Brits pay more for childcare than anyone else in the world – and with university fees rising, our kids are getting costly. So should we be regarding them as luxury items, or is it all a price worth paying?
Before you call Childline or start furiously commenting about me being a child-hating lunatic, that headline is a joke. Sadly, it’s one of those gags that’s funny because it’s true.
I have a wonderful five-year old who has so far cost the equivalent of a top-of-the-range Mercedes and several Caribbean holidays – and, despite all that, he’s still the apple of my sleep-deprived eyes.
The high price of parenting
Unfortunately, decisions made this week about tuition fees may mean that my little boy is about to become an even bigger luxury item. On Thursday, the chances are that the coalition government will vote to allow universities to charge up to £9,000 a year from 2013.
This comes on top of figures released this week that show the UK pays more than anywhere else in the world for childcare costs and that you need a salary of at least £26,000 just to be able to afford those costs.
And if this weren’t enough, January 2011 will see the end of Child Trust Funds (CTFs) – another £250 off your kiddie’s future.
Money-saving tips for parents
If this has got you thinking of enrolling your littl’un in to drama school with the hope of a role in the long-awaited sequel to Bugsy Malone or, worse, taking up that lucrative chimney-sweeping position, fear not. There are numerous ways to save on childcare, school holidays and baby gear.
And if you’re wondering what to do now CTFs have gone, fear not as Which? has detailed seven ways to start saving for your children now.
But, in the end, while the costs of raising children just keep rising, they are worth every penny. Think about it, who else is going to tell you how great you are at football, when you’re fat, forty and falling over?
Or is this just the view of a dewy-eyed parent – are kids really a luxury item? And what money-saving tips do you have to stop them from becoming too pricey?