Parenthood is one of the most fulfilling milestones one must experience in life and also the one that encompasses a significant transformation for the parents. Planning financially helps you address the needs and challenges that go along with the patter of little feet right through to their financial independence.
If you are thinking of starting a family, you will want to think hard about the financial commitments involved. It is found that to raise just one child from birth till age 21, accrues an expenditure of $340,000. This number was calculated in 2012. Today, it is estimated that raising a child could cost anywhere from the low end of $200,000 to the average $360,000 and the last $1M.
Today, your finances are one of the basic things to consider when planning for a baby. One has to admit that raising a child in Singapore costs much more than it used to a few decades ago; especially with the amount of money incurred into the child’s education once they start schooling. Understanding the costs needed to raise a child helps you plan better and manage your finances while meeting the needs of your child simultaneously.
Before Baby’s Arrival
Having a baby in Singapore costs a hefty sum depending on the choices you make. Firstly, there is the cost of prenatal checkups. Mother and baby are monitored closely throughout the pregnancy, especially during the first trimester where a chance of miscarriage is high. Prenatal checkups thus ensure any problems that might be detected and can be resolved early. These checkups are incredibly exciting and heart-warming as you get to chart the growth of your little one while seeing him/her with your own eyes.
Most people generally proceed for their first check-up after eight weeks. Gynecologists charge between $150 – $250 per visit at this point. You also need to factor in the cost of supplements. This could bring the total expenditure of your initial two visits to between $500 and $700. If you are a Singapore citizen, opt for a public hospital to save money. The cost of prenatal check-ups is subsidized at these institutions.
Consultancy fees for subsequent visits are eliminated. You pay a lump sum which covers all costs including visits. The average package ranges between $1,500 and $2,000.
However, if you are still unsure about changing your gynecologist in the future, you can continue paying per visit. This would cost a total of about $2,000 to $2,500 for prenatal checkups at a private clinic, and about $500 total for a public clinic.
Cost of Baby Through the Initial Years
You will probably have started planning for your baby’s arrival several months before she or she arrives. This is a wise idea since baby supplies do not come cheap. The good news is that these costs reduce as the baby grows.
Here are the various expenses you should keep in mind for your child’s first year of life:
- Feeding–Breastfeeding your baby not only is recommended for nutrients to build up their immunity but also to save you from the heavy cost of formula milk. It is recommended that babies be breastfed for the first six months. However, if not possible, you can supplement with formula milk.
The average baby consumes 1kg of formula a week. The median cost of formula per kg is $45. If you start to dissuade your baby at six months, they will consume an average of $60 worth of food per month. Therefore, you spend an estimated $1,800 on feeding your baby in the first year.
- Clothes and Diapers – With a variety of outfits to choose from, it can be tough to resist picking out new baby outfits when you are out and about. Most parents spend an average of $200 for newborn outfits. Then they pay a little further $100 as the baby grows.
Most parents opt for disposable diapers which cost $0.25 per piece. Along with diaper cream and baby wet wipes, your total cost of diapering in the first year reaches up to $850.
- Medical bills – If you are a working parent, you should consider the cost of care. Programs such as PCF and My First Skool charge $700, while private infant care providers charge a fee of $1,300 per month for full-day infant care. If you opt for a nanny, be ready to part with between $500 and $700 per month.
Cost Through the Later Years
The cost of raising a child changes as the child develops. The following is a breakdown of these costs at different stages of your kid’s life.
Baby to Preschool(1-3 Years)
This can be a frustrating stage for parents as a large portion of the income goes in purchasing consumables such as diapers, milk powder, and clothes. You find yourself buying items such as toys, a stroller, a baby cot, or a toddler bed. By this time, the baby starts having solid food. If your baby is a fussy eater or has special dietary requirements, your costs for food could shoot up.
Additionally, you need to factor in costs for childcare and healthcare. Parents spend an average of between $20,000 and $50,000 during this stage.
Pre-schooling Years (4-6 Years)
Your costs at this stage fluctuate depending on how much you choose to invest in your child. Many parents are willing to spend a premium amount to give their child a good start. They shell out large sums of money to send their children to institutions with better amenities, tailored programs, and better teacher-to-student ratios.
It is likely for parents to spend between $15,000 to $80,000 at this stage.
School Going Years (6-18 Years)
This includes the years when your child attends school for primary and tertiary education. You can save a lot of money by enrolling your child in a public school. The government heavily subsidizes fees in public schools. Many parents invest in tuition and development programs to progress their child’s chances at a prosperous future. Some parents also carry out expenses on extracurricular programs such as overseas trips for their child.
Parents spend an average of $25,000 to $80,000 at this stage.
University to Working Adult (18-23 Years)
This stage could be a sign of relief as you are almost done. However, this could be one of the costliest stages depending on the choices that your child makes. If your child chooses to go to university, you could shell out more than $50,000 depending on the university and length of the program. If your child decides to study abroad, you should be ready to spend more.
Start preparing for your child’s future to safeguard that they do not miss out on any opportunities due to financial limitations. This allows you to beat inflation and keep aside a considerate amount for your child’s future. To begin saving for your child’s better tomorrow, consider using a savings plan, investments, or children/educationally oriented endowments.
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