Parenting in Singapore: Costs of Education, Healthcare and Milk Powder
Love is priceless but for everything else, parents please make more money
Deciding to have a child should not be a money matter but the sad truth is parenting in Singapore is definitely not a walk in the park for low-, middle-incomers.
Here are some major cost items to take note (and the fact that parenthood is not a one-time affair but a commitment of at least 17-18 years until a child is financially independent, maybe 21-25 years if higher education is included):
- Cost of pregnancy and childbirth
- Cost of baby care, vaccinations
- Infant milk powder and diapers
- Education and higher education
Rising cost of parenting in Singapore
Fact #1 – Cost of living is measured by the Consumer Price Index or CPI available from Department of Statistics Singapore.
Fact #2 – The Consumer Price Index measures price level of a basket of consumer items according to a weighted average. A persistent increase in prices is called inflation.
Fact #3 – Inflation tends to be uneven; in Singapore, there is persistent inflation in the prices of transportation, housing and healthcare according to the CPI.
Fact #4 – Where children are concerned, the most significant cost items are healthcare and education.
As we can see from Table 1, inflation in Education and Healthcare is just astonishing. Meanwhile we can see from Table 2 that price of infant milk powder nearly doubled over 6 years. Quite unthinkable until one becomes a parent.
Our personal encounter
Dear wife who handles household finances informs me that my son consumed 2 tins per month when he was one year old. No need to say that until the day he is weaned from milk, this expense item will continue to grow. Healthcare-wise, children require special attention. They are rather prone to fever and diarrhea which grownups sometimes take for granted because we dose ourselves with off-the-shelf medication. I consider a visit to a paediatrician (who naturally charge more) a must. Unfortunately by the age of 4, my boy also required treatment in hospital twice – once for an infection after an overseas trip and the second a day-surgery for a minor condition.
Babies are bundles of joy, and cost centres
Pardon me I could not resist. Parents, go make more money.