Singaporeans, $380K is what you need to raise a child in Singapore

Got married? Bought a house? Now the next ‘right’ step is to have a baby, right?

We are all well-aware that raising a child in Singapore is no easy feat. It takes a whole lot of commitment – emotionally, physically and not to mention, financially. Let’s do a proper breakdown on the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old (or right before college) if you’re a Singaporean. Do take note that we did not include the cost of prenatal check-ups or the delivery. This breakdown shows you the cost once the baby is born till the he or she attends college.

Phase 1: New Born

Since it is advisable to breastfeed at least for 6 months, the calculation for the cost of formula milk is for a 6-month old baby for half a year.

There will be few items that you are likely purchase just one time. Some examples of such items include pram, crib, milk bottles, clothes, toys, car seat, baby carrier, pacifiers etc. The illustration below shows a rough estimated cost of the items.

Medical

During the first few months, you may visit a pediatrician to ensure that your baby is growing healthily. Opting for a private pediatrician can set you back about $200 per visit. You will need to ensure that your child takes the mandatory vaccinations and you can expect to pay about $1000 or more on these vaccinations. Singaporeans who are first-time parents can opt to get the compulsory vaccinations for their child in polyclinics at no cost at all.   

Infant care

Some of the common infant/child care arrangements include hiring a domestic helper or engaging your parents to take care of your baby.

Phase 2: Baby to toddler – till 7 years old

Child care / Kindergarten

The common practice is to enroll your child in playgroup, nursery and then in kindergarten before they head off to primary school. Below is the breakdown for the cost of pre-primary school education. 

Miscellaneous/ Items needed

You will still need diapers, milk formula, baby hygiene items, food, clothes (especially since they tend to grow at an exponential rate), transportation and perhaps also, health insurance.

Using the above figures as guides, the estimated cost of miscellaneous items for a child from the age of 1 to 6 is about $30,000.

Phase 3: School years – 12 to 13 years

Primary education, usually starts at age seven and it is compulsory with exceptions for those being home-schooled, enrolled in a full-time religious institutions and those with special needs. Primary education is free for all Singapore citizens in schools under the purview of the Ministry of Education (MOE) though there is a fee of up to SGD 13 to cover miscellaneous costs. After primary school, every other education level has school fees and miscellaneous fees accordingly.

Below is the breakdown of the cost of education for Singaporeans from Primary school to Pre-University according to MOE in 2018. The education cost is subjected to change without further notice by the government or individual schools (polytechnics).

Miscellaneous/ Items needed

Apart from education, there will also be daily expenses for your child – food, clothes, pocket money, transport, birthdays, books, tuition classes, enrichment classes, etc. If we were to be conservative, it’ll still come up to approximately $1,800/month on average for 12 years.

Keep in mind that these figures are calculated conservatively, on the basis that your child attends local schools, and it does not include the effects of inflation.

Grand Total

There you have it! A complete conservative breakdown on the cost of raising a child not including the effect of inflation and university education costs.

Are you financially prepared to raise a child in Singapore?

While finance is a huge concern, it is also important to consider the great joy and meaning that come with raising a child – that is something you can’t place a price tag on.

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