After buying your home, having a child may be the single largest expense you undertake in your lifetime. It costs a staggering £227,266 to raise a child from birth to 21 (or £10,593 per year) and that's before you include the price of private education, which, according to Liverpool Victoria, can add, on average, £117,357 (out of taxed income) to the overall cost of raising a child, or £215,853 if you include boarding school fees*. And that's just for one child.
In this day and age, the expense doesn't end when your child reaches adulthood. More and more, the bank of mum and dad is being asked to help out with the significant financial pressures young adults are facing. The spiralling cost of university fees, driving lessons, gap years, first steps onto the property ladder, and so on.
It's a huge amount of money and can seem an unachievable goal. The key is starting early and using all the investment tools and help available to you. With the benefit of compounding a small contribution started early enough can work miracles.
* The cost of a child calculations, from birth to 21 years, were compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) for Liverpool Victoria in January 2014 and are based on the cost for the first 21 years of someone's life, from food and clothing to hobbies and education.
There are several ways to invest: