The financial cost of raising a child

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Friday, 22 June 2018, 11:29AM
The cost of raising a child in New Zealand is high. Photo / Getty Images
The cost of raising a child in New Zealand is high. Photo / Getty Images

As anyone with kids will tell you - raising children can be expensive.

The cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old will set you back about $285,000, or around $16,000 a year.

Not that the matter is likely to be on the mind of some of the country's newest parents, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford.

And given the PM's salary tops $470,000 a year - it's unlikely to be a problem, at least for the next couple of years.

According to BNZ's baby calculator, new parents will need around $304 a week or $15,834 a year to raise a child, on a medium-spend budget.

On a high-spend budget the weekly amount needed increases to $405 a week.

Parents can expect to pay an average of $1470 a year on food and nutrition supplies for their baby, for breastfeeding gear, solid food, utensils and bibs and $1750 for items such as nappies, baby wipes and creams.

BNZ estimates bathing supplies for a baby will cost parents about $169 a year, and calculates $220 will be spent on baby clothes each year.

The highest expense for raising a child in New Zealand is childcare, costing parents an average of $8750 a year for one child.

Bedtime supplies are also costly, estimated to cost an average of $1285 for a cot, mattress, sheets and mattress protectors, a baby monitor and a portacot.

Keeping the baby entertained or taking it to see family, friends or to enjoy some fresh air also comes at a price.

Graphic / NZ Herald
Graphic / NZ Herald

Parents can expect to pay $280 a year on play essentials such as an activity mat, rattles, mobiles and a bouncinette, and about $650 a year on a car seat, stroller and a carry pack.

Additional bills, finances and insurance associated with raising a child is estimated to be an extra $1260 a year when two become three.

The weekly cost of raising a baby increases when the child becomes a toddler.

BNZ estimates parents spend an average of $391 a week for a child aged 1-3, or a yearly total of just over $20,000, as the cost of all categories increases significantly.

The cost of just clothing for a toddler is estimated to be $800 a year, up from an average of $220 for the first year of a child's life.

Raising a child in the UK is significantly more expensive compared to raising a child here in New Zealand.

Although the cost of supplies for newborns such as creams and clothing may work out to be cheaper, the price of childcare only for a baby aged 1 or under is £6000 - a staggering $11,500 - the New Zealand equivalent for a toddler aged between 1 and 3.

According to National Westminster Bank, Nat West, the total spend on raising a child from birth to 17 years old in the UK is £192,187 - or $370,500 - more than $85,000 higher than the price of raising a child until age 18 in New Zealand.

Nat West estimates the annual cost of raising a baby aged 12 months and under as £9364, the equivalent of just over $18,000 a year.

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