Gulp – This Is The Cost Of Raising A Child In 2023

The Bank of Mum and Dad has well and truly been raided.
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We all know raising a child (or five) is expensive business. But just how costly are we talking?

Well, an analysis by digital wealth manager Moneyfarm has found that, in 2023, it costs an additional £20,596 compared to last year to bring up a child.

No surprise there considering how expensive everything is right now – from formula milk to childcare to clothes and food.

Last year, the cost of raising a child to adulthood was, on average, £202,660. (So that’s the total cost of paying for all their stuff between the ages of 0 and 18).

And this year we’re approaching the quarter of a million pounds mark, with the cost soaring to £223,256.

Money experts looked at the costs of over 150 different items associated with raising a child. Here’s where most of our money is going...


Researchers found entertaining and keeping children active and stimulated – whether at the theatre, a sport’s club or the cinema – has seen the steepest hike in price over the past year.

Parents can expect to spend £4,193 on enriching activities for their children, namely taking them to the theatre, cinema and concerts. Whilst sports clubs, classes and activities will set the average UK parent back £14,500 from the age of four years old.

Hosting and attending children’s parties is also quite the financial commitment (as many of us know) – ensuring the right entertainer, cake and party bags are in order sets parents back £4,100 over 18 years, whilst forking out presents for an average of 10 parties a year over the course of a childhood will cost £2,700.

Subscription services are also costing a pretty penny for parents. With popular subscription services such as Disney+, Spotify and Sky Kids added to Netflix, the average amount that British parents can expect to pay out on subscriptions for their children aged between six and 18 years old is £4,003.

Food and drink

Food is also now a lot more expensive, which means so too is feeding a child – whether they’re a baby on formula milk or a child eating meals. The cost of formula, for instance, has soared over the last year – with the price of the cheapest brand increasing by more than 22%.

The amount parents spend on food becomes progressively more expensive as the child gets older (which is no surprise really, as they grow and eat more).

Food increases in cost from an average of £3,839 between the ages of 0-3 to a huge £11,643 between 15 and 18 years old.


Despite these being irregular purchases, the research found that we can expect to pay £5,101 for tech devices such as computers/laptops, tablets, games consoles and smartphones for our children as they grow up.


The most expensive period to clothe a child remains between 15 and 18 years old, with parents spending an average of £3,766 helping their teens keep up to date with the latest fashion trends.

By the time the child reaches 18 years old, parents will have spent a whopping £12,621 clothing them. Perhaps that’s why more of us are turning to secondhand sites like Vinted.

If parents decide to buy new uniform every few years, they can expect to pay an average of £1,397 in school uniform and sports kit for their child as they grow through the years up until they leave sixth form at 18.


Before children’s interests turn to digital screens for entertainment, parents can expect to spend an average of £4,181 on toys to occupy their little ones from birth until 11 years of age.


Taking children to and from school, clubs, activities and playdates is a costly business, with the research revealing that a whopping £17,118 is spent on fuel directly attributed to driving a child around during their upbringing (in an average size family car).

The cost of raising a child in 2023
The cost of raising a child in 2023

Pocket money

Earlier this year, The NatWest Rooster Money Pocket Money Index revealed children in the UK are now bringing home £6.42 a week on average in pocket money.

And while it might not see much at a glance, over the course of the year this racks up to an impressive £333.84.

Moneyfarm suggests parents are probably shelling out a bit more than this overall. Last year, parents were shelling out an average of £7,780 in pocket money from the time their child turns five years old until 18, according to its report, while this year, the figure has risen to £8,169.


One segment missing from Moneyfarm’s analysis was childcare. But for many parents of young children in particular, this is a huge expense in those first few years.

A report this year from charity Coram found the average annual cost of a full-time nursery place for a child under two in Britain is just shy of £15,000.

The TUC previously warned that the cost of early years care for a child under two could rise to £2,000 a month by 2026. But for some, this is already the case. One dad in London told HuffPost UK he’s shelling out £2,100 per month for his daughter to go to nursery four days a week.

Parents in the UK face some of the most expensive childcare costs among leading economies, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Last year, mums took to social media to share how much their families were spending on childcare before their children started school – the lowest figure was £12,200, while the highest was £80,900 for one mum with three children.

Prices could climb further

Chris Rudden, investment consultant at Moneyfarm, cautioned that all of the costs they calculated don’t account for future inflation.

He also suggested some families are being a lot more savvy with their cash than others: “For many families the reality is not to spend the average, but to opt for far more economical choices. We therefore found that the range could go from £144,012 to as high as £386,000 for those with more disposable income.”