Starting a family is one of the most exciting chapters in any relationship. It can also be terrifying. New parents are at times taken aback by the amount of planning and preparation involved in starting a family. Having an open discussion about each other’s expectations, conditions and readiness helps couples become visionary parents.

To help you plan for your new family here are a few tips you might want to consider:

Raising a child
As a reference, the estimated cost of raising a child in Singapore is $600,000 per child for a one-child family, and about $500,000 per child for a two-child family. This cost includes childcare, clothing, food, schooling, and implied rental to house a child. Yes, not cheap. But don’t let this statistic discourage you. The cost of raising a child varies from country to country. Focus on food, transport, clothing, health and entertainment costs to work out a budget.

Family vehicle
While you may love your zippy sports car it won’t do the job when it comes to transporting a family. A family car needs to be a sleeping chamber, play pen, feeding station, movie theatre and much more. It also needs to be big enough to carry you, your family and half of your life’s possessions on a road trip. So first up look at boot size and the ability to attach a roof box. Do you need to consider pet space as well? The dog or the cat might be the only thing that keeps the kids quiet on a long trip. Children are messy, so pick a car with vinyl or leather upholstery. You want something that’s easily cleaned with a simple wipe, rather than calling in the car detailing professionals. Another trick to avoid mess is a cup holder – for you, not the kids. When they drop something or need to be separated you’ll be relieved your coffee is secure. Before you make a decision compare the different models available.

Education plan
Planning ahead when it comes to children’s education might save you from a combined emotional and financial breakdown. Most parents aren’t ready to be faced by the extra costs in education - tuition, books, uniforms, excursions, sport… it all amounts to huge dollars. Is a public secondary school enough or are you willing to spend the $10,000 to $15,000 a term that private school can cost? It could be worth even starting an Education Saving Plan? When it comes to university consider online education, vocational training or even international education. Do you know that university in Germany, Argentina, Norway and Finland is free, even for students from overseas? You will need to learn the local language though.

Family Insurance
Starting a family also means ensuring their safety and well-being. This is where insurance plays an important role. Start reviewing your existing insurance plan or get one if you haven’t gotten round to it, like most new parents. Family insurance is one of the most important components in any new parents' financial basket. Spend some time researching the options available to find the best coverage for you.

Housing situation
Review your current living situation. If it’s cramped with just two people, you need a bigger place. Some couples opt to temporarily stay with parents to help ease the financial burden while they save for a house. Singapore’s Build-To-Order (BTO) is a flat allocation system offering new families flexibility in location and timing when it comes to purchasing a new, bigger, HDB apartment. You need to apply for a new apartment before they’re actually built so this will require a bit of forward planning on your part.


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