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New research from Barclays finds that the average British parent will spend £4,886.28 on birthdays in the seven
years their children attend primary school (ages 4-11). And with parents expected to have to fork out an average of £60,000
on the expenses children’s school years bring, from school uniforms, to trips, to extra-curricular activities, the strain
on savings is only going to deepen in later life.
The survey of 1,000 British parents with children aged eight years old or below found that parents will typically spend
£433.39 on their children’s birthday parties, and £164.65 on presents – with some more extravagant parents buying
as many as 50 gifts per birthday. Catering, the entertainment, the activities, party bags and cake are the top 5 most
expensive elements of a birthday, parents claim. Birthday spending reaches even more astronomical heights when it comes
to the costs parents have to fork out on other people’s children. The research revealed that parents spend an average of £223.05
on party bags alone (£14.87 per bag), with birthdays attended by an average of 15 children.
Perhaps due to peer pressure from parents and children alike, almost half of respondents (49%) said they feel obliged to
invite the whole class, raising attendance numbers to a minimum of 27, according to average class sizes in UK Primary
Schools. And although some dutiful parents revealed they attend as many as 30 children’s parties every year, the typical
parent in the UK will have to take their child to six occasions a year, spending an average of £16 for a gift.

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