LV=’s new Cost of a Child study has found that parents will spend £709 million* on ‘back to school’ basics including uniforms, stationery, sportswear and winter coats as parents prepare to kit their children out for the start of the new school year. This is equivalent to parents spending an average of £122 on their children. This rises to£139 for secondary school aged children, compared to £96 for infants. Parents living in London spend the most preparing for their kids to go back to school at £158 on average.
Despite many families continuing to feel the squeeze in the current economic climate, 46% of parents expect to spend a greater amount this year on ‘back to school’ items than last year. When asked to consider the financial pressures of kitting their kids out for school, 48% said they are feeling the strain of having to spend ‘excessive amounts’, rising to 64% among parents in the North East.
54% parents are considering using low cost suppliers for back to school items, such as supermarkets to buy basics like uniform and stationery, and 23% are considering second hand items, including hand-me-downs and goods from charity shops or eBay. This rises to 70% and 41% respectively for families in the South East.
Mark Jones, LV= head of protection, said: “It is surprising that many parents are responding to increased money pressure this year by spending more on back to school basics; clearly kids come first despite the downturn. And it’s even more surprising that many parents are spending more despite looking at ways to be frugal and economise, by purchasing from cheaper suppliers such as their local supermarket or eBay.”
The annual LV= Cost of a Child study shows that parents are now likely to have to shell out more than £201,000 on raising a child from birth to the age of 21**. This equates to £9,610 a year, £800 a month or £26 a day. Education (not including private school fees) remains the second biggest expenditure behind childcare, costing parents £52,881 over a child’s lifetime – an increase of 4% on last year.