PARENTS spend an average of nearly £166,000 raising a child from birth until the age of 21, it has been revealed.
The total cost, which is equivalent to £657 a month or £22 a day, has risen by 8% during the past year - more than three times the rate of inflation, according to friendly society Liverpool Victoria.
The group estimates that the cost of raising all children born during 2004 could be as high as £119 billion, without including the impact of future inflation.
In fact at £165,668, the average cost of raising a child is only slightly less than the average of cost of a house, which according to Halifax stands at £168,210.
Childcare is the single biggest expenditure, costing parents an average of £46,000 during the first 21 years of their child's life, followed by the cost of a child's education, which adds up to £37,142, including the £25,572 cost of sending them to university.
Unsurprisingly, educating a child privately more than doubles this cost, causing it to soar to £78,430 for a day pupil and £122,713 for a boarder.
The average household will also spend £15,630 on food for their child, £12,109 on holidays, £12,055 on clothes, £9,369 on hobbies and toys and £5,170 on pocket money.
They are also likely to pay out more than £8,000 on baby-sitters and £6,728 on leisure activities.