Parenting Expectations - Whitestep

How much do you think it costs to raise a child between the age 0-5 years

“The best thing that’s ever happened to me”, is often how people react when you ask them about their children. Children bring joy and love but as many a parent will testify, you never quite realise - until you have them that is - just how much you life will change.

We wanted to drill down into what people’s understanding of parenting entails, compared to the reality of it, and one way we decided to measure this was through costs. How much does it really cost to raise a child under the age of five? We knew the answer of course, but we wanted to see if you did.

We independently sampled a cross section of 1500 people in the UK, asking them how much they thought it costs to raise a child between the ae of 0-5. And this is what you said:

What our data shows

In our survey, respondents believed the average cost of raising a child, per month costs £464.

In fact, the actual average monthly cost of raising a child between 0 and 5 years old is £1,245. That’s an underestimate £781.

In fact almost 8/10 people guessed that raising a child costs under £1000, that’s 79% of Brits underestimating the cost by more than £250 per month.

How does where you live affect your expectations?

As you’d imagine, people in London guessed a larger figure than those in the rest of the country. But they were still way off what the real cost was - they guessed £611 which is still out by a substantial £634 per month.

The lowest estimates came from people in the West Midlands who thought that the cost of raising raising a child was just £383 per month.

How does your gender affect expectations?

The average guess among female respondents was £470 per month. On the other hand, men’s estimates were way lower, guessing with an average of £320 per month.


We've put together a short quiz to test your perceptions on different elements of parenting. Answer the questions 1-8 as honestly as you can. Click submit at the end to see how all your results compare with the real figures.

Parenting expectations vs. reality

Answer the following questions to see how your expectations weigh up to the realities of parenting


Step 1 of 9

  • Type in your age and select your gender

  • Are you a parent?

  • Where do you live?

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