Life BC, do you remember it?
I hear lots of parents talking about how different life was before children, all the things they used to do and how it’s not the same anymore. That’s kind of the point though isn’t it? At some point as parents we all made a decision to change our lives forever and have children. No one said it would be easy but no one forced us either.
As hard as being a parent can be we are very lucky, and I know I certainly wouldn’t change it.
That doesn’t stop us from dreaming about lying in a bath uninterrupted, or even going to the toilet on our own.
One of the things parents say they underestimated was how expensive having children can be. A piece of research commissioned by Deichmann Shoes found that life BC is £400 a month cheaper. Their poll of 2,000 adults found an average month costs around £1,406 for those with one or more children, but childless couples can get by with an expenditure of just £1,006 each month.
So what’s the biggest expense?
The single biggest cost of having a child was found to be moving up to a bigger mortgage and coping with the higher household bills, setting parents back more than £8,677 a year. Do you agree? What has been your biggest expense since having children?
Buying shoes and clothing sets parents back a further £471 a year – I guess it depends how much you spent on yourself before children. I don’t especially find children’s clothing costly but shoes with four children are most definitely a big expense.
This is particularly the case when they are very small, as their feet are growing constantly, and each time they grow you aren’t just replacing one pair of shoes. You have to replace school shoes and P.E trainers, the shoes they wear at home, wellies, even slippers if they wear them.
From the moment you discover you are pregnant there are a number of additional expenses you would not have had previously, and that just continues. There are lots of big expenses but it’s the smaller ones really that you haven’t thought of that add up over time.
The average British family’s food bill also shoots up around 25% after having children. From £2,622 to £3,375 per year, and holidays go up from £1,767 to an average of £2,257 per year.
Parents also say that one of their biggest expenses are birthdays and Christmas after having children, including all the birthday parties that children get invited to.
What do parents spend less on?
The study also found that parents spent less on some things. Spending on nights out and alcohol decreased after having children, and three quarters of the parents surveyed felt guilty about spending money on themselves.
What would you change?
Despite the huge increase in expenditure, parents are most likely to miss sleep and free time from their life BC! Would you agree? 37% of those surveyed longed for this, compared to 25% who missed having better finances.
75% however said having children was the best thing they had done, with many feeling you can’t fully prepare financially for having children – you’d be waiting forever if you waited for the ‘right’ time.
So what are the top 10 biggest expenses for parents?
- Paying rent/mortgage
- Paying bills
- Buying food
- Holidays and trips away
- Buying clothes
- Cinema trips
- Gym memberships
- Buying shoes
- Sports clubs
- Buying alcoholic drinks
What are your biggest expenses as a parent?