In addition to impacting our daily spending, rising inflation rates will undoubtedly influence our biggest life decisions.
We’re all feeling the pinch from soaring prices for gasoline, food, and household bills this year (making many of us more determined bargain hunters than ever before). With inflation rates hitting record highs in recent months, the cost of living has become a national crisis.
Inflation hit 6.2% in March, the highest rate the UK has seen in three decades. The Bank of England predicted that this month it could rise even further, to 8%.
It’s no surprise, then, that the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is also at an all-time high, according to new data from investment firm Moneyfarm. The company estimates that parents can now spend up to £320,000 on a child, the same cost as a three-bedroom house in the Cotswolds.
Moneyfarm research suggests that even if families spend below average on key items like food, clothing and childcare, the cost of raising a child totals a minimum of £131,000. Browsing Rightmove, you can find two bedroom apartments in areas like Newcastle, Cardiff and Birmingham for this amount.
Meanwhile, if parents spend exactly the average on daily necessities for their children, they can expect the total to reach £202,000.
“Of all the major milestones in life, starting a family is arguably the most impactful,” Chris Rudden, Head of UK Investment Advisers at Moneyfarm, told MailOnline. “It’s a commitment that no one takes lightly – financial, social and professional priorities have to change.’
Data shows that costs to parents vary over a child’s life, with the most expensive phase occurring between the ages of 15 and 18. Those teenage years can total an average of £49,790. The next most expensive phase happens when a child is between six and eight years old, with those two years costing an average of £30,000.
The current price increase will have the biggest impact on low-income households. “We know things are only going to get tougher and many have nothing left to cut,” Sara Ogilvie, Director of Policy, Rights and Advocacy at Child Poverty Action Group, told MailOnline. “With 3.9 million children living in poverty, low-income families urgently need universal credit to rise with inflation.”
She continued, “Now is the time for the government to reflect on the erosion of child benefit, recognizing that all families need extra support.”
Even those with middle incomes are feeling excluded from starting a family. One of the most common reasons people choose not to have children is that it is too expensive, a recent YouGov poll revealed. With the cost of living showing no signs of decreasing, perhaps we will see more people coming to the same conclusion.