The Cost of Having a Baby in Singapore
Are you having a baby in Singapore? Its cost is not a joke. So it’s best to be financially prepared, not just for the baby but also for you.
Expecting your first baby is welcoming a bundle of joy that is about to see the outside world. However, it is not just about baby clothes, toys and room that you have to plan. With all the joy and excitement, do not forget to plan your finances.
Having a baby in Singapore brings a large impact on your budget. So be ready. Here are 9 tips to be financially prepared.
Sign up for the Baby Bonus Scheme
The Singapore government wants to support the parents in raising their children. Thus, it created the Child Development Co-Savings (Baby Bonus) Scheme under the Marriage and Parenthood Package. It includes the cash gift and CDA. Plus, it includes unwed single parents in the revised version of 2016.
For children born on or after January 1st 2015
Child Development Account is special savings account for children which automatically opens once a parent joins the scheme. Parents can select a bank (OCBC Bank, DBS Bank or UOB Bank) on which they can open an account. Banks are not the same. Each one offers a different promo. Take time to check which one will fit you best.
There are two ways around CDA:
- Save after July 1st of 2016. The grant will automatically be saved on the account or
- Save before July 1st of 2016. Your child will not receive CDA First Step but will receive the current dollar-for-dollar matching.
Parents can save until December 31st of their child’s 12th year. After that, the government with match the dollar to dollar savings in the following months until the cap has been reached based on the child’s birth order.
In addition, use your child’s CDA funds for medical and educational expenses in Baby Bonus Approved Institutions (AIs) such as:
- Child care centres, kindergartens and special education schools
- Providers of early intervention programmes
- Hospitals and clinics, Pharmacies and Optical shops
- Providers of Assistive technology devices
Go Shopping for Baby Stuff
Start shopping. But consider which ones should be bought brand new and second-handed.
Buy them firsthand for furniture such as cribs, high chairs, and strollers. Take note that damaged ones can cause injuries. In addition, download apps such as Bakipa to see some options on hand me downs. Finally, try comparing prices with online shops and real shops. Take your time. It will yield saved money.
SOS Baby Fund
Have an SOS Baby Fund starting from the point you plan to have a baby or when you discover you are expecting. Setting goals may vary. But save up for three to six months’ worth of family expenses. Also, it is better to pay your debts now while you are saving. You might be doing fine now. But, when the baby gets out, your finances will totally change.
To give you an idea, you must prepare these essentials:
- Portable bed or playpen
- Crib or cradle
- Moisture-proof mattress pads (1-3)
- sheets (2-4)
- blankets (3+)
- Baby monitor
- Diaper pail/bin
- Infant bathtub
- Nightlight or lamp
- Car seat
- Laundry detergent for babies or those with sensitive skin
- Nasal aspirator
- Infant pain reliever/fever reducer
- Feeding bottles
- Baby formula
- Bottle cleaning brush
- Bottle sanitiser
- Baby clothes get small in just a few weeks because the baby grows fast.
Talk to Your OB
Talk to your doctor about how you prefer to have your bill through the nine months of pregnancy. Will it be monthly or with a flat rate? Then, weigh which option will save you more money.
Money Management Habits
Create money management habits. Include a budget for your fixed expenses, savings contribution, flexible expenses, and money for leisure. Check where you can reduce costs while still living within your means.
Get 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity. You have a week before your expected delivery date and 12 weeks after childbirth. Your employer is mandated to pay you for the first 8 weeks of maternity leave. Pay after that is voluntary. Do not hesitate to ask your HR about it. Government-Paid Maternity Leave offers cash benefits employed for at least 90 days in the 12 months before your child’s birth. Also, you have a Shared Parental Leave.
A Medisave account with a $3,000 grant is granted to single parents by the government. Single parents can be unwed, divorced and widowed.
Medisave (drawn from your CPF) can defray the cost of maternity packages. Know your contributions. Also, check if your chosen hospital has affiliations with Medisave. In addition, the amount you can use will depend on your contribution.
If you have a normal delivery, usually Medisave will deduct $1200 from your expenses on a maternity package. But if you have other health insurance, talk to your provider about their coverage. Check if they cover some packages you can use.
Ask family and friends for baby accessories for gifts. Don’t forget to make a wish list. Instead of buying stuff you can get as a gift, you can save money for your child’s future expenses, such as milk, formula, and diaper. Do not hesitate to ask to hand me downs from family and friends who had babies. Clothes and shoes and good second hands. After all, your baby can outgrow them in a few weeks.
Plan your work arrangements so your childbirth won’t affect your work. Talk to your employer before you have your maternity leave about your infant care arrangements. Your working schedule might change since you already have a child to take care of. If you are self-employed, weigh if you can afford an assistant to help you out.
Having a baby in Singapore can bring a great impact on your expenses. Therefore, it is crucial to plan before the baby comes out to avoid future financial problems. Of course, you can ask your family and friends for help. However, if there is nowhere to turn to in an emergency, you can find a legitimate moneylender. Also, check their offered personal loans, such as Cash Mart, which offers loans that can best fit you. Cash Mart approves personal or payday loans in a day and even offers a 7-day guarantee, ensuring that you also get the best customer experience just like you want only the best for your child.