Heaping taxes and rising bills -- has it really become too costly to bring up a child in this country?
The worries don’t stop and financial woes constantly lunge at you until your child is well into his teen years. Parents confronting the sky-high prices of raising a kid in Singapore, beware. The nearly-two-decade-long journey is not as easy as you think.
Based on a recent research done by MoneySmart.sg, the average cost of raising a child through his infancy, childhood and adolescent years is a staggering S$276,400. This price tag is inclusive of the child’s birth till secondary school years, covering nearly all aspects of a youngster’s lifestyle.
Unexpected -- or not -- for parents?
Surprisingly, this figure is a considerable notch below the estimate that parents themselves have come up with -- close to a shocking S$450,000. MoneySmart.sg explains that this is because they did not factor in major medical expenses that some parents are ridden with nor sideline payments such as insurance or work opportunity cost. Additionally, the mean amount is taken for calculation rather than the most popular or highest amount.
While such mismatches may explain the deviation, it also has to be acknowledged that admittedly, more parents are increasingly aware of the rising costs of starting a family, and perhaps even overly so. It wouldn’t be that long a shot to suggest that maybe this realistic mindset is the root for pervasively cynical attitudes against having children.
Not all costs are borne equal
As MoneySmart.sg details, the cost of raising a child is different in each family relative to their total income. This means that if a family is richer and has a higher disposable income, they are more likely to spend a bigger proportion of income on the child as compared to a less well-to-do household.
The costs therefore are variable, and this is the case also due to the difference in regard with which a parent views the myriad of childhood activities. While one kiasu mum might find private tuition and music classes a necessity for junior, another might be completely satisfied with school-provided supplementary sessions and recorder-playing lessons within curriculum time.
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Are we expecting too much?
Soon-to-be parents burdening themselves with unfounded fears of the exorbitance of child-rearing would probably have to stop and think for a moment -- are you worrying too much? While it is the Singaporean culture to be on your toes and have your child on the fast track, are you sacrificing your lifestyle just for the financial ability to push your child -- perhaps unnecessarily -- more?
Instead of running the rat race with a frantic mindset of never having enough, mums and dads in Singapore could embrace the thought that maybe less is more. In today’s age, taking a breather from the helter-skelter would definitely be a gem in this bustling city. After all, you did survive your growing up years with masak-masak for entertainment and hand-me-down textbooks for school, didn’t you?
Is the rising cost of living making it too expensive to raise a child in Singapore? Find out what Singaporeans themselves have to say: