information on how to apply, check the website. Also, check out our article on how child benefit can help save you money.

Child Tax Credit

You can make a claim if you already get Working Tax Credit. The amount you will receive will depend on the number of children you have. Child Tax Credit will not affect any Child Benefit you receive.

For information on Child Tax Credit, check the website. You can also check out our article on Child Tax Credit.

Tax-Free childcare

You can get up to £500 every three months for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare, up to a maximum of £2,000 a year. This increases to £1,000 every three months, up to a maximum of £4,000 a year, if your child is disabled.

Further information on how to claim, and what you can use the money for, is available from the website.


It might seem daunting, but remember that the amounts used in this article are average costs. They give a rough idea of how much you should expect to spend on raising children.

Bear in mind that with some careful consideration, there are many different ways you can save money.

Paying credit card interest? Time to switch to a 0% balance transfer card.

If you can’t afford to clear your credit card balance at the moment and are paying monthly interest, then check to see if you can shift that debt to a new credit card with a long 0% interest free balance transfer period. It could save you money.

By transferring the balance of any existing card (or cards) to a new 0% card, you could be debt-free more quickly – since your repayments will go entirely towards clearing the balance of the debt you owe, and not on interest charges.

Discover our top-rated picks for 0% balance transfer credit cards here and check your eligibility before you apply in just a few minutes – it’s free and won’t affect your credit score.

Was this article helpful?

Some offers on The Motley Fool UK site are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.