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The true cost of kids

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For couples having children in 2017, can you guess how much they would have spent by the time their little ones reach 18?

Find out more from our recent research.

Any parent can tell you how expensive raising children can be. From school trips, summertime and weekend activities, to new shoes that are too small the following week - parenthood is not cheap!

In fact, academics at Loughborough University calculate that couples having children in 2017 will fork out £75,436 by the time their little ones are 18, to provide them with only a basic standard of living. And that doesn’t include housing costs, childcare or council tax.

But what a lot of those parents probably don’t yet realise, is that this sum is only a down payment.

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Our new survey highlights what those with adult children will already be well aware of - that you never really stop being a parent. Even once their kids have grown up, parents continue to worry - and will put their hands in their pockets to help out with all sorts of expenses.

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Nine in ten parents with grown-up kids (aged 18 to 40) say they still feel responsible for their wellbeing, and just over three quarters feel accountable for their financial security, at least some of the time. Approximately two thirds have helped their grown-up children financially in the last year.

Even more parents (87%) had given financial assistance at some time after their adult child’s 18th birthday. Of course, much of that could be small amounts, however in nearly a quarter of these cases, the parents’ last gift was £1,000 or more. A lot of the time, parents are chipping in to help with general living costs (43%), to pay a bill (23%) or purchase groceries (23%). One in five say they’ve helped with university fees. But parents are also helping to fund fun activities, like holidays (15%), and big purchases such as cars (14%), or a deposit for a home (10%).

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When their offspring go on to discover for themselves how expensive children can be, some parents also help to support their grandchildren (8%).

Perhaps more worrying, is that more than one in eight (13%) say they’ve had to help out with monthly rent or mortgage payments, and around 6% to pay off a credit card. This acts as a reminder of some of the pressures millennials are facing when it comes to the cost of living and, for many, the importance of the bank of mum and dad. But it’s not just money parents provide; close to half (45%) of all respondents had been asked by their adult children for financial advice.

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