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As a parent I generally avoid thinking about this, if I can! But one really should be realistic about it and, either way, there is a gently stomach-churning joy in having a peek.

A new report gives you a pretty good feeling for the minimum:

In rough figures they are saying the basic, unavoidable cost between first bawl and the 18th birthday ball is around £80,000 ($125,000). That is £4400 ($7000) per annum or £12 ($18) per day.

But, as you can see, that really is a basic cost! My sons can eat nearly £12 of Alpen in a sitting, each.

So there are a few likely extras to this:

  • Extra room (their basic cost ignores this…) £45,000 ($70,000)

  • One cheap holiday per annum £10,000 ($16,000)

  • Some childcare £40,000 ($63,000)

  • Car £60,000 ($95,000)

  • Minimum Presents etc. £10,000 ($16,000)

  • Realistic food bill £60,000 ($95,000)

All of those can easily be doubled or tripled.

So we now have a basic cost of £305,000 ($480,000) or £46 ($73) per day, easily expanded to around £400,000 ($633,000) or £60 ($95) per day.

But maybe you are thinking of some private schooling zone…  Oops, there goes another £120,000 to £500,000 ($190,000-$790,000). Take the barest minimum and you are now at £520,000 ($823,000).

That is a tidy £29,000 ($46,000) per year or £80 ($125) per day, every day. Three children at private school? Mmm… better put aside £80K/annum ($125K) in net income. And, remember that, as parents, your earning capacity is substantially reduced, or you will need to massively increase that childcare budget.

Anyhow, cheap at the price, I say…!


David Morgan is the CEO of Oxford Learning Solutions, publishers of the Easyread System, an online phonics course for kids with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, and highly visual learning styles. He has three wonderful children.