No Discount: The Average Cost of Raising a Child (in Singapore)

In my day, children were raised on sunshine, sports, and pure grit. The only “play station” was a clearing where the musangs were less likely to gnaw your face off. And if a kid had a five cent eraser with three colours, well, that was the Ferrari of the toy industry. But today, our approach to child rearing’s more lavish. In this infographic, parents tell me how expensive it’s become:

A Note on Variable Costs

The cost of raising a child grows (or shrinks) in proportion to a family’s disposable income. The richer the family, the more they’ll tend to spend on childcare, clothes, toys, etc.

Also, each parent prioritizes their child’s needs differently. Some will spend large amounts on enrichment, tuition, camps, etc. Others are happy to rely on cheaper cost community services (e.g. library run reading sessions, vs. paid literacy workshops).

A third factor, obscured in this graph, are medical needs. These will differ significantly between children.

Due to these variations, it is impossible to give exact numbers on the cost of child-rearing. These should be taken as estimates only, based on the claims of interviewed parents. For more on family costs and frugal living, be sure to follow us on Facebook!

 Cost of Raising a Child

Cost Comparisons

Estimated Base Costs: $276,400

Average Estimated Costs by Parents: $400,000 – $450,000

Surveyed families mostly had combined incomes of about $8,000 to $10,000 a month.

If there seems to be a huge gap between our base costs and the parents’ estimates, it’s because:

  • We take the average amounts for certain expenditures (e.g. We assume tuition will be around $420 and not the occasional highs of $1,000+, as was the case in some families)
  • We haven’t factored in major medical costs, such as surgery, which was faced by some families
  • We’re leaving out little details like insurance, lost opportunities from work, etc.

So, here’s where we turn to you: If you have children, would you say it costs this much? How much have you spent on your children? Comment and let us know!

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Comments (2)

  1. Can anyone explain how to read the charts. Is it on a monthly, basis of consolidated amount for the differnt stages of their childhood. I tried summing up the break down and it is only around 47K compared to the stated 276K.

  2. I would think insurance is a big part – depending on what parents plan for their kids. But my dad got me a life insurance since I was very young – because you will never know when your kid will develop some sort of illness that will not be covered later in life. And some parents go into a savings bond for their kid’s higher education, so that also adds up as well, overall, it would be a few K more into the mix per year.

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