Daughters cost more than £28,000 to bring up - almost £2,000 more than the average son, research by lovemoney.com has revealed.
The average parent will fork out almost £2,140 each year on clothes, shoes, presents and paying for activities and sports clubs for their little girl – compared to just £1,999 most parents spend on their sons every year.
That’s a total of £28,439 on daughters between the ages of five and 18, compared to £26,630 on sons over the same period.
So how come girls cost more than boys? What is it exactly that makes the female of the species more expensive than the male?
Girls have more expensive hobbies
Our study of 3,000 parents revealed that the biggest chunk of cash is spent on their child’s hobbies and sports clubs, such as swimming or football.
Each year, parents of boys part with almost £556 in membership or lesson fees - £7,223 during a childhood, while those with girls shell out more than £603 a year or £7,846 up to the age of 18.
Not so surprising when you consider that sports that are most popular with little girls – such as ballet and horse-riding – are more expensive than popular boys’ sports, such as football and athletics.
Girls are more vain
Little girls, it seems, are also more demanding. The average son only gets £2,061 in pocket money between the age of four and 18, while girls manage to wheedle more than £2,162 out of Mum and Dad – so at least £100 more!
Rachel Robson highlights four ways to save money as you shop!
Similarly, daughters get clothes worth more than £2,029 over a childhood compared to the £1,891 that sons have to make do with.
It’s the same scenario when it comes to school uniforms. You might imagine that in the rough and tumble of the playground, boys wear out their school kit faster, but it seems they put up and shut up. School uniform and sports kit for a girl sees parents fork out £1,040.91, while those with boys part with just £974.61. (Read Back to school money-saving tips! for tips on how to cut these costs down.)
Accessories, such as hats and bags add more than £893 to the cost of bringing up a daughter, but boys get just £644.15 splashed on them.
Images-conscious girls also see more spent on their haircuts over their years – with a childhood bill of £694.46 compared to a boy’s £558.35.
Boys get better Christmas presents but girls throw better parties
But while boys and girls can both expect birthday presents worth an average of £99 each year, more is spent on sons at Christmas - £153.28 each year compared to a daughter gift worth £141.98.
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And girls have the most expensive birthday parties – seeing parents part with £75.45 each year – or £980.85 during their daughter’s childhood.
Boys, however, get a party costing just £66.53 - £864.89 between the ages of five and 18.
There’s no end in sight
Even when their children become teenagers, girls still get more money than boys – partly because they often start out as more nervous drivers.
Parents also splash out more on driving lessons for their daughter – spending £125.19 compared to the £104.95 for a son.
And girls get £675.03 towards their first car, while boys only get £538.93.
Ed Bowsher from lovemoney.com, said: ‘A child of either sex is a massive expense. That's why it makes sense to start financial planning before your child is even born. The more careful you are with your cash, the more money you'll have for your kids."
What you can do
If you have a little girl or a little boy and want to slash your costs, there are many ways lovemoney.com can help.
For example, you could use our goals application to:
- Learn how toCut the cost of having a baby
- Find out how to keep the kids entertainedfor free
- Book yourself a cheap holiday
Alternatively, head over to our Q&A platform where you can ask a question about any money matter under the sun and get free advice from other lovemoney.com readers.
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