Cost of raising a child reaches £218,000 Jupiter

Forget health warnings, it's time our children carried a financial warning over just how much damage they can do to our bank balance.

From cradle to college, the price tag per child now stands at a staggering £218,024 according to insurance specialists LV=. They have done some serious number crunching for their latest 'Cost of a Child' report, which shows how much we spend by the time our children celebrate their 21st birthdays.

Break down that £218,000 figure and we're talking over £10,000 a year, £865 a month or around £30 every single day.

As you might expect, education and childcare are the two biggest bills, coming in at over £130,000 between them. But factored into the education bill is the cost of three years at university, which may not apply to everyone, or students may take a student loan to cover their costs.

Even without those uni fees, you're still looking at £30,000 to cover school essentials like uniform, money for trips and sports and classroom equipment with the contents of the average schoolbag easily worth over £200.

How the sums stack up:

• Education £71,780 (£30,794 without university)

• Childcare £62,099

• Food £18,667

• Clothing £10,781

• Holidays £15,532

• Hobbies and toys £9,248

• Leisure and recreation £7,303

• Pocket money £4,337

• Bedroom furniture £3,373

• Haircuts and toiletries £1,143

• Other £13,761, so that's everything from Birthday and Christmas presents to driving lessons.

Aside from university years, the most expensive time for your finances is when your child's between the ages of one and four which can cost £14,140 a year.

Thinking of moving? Avoid London as it's the most expensive place to raise a child with a £234,000 bill followed by Northern Ireland at £228,000. The North East and Wales are the most cost effective places to bring up a family with an average cost of under £203,000.

With Government cuts and rising household bills it's hardly surprising that two in five parents are being forced to cut back on savings.

But on the flip side, trying to balance the family budget means three quarters of us are getting savvier with our spending and actively tracking down supermarket deals and searching for bargains or making extra cash selling the family clutter on eBay or at car boot sales.

You can find more advice on AOL Money:
The 10 best sites for savings

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