New research and analysis into the cost of families from Sainsbury’s Bank has found that some children come with a heftier price tag than others. Parents of children under the age of 18 estimated that a daughter is more costly to raise than a son, across all age points.

The survey, which was conducted for the bank’s second Family Finance Report launched today, suggests that it is around £300 a year more expensive to raise a girl at ages 0-5; around £400 a year more at 6-13 years-old and around £600 a year more at 14-18.

Family size

Three quarters (75%) of parents with more than one child said that it was more expensive to raise their first child compared to subsequent children.

These findings align with Sainsbury’s Bank analysis of government data revealing that the ‘cost per head’ of each family member decreases with each subsequent child.

The average one-child family spends £621 per week – 17% (£89.60) – more than the average UK household. While costs continue to increase with subsequent children, however, the ‘cost per head’ of each family member starts to decrease after the first child; by £29 per head for a two-adult, two-child family, and by £31 per head for a two-adult, three or more child family.

Simon Ranson, Head of Banking at Sainsbury’s Bank said: “Families can be expensive, but it’s no surprise that the first child comes with the largest price tag. There’s a lot that families can do to keep these costs down, for example reusing items such as prams and toys for subsequent children. And of course, fixed costs such as accommodation and utilities – as well as the cost of food – don’t always change significantly when there’s more than one small person in the house. Many people say it’s as cheap to cook for two as for one.”

The survey showed that 40% of childhood items are reused; led by toys (72%), books (65%), clothes (64%), cots (60%), prams (59%) and bikes (48%).

Andrew Hagger, Moneycomms.co.uk said: “Couples planning their first child may take a sharp intake of breath when they see the figures in this report but at the same time it provides an important reality check and an idea of what to expect. Whether it’s a boy or a girl, household finances can be turned on their head when the first child is born – a sudden spike in expenditure and potentially less income means that the family purse needs to be managed more closely.

“Building a financial cushion in a savings account can soften the financial impact of starting a family whilst sensible use of interest free credit cards and low cost personal loans can help you to continue to manage the costs as your children grow.”

 

New online research commissioned by credit information provider, Equifax, reveals that how we manage our passwords could mean we are leaving an ‘open door’ for fraudsters.

According to the responses of over 2,000 people, more than a quarter (27%) change their online passwords less than once a year and 23% never change their passwords without being prompted. It appears the over 55’s are the most lax – with 29% of them admitting to infrequently updating their passwords.

Lisa Hardstaff, identity fraud expert at Equifax, believes that the fact that people now have so many passwords to remember could be a reason why people don’t regularly update their passwords.  “Our research revealed that nearly a third of consumers (31%) have more than five passwords. This demonstrates that people in the UK are definitely doing the right thing in ensuring that if a fraudster accesses one of their passwords they can’t access all their other accounts by using the same password.  However, good practice is to ensure that you regularly change your passwords and worryingly over a quarter of Brits do that less than once a year.

 

The UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare, has increased its efforts to combat the rising cost of funerals by launching a new range of measures on affordability.

The measures represent the second major initiative by the Co-op this year in support of its long term commitment to improve funeral affordability. The steps announced see Co-op working with Fair Funerals to become the first funeral provider to sign up to the campaigning organisation’s new enhanced pledge to tackle funeral affordability.

Run by anti-poverty charity, Quaker Social Action, the Fair Funerals campaign was launched in 2014 as the first national campaign to tackle the root causes of funeral poverty. Recognising that many people may struggle to meet funeral costs, the campaign first launched a pledge calling for the support of funeral directors to tackle this issue in 2015.

The enhanced Fair Funerals Pledge goes above and beyond what was previously in place and requires funeral directors to help people find funerals within their budget by displaying the full price of affordable options both online and in their funeral homes. The pledge also calls for prices displayed to include average third party costs such as burial and cremation fees, a key component of overall funeral costs.

Forming part of a broader focus on ensuring that funerals remain accessible and affordable, Co-op has also today relaunched its range of funeral plans. The range now includes the UK’s most affordable** national fully-guaranteed funeral plan, the Simple Funeral Plan, which is a new addition to the Co-op’s planning range and costs £2,995 inclusive of third party costs.

Unlike other plans in the market, all Co-op’s set funeral plans fully cover all future funeral costs, including third party fees. These third party costs such as clergy fees, cremation charges, burial costs and doctors’ fees currently amount to £1,040 on average and have been rising year on year.