Married life after the big day — what are the costs that lie ahead?

With a certain royal wedding taking place this Saturday there is currently a  lot of hype in about weddings, and all the planning and work that goes into making them perfect! But whilst Meghan and Harry won’t ever have to worry about their finances, for the rest of us  married life can be costly and need an awful lot of planning and budgeting! Angelic Diamonds, retailers of tension set engagement rings, have been taking a good look at the costs that you’ll face after the wedding day, from starting a family to moving to a bigger home, I am sharing some of their facts and figures in this post.

Starting a family

Having children can be the next step after marriage. But as well as the fact that you will never sleep in again,  starting your own family can be costly. Nappies, clothing, nursery furniture, toys, and a pram, the cost of a baby can total £3,120 in the first year of their life alone. If you then factor in food, bottles, wipes and the basic perishables that babies need, plus the fact that your own income can be reduced due to maternity leave, this can be a time when finances are stretched to the max.

How you feed your baby can result in different outgoings too. Add £165 to this yearly cost if you plan on breastfeeding, or a whopping £1,040 should you opt for bottle feeding.

If you decide to return to work, child care expenses will need to be considered. Statistics have shown that for a relatively well-off couple in the UK, the cost of childcare is the highest in the world. In Britain, the average cost of sending a child under two to part-time day nursery is £122.46 per week. For full-time care, this rises to £232.84. Even though parents of three year olds are entitled to 15 hours free per week, this is not enough for a parent working full time, and so costs are still incurred, and become more costly due to school holidays or child sickness.

As you can see, it can be costly, and this is before you add the cost of an average holiday (£3,133 for a family of four) and those Christmas presents, birthday presents, school trips, uniforms…need I go on?

Upsizing into a bigger home

Another problem that won’t face Meghan and Harry, but is certainly a consideration for the rest of us mere mortals is the need to move  into a bigger home particularly as your family grows.  According to Compare My Move, the estimated cost of moving to a new house in 2018 in the UK is £8,885. This cost is based on the average UK property price which is currently at £226, 071 and takes into considerations stamp duty at £2,021, estate agent expenses at £3,391. This overall cost also considers general moving costs, which can add up to £1,236.66.

And then there are the hidden costs. The Energy Performance Certificate can cost you between £60 and £120. Essential surveys of your new property which check everything from structure to boilers can cost from £400 to over £1,000 depending on the survey that you choose. And you frankly never know what else may crop up during the course of the sale.

Getting a new car

And what about if you want, or need, a new car?

Of course, it’s up to you how much you spend on a new car, but whether you buy brand new, or second hand, through a private sale or through a car dealership,  the fact remains that the running costs of an average family car in the UK costs £1,000 more than in the USA and Australia, £1,825 more than Japan and £2,000 more than in China. Owning a car is expensive business.

According to What Car? the top ten family used cars sit between £8,000 and £14,000. And, if you were to choose a top new car, you can expect a family-suitable vehicle to cost between £16,995 and £29,495.

If you’re unsure on how much to spend on a new car, MoneyUnder30 advise the following:

  • If you’re looking for a cheap car that gets you from A to B, you should budget around 10-15% of your annual income.
  • For a safer and reliable vehicle, budget between 20 and 25% of your annual income.
  • If you consider a car as a lifestyle item and not just as a form of transport, consider spending around 50% of your annual income on a car.

Cars, homes and families all make the stress and cost of the wedding seem like a drop in the ocean, but with clever budgeting and shopping around you should be able to handle things just fine!