Children are very expensive. Fact: Statisticians estimate that it costs 25 years’ of an average person’s earnings to bring up one child from birth to completion of university. Don’t believe that it is cheaper by the dozen. Although the cost per child may go down, the total cost certainly increases.
- Avoid disrupting your career to have children. Take advantage of free help: parents, grandparents, relatives. Use them in combination with paid help if necessary. If you decide to break your career, have the children earlier.
- Avoid a big gap between children. A small gap minimizes the financial sacrifice if a parent chooses to take a break from his or her job. It is also better for hand-me downs and sharing of toys.
- Inculcate in children the habit of buying value. Children don’t know the difference between an expensive dish and a cheap one when eating out. Teach them to avoid the expensive ones.
- Leave the children behind when you go on overseas holidays. Often children don’t know that an overseas holiday costs much more than a local one. It is cheaper to leave them with grandparents or uncles and aunties. Take them on local rather than overseas holidays.
- Select toys that can entertain for a long time. Example: Our elder son played with his Lego set for almost 10 years and then our younger son enjoyed them for a similar length of time.
- Be tough on show-off or fashion expenditure: cars, clothes, shoes, phones.
- Use public sector dental and medical services. The service is almost the same. Sometimes the wait is not as bad as one would imagine.