The Tao of Us

A father/son parenting and lifestyle blog.

How Much Money Does It ‘Really’ Take To Raise A Child?

I read an article the other day about the astronomic cost of raising a child. Some bright spark had apparently done his sums, and arrived at the conclusion that it costs the average family in the region of £250,000 to raise a child to the point of adulthood. Don’t forget that’s pre-university age; so you can’t even factor in tuition fees.

I’m not sure if the author included aristocracy in his survey, or whether he thinks silk nappies are the norm for us regular folk, but a quarter of a million is ridiculous.

Think about the average person’s take home pay after tax. Then deduct bills, and all other living expenses. What’s left? Not bloody much!

This type of trash is probably written by someone who’s yet to have children and thinks it’s all white picket-fences in picture post-card scenes, with pony-club every Sunday.

When times were pretty damn dark in our household, I didn’t just worry about having enough money to put fuel in the car to get to work, but how on earth I was going to feed myself for the entire month. I didn’t eat well, and if you’ve ever tried those anaemic, grey, eight pence loaves from the supermarket bargain aisle, then you’ll know what I mean.

I’ll point out here that my son ate better than I did; because that’s what parents do, we put our kids first.  I did however, become pretty good at cooking basic nutritious meals from scratch which made the finances stretch further (and perhaps the waistband, buts that’s another story).

Parents have enough to deal with as it is. If you’re going it alone then you’ve got even less money in the pot. It’s hard! So take my advice and do yourself a favour. Ignore so called ‘surveys’, and forget what passes for the societal norm, and do only what feels right to you. In other words set yourself free from expectation, and start creating the reality you want.

Kids are an extra mouth to feed for sure. They need clothes, and seem to grow like flaming weeds every five minutes. But you can still shop smart, and bargains are to be had everywhere if you use a little imagination. You don’t have to take them on lavish holidays, and they certainly don’t need a new smart-phone every other month.

I think it’s time for us to get real folks and focus upon what’s actually important when it comes to raising a child. When you get right down to brass tacks, it’s love not money.

So how much money does it really take to raise a child? I have no idea and to be honest I can’t be bothered doing the math.

In the words of the great philosopher Cheryl Crow ‘it’s not having what you want, but wanting what you’ve got!’

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