New research shows parents are spending an average of £35,000 on their children by the time they get to five years old – and that’s not a small amount, by anyone’s calculations.
On average, that works out at around £6,990 a year or £586 a month.
This adds up to a total of more than £28 billion being spent on the nation’s four million under-fives each year.
One in five of the parents (18%) asked said they’d spend money just to feel they’re keeping up with other families.
And about a third (36%) knew other parents who boasted about how much they were spending.
Although, only one in seven (14%) admitted they’d given in to children’s demands and bought things they don’t really need.
The research also revealed that parents feel under considerable pressure to spend on their youngsters.
One in five (18%) say they feel compelled to spend in order to keep up with other parents.
This is perhaps fuelled by the fact that more than a third (36%) of parents questioned say they know other parents who boast about how much they spend on their children. However only a modest one in seven (14%) admit to giving in to their children’s demands and buying things they don’t really need.
There is good news in that many of these parents with youngsters under six have made financial plans for their children’s futures, with more than half (52%) having opened a savings account in their children’s names, while 37% have opened a junior ISA or a Child Trust Fund.
A forward-thinking 8% have started saving for a house deposit for their children and the same have started a university fund for them.
Four out of 10 (42%) parents of 0-5s have planned for the unexpected by taking out life insurance, while one in five (20%) have made a will.
Here are the average annual costs per child, according to the insurance company Aviva.
Average annual costs
Toys and games £639.60
Essential equipment £747.60
Leisure/family trips £674.40
Entertainment e.g. DVDs, books £447.60
Special foods/formula £502.80
Extra holiday costs £670.80
Equipment for school/pre-school £469.20