Friday, 9 Jun 2023

Parents explain exactly what having kids cost them and how they got through it

Two parents have laid bare the impact having children had on their finances.

But Ros and Dale Tucker, from West Yorkshire, came through it together – and ended up stronger as a result.

It's no secret that having children is expensive, with LV working out it now costs £75,436 to raise someone from birth to 18. But what people talk about less is the strain that added expense puts on relationshipe.

And to make it all worse, the advent of children can also lead to a loss of income, as well as an increase in costs.

"The year our first child was born was particularly difficult," Dale said.

"We moved to a new house and had to get a new car, Ros’ wages were halved, and my work was down quite a bit."

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They're not alone, with figures from showing 33% of parents found their income reduced significantly or ceased entirely after having children – making them more dependent on their partner’s finances.

And it affects younger parents more, with 57% of parents under 35 saying they saw their income fall.

That drop in income and increased costs meant Ros and Dale's approach to spending had to change.

"You have to be on a budget and be more aware of spending," Dale said.

"You have to consider the cost of so many things you never had to consider before.

"Expenses like nappies, child minders, and baby food all add up – particularly when you’re working reduced hours to look after your children."

And as a result, they started talking more.

"Money was always coming up in conversation; both of us being self-employed and therefore not having a fixed or regular income requires regular communication when it comes to finances," Dale said.

"Times were tough, so without communication, it would have been near impossible to get manage such a tight budget."

The research from KnowYourMoney showed it's a path a lot of parents take.

More than one parent in three (35%) said they talk about how they manage their money more frequently since having children – rising to 60% of under-35s.

And as simple as it sounds, talking more could well be the key to making sure your finances get through – as well as preventing arguments later on.

John Ellmore, Director of KnowYourMoney, said: “The key to responsible money management is to create clear plans and, for those in relationships, to communicate and agree to those plans together.

"Ultimately, we need to feel comfortable enough to openly discuss money concerns, debt, savings plans and investment strategies with our partners.

"That way couples won’t feel the need to make secret purchases behind each other’s back or allow resentment to build up to the point of causing a fight.”

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