The patter of tiny feet can herald the arrival of big bills

As spring ends and summer begins, the signs of new life in are everywhere. The grass is green, the flowers are blooming and the more rural of us have no doubt noticed an abundance of lambs and calves in the fields. As usual, the celebrities are on top of the latest trend and there are a host of new and forthcoming arrivals being announced.

New kid for one of the new kids

Joey McIntyre was once baby-faced himself, as he toured the world with New Kids on the Block – said by some to be the original boy band. Now he is all grown up, married and expecting a child of his own with his wife Barrett. The couple recently announced that they are expecting on their website. "Can you believe it? I can!," wrote McIntyre.

Another Pepper added to the bunch

Another musician, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, has also announced that he has a child on the way. Kiedis was recently pictured in Los Angeles, patting the stomach of girlfriend and fashion model Heather Christie, who is now well into her pregnancy term.

Pretty Woman

A short distance away in the Hollywood hills, paparazzi were busily snapping away at Julia Roberts. She is due to give birth next month and was said to look "very pregnant" as she made her way along Venice Beach. Roberts is already the proud mother of two-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus Walter, so she will no doubt be looking forward to some months of sleepless nights to come.

The big easy

When you are a celebrity baby, life is a beach. You are dressed in the finest clothes, waited on hand and foot by an army of nannies, provided with the best toys and generally treated like royalty. The Beckhams threw a party for their eldest child, Brooklyn, that reportedly cost in excess of £500,000. It is also a fair bet that the likes of Maddona’s son, Rocco, will not be going short any time soon.

Oh baby

This, of course, is because their parents are absolutely loaded. And it’s a good job they are, because bringing up a child is an expensive business. A survey of UK parents recently conducted by the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society concluded that the total cost of raising a child now exceeds the price of the average house.

From the cradle to the wage

The building society calculated that that, from birth to leaving university and starting work at the age of 21, it costs parents £140,398 to feed, clothe and school their children. In comparison, the Halifax House Price Index currently records the price of the average home in Britain at £137,800. However, this may be something to do with the fact that British parents reportedly spend more on their children than any other nation in Europe.

UK baby boomers

According to the calculations made by the researchers, it costs parents nearly a third more to bring up a child in the UK than in Spain and France. Parents in Italy spend more on clothing and food, but parents in the UK far exceed them in spending on luxury items and non-essentials. Most of the spending is done in the early years of the child’s life – the first five years cost an average of £46,695. Between the ages of 19 and 21, parents are still shelling out to the tune of £30,000 per year – and that’s just for one child.

Happy families

"Everyone knows that raising children can be expensive but few will have realised that bringing up three children could cost nearly half a million pounds," said Malcolm Berryman, Liverpool Victoria’s group chief executive. It is a figure that may surprise some people, but it is a statistic that needs to be taken note of. Bringing up a child can be a huge drain on resources and it is important that prospective parents take this into consideration when planning a family.

If you’re thinking of starting a family, then the message coming across loud and clear is to start saving as soon as you can!

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If however you find yourself expecting and have had little time for financial planning then it is definitely the time for a financial overhaul.

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