1. ITV Report

Why raising a child has never been so expensive

Raising a child has never been more expensive with parents spending 58% more compared with ten years ago.

Over 21 years, a child will cost £222,458 up from £140,398 in 2003 according to a report published today by a UK insurance company.

Average cost for raising a child is now over £200,000 Credit: Press Assocation

Parents are all too aware of offspring draining their purses, wallets and bank accounts - but where exactly does the money go?

  • Education tops the breakdown and shows the largest increase in costs

This is no doubt boosted by the introduction and increase of university fees but also includes uniforms and after school clubs.

  • Expenditure on childcare has also rocketed

It's an average of £63,738 over childhood - up from £39,613 a decade ago.

Today's report comes from Liverpool Victoria Credit: Press Association

So it's no surprise 76% of parents say they have been forced to make cutbacks and 40% are selling personal items online or on the internet. Slightly less money is being spent on clothes and over half the parents questioned are using coupons to lower their food shopping bill.

Finances may be squeezed in these tough economic times but I note the average parent spends over £300 a year on electronic gadgets for each child and £770 on holidays - so it's not all doom and gloom.