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How much average teenager costs their parents

*Parents spend almost £44,000 on offspring between the ages of 13 and 19
*As well as food, phone bills, music and transport costs hit parents' wallets
*Only one in ten asks youngsters to contribute to the annual costs
*And less than half plan to ask for a contribution when youngsters get a job

Parents spend an average of £6,261 a year on their teenage offspring according to a new study, with the cost of keeping food cupboards stocked up for them accounting for almost half of the total.

Parents shell out more than £520 a month on each teenager still living at home - a total of almost £44,000 if they don't fly the nest until they are 19. Food and drink alone accounts for more than £3,100 every year with mobile phone bills, transport costs and keeping youngsters adorned with all the latest gadgets also hitting the Bank of Mum and Dad hard.

According to the research, 60 per cent of parents end up rowing with their children because of the amount of money they have to fork out on them.
Despite the staggering costs, only one in ten ask their offspring to contribute to costs and less than half plan to ask them once they got a job and start earning.

The study, carried out on behalf of cashback website, found that stocking cupboards with enough food for their teenage offspring costs an average of nearly £61 a week with nearly two thirds admitting that they struggle to keep up with the cost. 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 further £23.07 is needed to cover train, bus ad taxi fares and another £25.78 on fuel to ferry teenagers around. 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 spend more than £150 a year on gadgets, more than £100 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 per cent then put a further £561 towards driving lessons, car and insurance costs, along with another £15.67 a month towards their petrol costs.

Andy Oldham, Managing Director at, 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.'

Steve Nolan