Society Magazine

Average Teenager Sets Parents Back £6,261 a Year – Mostly in Food

Posted on the 02 August 2013 by 72point @72hub

The average teenager sets their parents back £6,261 a year – or £43,828 between the ages of 13 -19, it has been revealed. Researchers found that parents will have to fork out more than £520 every month their teenager is living under their roof, in order to keep up with their appetite, TV viewing, gaming hobby and phone usage.

And food and drink alone accounts for more than £3,100 each year – almost half of the total amount.

Train and bus fares, fuel to ferry them around town and phone bills also add to the staggering figure.

It also emerged that six in ten parents face rows with their teenage offspring, thanks to the amount of cash they need to spend to keep up with them.

Andy Oldham, Managing Director at the UK’s biggest cashback site Quidco, said:

”Children are expensive whatever their age, but it seems once they hit teenage years, they end up costing even more.

”They have bigger appetites and spend much of their time eating into the electricity bill with TVs, computer games and, in many cases, leaving lights and gadgets on when they aren’t using them.

”This only makes it more annoying for the poor parents who have to shell out the cash to pay for it.

”If it was just to cover food and the things they are actually using, it might not be too bad but spending extra on bills to cover lights and TVs left on, is nothing but frustrating at a time when people are tightening their belts.”

The study of 1,000 parents of teenagers, found that an average of almost £61 a week – £3,151 per year – is spent keeping the kitchen cupboards stocked with enough food and drink for their growing, adolescent offspring.

More than two thirds of parents even said their teenager easily eats more than anyone else in the house, with 65% admitting they struggle to keep up with the cost of their appetite.

Constantly watching TV, playing computer games and leaving lights on means £23.45 of the monthly utility bill can be blamed on the teens in the house, while talking on the telephone to friends for hours means another £19.71 a month is splashed out on the bill.

A monthly total of £23.07 is handed over to cover train, bus and taxi fares, while parents will also spend £25.78 on fuel to ferry the youngsters around.

Teens will also need £20.56 a month to cover fees for sports clubs and hobbies, as well as £163.14 per year for school or college trips.

Buying toiletries for them accounts for another £11.57 each month, while money towards nights out amounts to a monthly total of £22.29.

Parents will also hand their teenagers £21.70 a month in pocket money, and lend them a further £20.82 on top.

Over the course of a year, cash-strapped parents will spend £152.52 on gadgets for their young adults, as well as £101.20 on music, DVDs and games and £214.05 on clothes and shoes.

A further £211.28 is put towards their young adult’s annual holidays.

On top of that, 24% then put a further £561 towards driving lessons, car and insurance costs, along with another £15.67 a month towards their petrol costs.

In response to this, more than one in ten parents gets their teenager to contribute some cash towards their living costs, and another 43% plan to ask them as soon as they get a job or earn enough money.

And seven in ten cash-strapped parents are looking forward to their bills going down once their young adults fly the nest.

Andy Oldham, Managing Director at the UK’s biggest cashback site Quidco, added:

”Our cashback service provides a perfect solution for parents who want to offset costs.

”Those that buy items such as phones, groceries, insurance policies and holidays can earn money, as we pay our members the sales commissions received from over 3,500 retailers operating on our site.

”Families already using us as a money spinner, enjoy on average, £780 which could be put back into covering the running cost of your teenager the following year.”

Cost of raising a teenagerCost per year

Food and drink£3,151.20




Phone bills£236.52

Train/taxi fares£276.84


Lending money£260.40

Money spent towards sports clubs/fees£246.72


Pocket money£249.84

Money towards nights out£267.48

Clothes, shoes and accessories£214.05

Money towards holidays£211.28

School/college trips£163.47

Total (per year)£6,261.12


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