Trying to answer the question, “How much does it cost to raise a child in Singapore” is notoriously difficult. Providing an average cost is not very helpful since the variance can be pretty extreme. For instance, the choice of hospital at which to deliver one’s baby can mean up to five times the difference in cost. So while there is no simple answer, you can always count on DollarsAndSense.sg to help you make sense of such knotty problems.
We will use a tiered approach based on a child’s life stage as a way to help you consider your options, much like how perks and costs of mobile phone plans are presented. Comparing mobile phone plans – Singaporeans are definitely proficient and experienced at that!
Life Stage 1: Pregnancy to Delivery (~1 year)
Estimated cost: Around $4,000
With one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world, even cash-strapped parents in Singapore are assured of the safe delivery of their precious newborn.
Knowing and tapping on various government schemes would bring the cost down even further. For instance, Medisave grants can be used to defray costs of a child’s healthcare expenses, such as MediShield Life premiums, recommended childhood vaccinations, hospitalisation, and approved outpatient treatments.
However, be prepared for long waits at public hospitals whenever you need to see the obstetrician/gynaecologist for consultations as the valiant public healthcare workers struggle to cope with the huge demand.
Estimated cost: Up to and beyond $20,000
Private hospitals with big-name consultants and a hospital ward luxurious enough to make some four-star hotels blush. If money is not a concern, then you can definitely have one of the best childbearing experiences in Asia, if not the world. There is a good reason Singapore is a choice destination for medical tourism.
For a rundown of cost estimates and facilities available at various hospitals in Singapore, do check out this super informative post from SassyMama!
Promotion: Deliver child during this SG50 year and get awesome SG50 Baby Jubilee Gifts! Offer for a limited time only. (Duh!)
Life Stage 2: Baby (3 years)
Estimated cost: Around $25,000
Estimated cost: Up to and beyond $47,000
You should budget for essentials such as baby diapers, milk (in lieu of breastfeeding), toys, a cot and stroller, and new clothes (they grow fast!).
It is also never too early to consider getting insurance for your child. Purchasing a policy specifically for your child will help with medical costs from illness, hospitalisation, and other kinds of treatment. By default, newborns are covered under MediShield, but you may check with your insurer if you desire more comprehensive policies.
Life Stage 3: Toddler (3 years)
Estimated cost: Around $20,000
Estimated cost: Up to and beyond $65,000
Your choice of childcare has the biggest impact on the child-rearing costs during this life stage (up to 200%!) Community or kindergartens run by non-profit organisations are usually more affordable, while schools with Monte-something programmes cost much more. They do provide better teacher-to-student ratios and have generally better facilities and more tailored programmes.
Life Stage 4: School-going (10 years)
Estimated cost: Around $30,000
Estimated cost: Up to and beyond $60,000
For most Singaporean children, the majority of whom go to school that are government-run, the cost of education will be similar. International and private schools will cost you a premium.
Another way in which the cost needed for your child will increase substantially is whether or not you choose to enrol him/her in tuition or other enrichment classes, such as music, dance, art, drama, sports or other courses, some of which can be offset using Edusave.
Throw in annual holidays into the mix and you are looking at university-funding levels of money.
Cost of Raising Your Child
Based on our descriptions above, you should weigh the costs and compromises you are comfortable with at each of the various life stages for your child and fill them up using our handy table below:
|My Estimated Costs||Average Monthly Cost|
|Pregnancy and Delivery||÷12 =|
That’s it! Your very own answer to the question. Now that the math is out of the way, we urge you to consider the great joy and meaning that raising a child brings. Now that is something you (probably) can’t put a price on.
DollarsAndSense.sg aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.
Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.
If you have not done so, subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available anywhere else.