20th March 2017 – The financial impact of having a baby is placing a significant burden on parents. According to new research by comparethemarket.com, new parents will spend £184 a week on necessities such as food, clothing, nappies and childcare for their baby, equating to £9,568 in the first year of parenthood.
The cost of starting a family is a real concern for new parents. Of over 1,500 new and expectant parents surveyed, almost two thirds (65%) were worried about the cost of raising a child, with over a fifth (22%) considering themselves “very worried”.
The research also revealed that parents start to feel this financial pressure as soon as their baby arrives. Although 72% planned to take their full maternity or paternity leave, nearly two thirds (64%) are concerned that their maternity or paternity pay isn’t enough to cover the additional expense of having a baby.
These concerns may be well-placed; comparethemarket.com research suggests that parents are likely to spend £184* on their new-born every week, however the government’s Statutory Maternity Leave pays out just £139.58 a week for 33 weeks**, leaving parents with a weekly shortfall of £44.42, or £2,309.84 a year and this figure doesn’t even take into consideration the bills a family already faces, such as monthly mortgage and energy payments.
To further demonstrate the cost of raising a child, the £9,568 which comparethemarket.com estimates that new parents will spend on child costs in the first year of their baby’s life, equates to around a third (34%) of the UK average salary (£28,000).
What’s more, the cost of having a baby is also preventing parents from planning for their children’s future; in fact, over two thirds (67%) of parents worry about how they can save for this and one in ten (12%) do not think they will be able to put aside any money towards their child’s future.
Ahead of their baby’s arrival, living in a suitable home and having adequate savings in the bank to cover expenses, ranked as the most important factor amongst 80% and 59% of the respondents respectively. However, whilst almost four in ten (39%) believed that having a hospital bag ready was the most important thing to prepare, only just over a quarter (26%) of new and expectant parents stated that taking out life insurance was an important consideration.