Being a parent is hugely rewarding, but the costs that come with raising children can be eye-watering.
Mums and dads of 0-11 year-olds spend, on average, between £448 and £755 a month on each child, paying for things like; childcare, entertainment, clothes and toys. That's between a fifth and a third of the average UK salary, according to the research by Halifax.
But having a child doesn't need to be this expensive. There are lots of simple changes you can make to save money:
Swap new for pre-loved
Charity shops and online second-hand stores are full of furniture, clothes, shoes and toys for children. Because children grow out of things quickly, the items are often as good as new.
Baby equipment is a commonly-listed item on eBay. Activity centres, which can cost around £80 in high street shops, sell for at least half their recommended retail price.
You can buy bundles of four or five items of clothing for less than £10 - considerably less than the £16 you'd pay for just three sleepsuits at Mothercare.
Be careful when it comes to buying car seats or mattresses second-hand, as they might not meet safety standards.
Don't throw - reuse!
The cost of disposable nappies and wipes can soon add up. Babies are typically in nappies for at least two-and-a-half years, and using disposables for that time amounts to around £600.
You can save some cash, and the environment, by opting for cloth nappies. They cost about £250 to buy, and £80 to wash, over two-and-a-half years. That's a £270 saving overall.
Avoid splashing out on entertainment
Keeping children entertained isn't always easy, but you don't have to splash out on cinema trips, bowling alleys and restaurants to have fun together. Board games and movie nights at home are just as enjoyable while they're young. You're not having to fund their social life in the same way you do when they get a bit older. So, relish the time together and save some cash while they're younger.
Lots of theme parks and zoos offer big discounts in the summer holidays – you can usually find vouchers on cereal packets, online and in newspapers. There are also masses of free museums and galleries across the UK.
Try KidsPass for inspiration. It's a discount app offering money off thousands of days out at theme parks, zoos and aquariums, to cinema and restaurants.
There are loads of ways you can reduce the cost of raising children while still enjoying yourselves.
Check out the following links for some more inspiration: