You always hear people saying how expensive it is to have kids, but no one can really prepare you for just how expensive it is. You won’t really believe it or understand it until you go and start purchasing all the different things you need. For example, here’s a very very short list of the essentials we buy each week (you’ll need way more than this), where we buy them from, and what the average price we pay is.
- Nappies – Tesco (own brand) – £12 for three packs
- Milk – Long Life Asda brand – £3 for 6 cartoons
- Baby Food – Hipp Organic Meals – £12 for 7 meals
- Wet wipes – Asda brand fragranced wipes – £6 for a 24 pack box
So, that’s already £33 per week or £132 per month. And we haven’t included things like shampoo, nappy cream, any vitamins your child needs, fruit and veg or all of the other stuff you need to buy. When you consider the fact that (in the 2017 financial year), the average UK household’s monthly disposable income is between £320 to £420, £132 per month is a lot of money! And we haven’t even included clothing… And that’s where the inspiration for this post came from.
Clothing For Your Kids
So, as you may have noticed, we buy a lot of own brand stuff. If you want to stick to things like Pampers, you can expect the prices above to double, at least. So that doesn’t leave much for the average household to buy kids’ clothes with, does it?
Now consider the prices of those clothes… New or expecting parents may not have realised it yet, but kids’ clothes are typically the same price or more expensive than adult clothes (unless you go for plain clothes or multipacks). This all adds up very quickly, especially when you look at the typical sizes for kids;
- 0-3 Months
- 3-6 Months
- 6-9 Months
- 9-12 Months
- 12-18 Months
As you can see here, for the first year of your child’s life, you’ll likely have to buy an entirely new wardrobe for them every 3 months! Can you imagine how much it would cost to throw away all of your clothes and buy new ones every quarter of a year?
Why We Use Primark
So, with all of that in mind, it seems as good a time as any to admit that we are a Primark family. Apart from a few select t-shirts, everything we wear is from Primark these days. I mean, I used to go out to a shop called Rod & Maureen’s in Peterborough as a teen and buy a t-shirt for £50 or more… No longer.
Now, I spend about £6 per t-shirt and my wife can get an entire outfit for under a tenner! I’m sure you can understand why that helps us out so much. But that’s not the main reason why we shop at Primark. In fact, it really started when my daughter was born. You see, we were able to get a 3-outfit pack for her as a baby for just £3! This meant that we could sort out all of her wardrobe every 3 months for less than £60, including sleepwear and day wear!
This meant that, effectively, the cost of keeping my daughter clothed each month was around £20. That’s really quite manageable for most families out there.
Of course, I’ll be brutally honest and say that Primark kids clothes aren’t the highest quality when it comes to durability. They would probably last 6 or 7 months before they start falling apart. However, since you need to buy new clothes for your child every 3 months or so, you’ll never really experience this.
The other side of that coin is that, if you were to pay an arm and a leg for the “best” branded clothing out there, you’ll be throwing or giving it away soon enough anyway. So there really isn’t any point!
And That’s All Folks
I hope this post has helped to explain and prepare you for the cost of raising a child, as well as giving you at least one option on how to make it more manageable. But don’t get me wrong, no matter how much it costs, it is worth it just to see your child smile at you.
Primark really is a great option for parents because of the sheer low prices. The lower endurance of the clothing won’t even matter anyway, since you’ll be changing them again so soon. So if you’ve been thinking that Primark isn’t a good enough place to go, then I would definitely recommend taking a look at the kids’ clothes – it’ll help you manage your budget so much!
Do you have any other budget-saving places to shop? Let me know in the comments below!