British parents spend more than £32,000 supporting their children after they’ve turned 18, according to new research.
According to Zopa, a peer-to-peer lending service, 44% of parents revealed they may have to delay retirement as a result, while 71% say their lifestyle will be affected to some extent.
It highlights the true cost of bringing up a child and the report focused on early adulthood – the ages between 18 and 30.
Parents helped to cover the costs of higher education, accommodation, travel, food and cars, with expenditure dependant on what exactly they were helping to pay for.
Major costs for parents
University or higher education fees were the biggest expense, costing an average of £5,482 per child while assistance with house deposits saw parents provide in the region of £5,218.
Funding wedding costs (£4,903 per child) also proved to be a major outlay but one of the major surprises was that 71% of parents paid an allowance totalling more than £3,100 to their children, even after they reached 18.
The costs of a car and of food were also found to total more than £3,000 each, while parents also contributed a similar amount if their child was to go travelling in a gap year.
Total costs varied across the UK, with the cost of raising a child through adulthood in London costing nearly £68,000 compared to raising one in Northern Ireland, where it costs in the region of £14,600.
Girls cost more
Having a daughter is also more costly for parents than having a son, according to the research, costing an average of £5,669 more to support through adulthood.
This is calculated on the basis that bringing up a daughter between the ages of 18 and 30 costs £35,920, compared to bringing up a boy, which costs slightly more than £30,000.
On top of this, the study suggested that boys will be expected to contribute more to household costs than females, while daughters received 27% more in allowances.
The Zopa study also suggested that 68% of parents charged rent to their offspring, but at an average of just £129, it was considerably below the average market rental rate.
More than half of parents questioned said they had not considered the additional costs when working out how much raising their adult children would cost them.
This highlights the need for careful financial management to ensure that lifestyles do not need to be greatly affected to afford these costs.
Keeping spending in check with a prepaid card is a great way of ensuring that you don’t spend more than you would like.
A prepaid card limits spending to the amount on the card at any given moment and is not directly linked to a bank account, making funds safer.
The cards can easily be topped up or replaced if required, while accounts can be checked regularly online if needed.