All about the money

Repeat after me: “Monopoly money isn’t real”.

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post asks how much it costs to raise a child. For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting click here.

Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore had fun rubbishing the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s best guess that £37,000 is the minimum a family can live on each year, see here.

For once she did it with uncharacteristic sympathy, remembering the time she passed the 11+ exam and instead of a happy family, there was little celebration because  the better school’s new  uniform would cost so much.

If you won £37,000 it would seem a massive amount, but whittling this down to ensure you feed and clothe your family; keep up to date with bills, mortgage etc, the sum the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (a very respected UK think tank and social surveyor) has picked seems about right.

Sadly £37,000 must seem a fortune to many British-based families.

Baby bills
In the UK disadvantaged children are the ones eligible for free school meals (or in care). To be eligible for free school meals (which should also enable you to get uniform vouchers and sometimes discounted music lessons) a child must be living in a household which has a joint annual income less than £16,190. In the borough we live it’s not unusual for half the students to be on free school meals.

Of course you can have fun with no money, this blog is all about thrift, but there’s a huge difference between taking the downshifting choice and facing financial disaster if an unexpected bill turns up or your food shopping is over budget.

Over to you
I’m not going to ask what you make each year, that’d be just plain rude.

But how much do you think your child costs you each year? The statistics say a baby’s first year costs the family £9,500. In 2008 economists claimed it was £186,000 to raise a child from birth to 21 (not including any education costs), which works out at just under £9,000 a year. Clearly the lower your income the crazier it is to have children, let alone more than one child. For once if you say “the figures just don’t add up,” then you’ve surely got the right answer.

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2 Comments on “All about the money”


  1. I actually prefer not to calculate how much my children cost me each year!

    • homemadekids Says:

      Vanessa, seems like a wise approach. I say this knowing we are going to Harry Potter World today which is an arm and a leg cost, but the excitement planning this trip and choosing friends to come along has been a pleasure to see. Nicola


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