Having children is a wonderful life changing experience. Along with an increased sense of purpose and joy comes a lot of added responsibility. Kids change your priorities in many ways, including how you manage your finances. Continuing to spend money the way you did prior to kids may result in an accumulation of debt. Singapore is the world’s fifth most expensive city to live in. It is no surprise that many parents turn to a money lender in Singapore to assist with the expenses of starting a family.
Here are some tips on family budgeting to help you avoid debt:
Having a baby results in recurring costs for things like diapers, baby formula, and childcare. There are also milestone costs such as upgrading car seats, new clothes, and entertainment. As children get older, the childcare costs tend to decrease while the costs of extracurricular sports and activities increase. While not all of these costs are predictable, you can budget accordingly for the ones that are.
Take Advantage of Flexible-Spending Accounts
Flexible-spending accounts are special accounts that you put money into for things like out-of-pocket healthcare costs. The money held in a flexible spending account is tax exempt. Some employers offer flexible spending accounts while others do not. If you and/or your partner have the option to take advantage of one, it is a great idea to do so. For those who do not have access to a flexible spending account a money lender in Singapore may help with unexpected medical costs.
Ensure you understand any tax benefits you may be eligible for now that you have started a family. You can claim an additional person on your tax return and you may be able to claim child care expenses as well in order to receive a tax credit. Parents in Singapore can take advantage of the Parenthood Tax-Rebate (P.T.R) as well as the Child-care Subsidy provided they meet the eligibility requirements. Be sure that your employer knows that you have a family as it may influence the withholding amount on your paychecks.
If you did not have life insurance prior to starting a family, you will definitely want to ensure that you do once you have started one. Both parents need a life insurance policy in place in case of accidental death regardless of whether or not both parents are working. Some policies even have the option to use a portion to cover post secondary education costs for your children in the future. Having a solid life insurance policy provides security and makes it less likely that your partner will need to seek financing from a money lender in Singapore should you get into an accident or become terminally ill.
Update Your Insurance
Be sure to add your child to your medical insurance plan as soon as possible. Many insurance companies require that you do this within thirty days of your child being born in order to be reimbursed for the costs associated with the birth itself.
Having a child means fitting one more person into your home. While kids start out tiny and may fit in an apartment den or solarium, time will fly and before you know it, you’ll want them to have more space to play and explore. Rents run high in Singapore and home prices are set to rise so planning and budgeting is paramount.
In addition to needing more space, important factors such as the neighborhood and schools come into play. Living in the downtown core may not seem as desirable as it once did or you may want to move into a better school district. Buying and/or selling a home can be a lengthy process and moving around a lot can be hard on kids. You’ll want to ensure you buy an affordable home your children can grow up in that is big enough should you decide to add any future additions to your family.
Childcare is one of the most expensive aspects of having a child. Parents in Singapore can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to over $2000 per month on daycare. The cost varies greatly depending on where you live and what you are looking for. Urban centers tend to be more expensive. Daycare is so expensive that it deters many mothers from returning to work right away, especially when there are two or more children in need of care. Many parents wait until their children are school age before returning to work.
Regardless of whether one parent will be staying at home for the purpose of childcare, a nanny will be hired, or out-of-home daycare is sought it; will come with a price tag. If one parent stays home you will have to budget for the loss of their work income.
It is important to carefully review your health insurance policy and understand exactly what is covered by the government, your insurance, and what expenses will come directly out of your pocket.
Many medical costs are unpredictable as a result of special needs, chronic health issues, or illnesses. Having a buffer is a great way to cushion the blow of unexpected medical costs.
The adjustments you need to make to your individual lifestyle after having children may include eating out less, taking fewer or less expensive vacations, and evaluating which hobbies are worth continuing.
And perhaps the good thing with this is that it isn’t rocket science and basically anyone can succeed at it. The goal is to save as much as possible while still ensuring you live a little higher than the status of mere survival.
While it may seem like college is far off into the future as you teach your child to walk and talk it is good to start planning ahead. The cost of post secondary education in Singapore has risen 38 percent since 2007 and will continue to do so. Setting aside even a small amount for your child’s future can add up to a lot over the course of their childhood.
Despite your best efforts to plan ahead and budget accordingly life can throw you curveballs. Jobs are lost, health can become compromised, and markets can collapse. In times of need it is nice to know that there are money lenders in Singapore that can help families persevere through all kinds of financial circumstances.