Lets be realistic about how times have changed. In the olden days, it was a must to have kids as soon as you tie the knot. I believe this concept is evident across all racial or ethnic backgrounds in Malaysia. More often than not, we constantly hear stories from our parents about how a plate of fried rice used to cost RM0.50 cents and you could get a cup of coffee at RM0.20 cents.
Today i really don't think you can get anything at all for that price. So even though the folks back then probably did not earn much, I guess it wasn't expensive to raise a child either. From clothes to food and even schools. Things have certainly taken a drastic turn in terms of the cost of raising a child in Malaysia today.
We have provided a similar article last year. This is an update as to my own experience. Lets talk about the present and the (gulp) future. Allow me to take you on a journey from the time you plan to have a baby right up to the registration line at your nearest pre school.
Congrats! there's the double line! You are now a proud parent. Ah the joy, the tears of joy, the reactions of your loved ones PRICELESS!. A trip to your gynecologist, now the PRICE begins. There are two choices that you can opt from. The cheaper Klinik Kesihatan or a private hospital. The Klinik Kesihatan would not cost you a single cent whereas the private ones would cost an average of RM300 for consultation excluding medications or supplements i.e. folic acids etc. The difference between the two is comfort and wait time. Klinik Kesihatan would most certainly take at least half a day compared to just an hour or so at a private medical center. Here you have the a choice to make according to your financial status. Base on my own experience, the choices would slowly reduce. Yes, it gets tougher moving on.
Eight months down the road its that time to pop! Okay straight to the point. At this stage you still have your choice. Government or private. The situation here is a little complicated. Let me try an break it down to make it clearer.
Government (Normal delivery)
At the very best scenario i.e. delivery without procedures like suction cup or epidural would cost approximately RM100 to RM150 average. With the above mentioned procedures it would be around RM 200 plus.
If you have to go under the knife at a Government hospital, It would probably cost you close to RM1,000.
If you choose to have your baby at a private facility, take a deep breath as you read on. Now, the price varies from one private hospital to another. I have actually surveyed some of the top private medical centers in Klang Valley and these are the average fees.
Best case scenario, everything goes smooth without any complications, be prepared to have at least RM15,000.00 just to be safe. In the event you require surgery, then my advice is that you keep RM20 to RM25 thousand.
Infant Check ups
Now that the baby has arrived, you would need regular check ups. The choice is still available here between Government and private. Government would still be free but again, it would take you half a day. Private check ups would cost you between RM200 to RM300 excluding any medications. Now in my opinion, this is where the choice for free options pretty much ends.
Now lets take a look at some expenses that are unavoidable in my opinion.
- Milk - Eventually we will move away from mothers milk and start giving our baby formula's instead. A 900g tin of milk formula would last about a week, sometimes lesser depending on how much your baby drinks. Price ranges from RM100 to RM120 depending on the brand. So you do the math as to how much it would cost you for a month!
- Diapers - We are looking at perhaps 4 diaper change maybe in a day. A large diaper would consist of 77 pieces priced at RM50 average. So in a month that would be....?
- Utensils - These include milk bottles, towels, blanket, mattress, pillows, food bowls etc. Easily all these would cost you close to RM500 average.
- Clothes - If you have generous family members and friends, you could really save up alot here. But if you don't, than let me enlightened you. Please allocate RM100 aside for ONE pair of simple baby wear. Yes, ONE pair. I'm pretty sure your baby needs more than a pair.
- Toys - Really? you don't plan to buy any toys at all? That's not true. Like it or not, you are going to buy some toys. Unless you plan to buy them a t your local night market, baby toys these days ranges from RM90 to RM300 at any toy stores.
- The Confinement Lady - Lets hope you don't need one. But if you do, the standard rate these days is RM1,000.00 per month. To me, that's a lot.
- Insurance - My strong advice is to sign up for a good insurance plan as soon as your child is born. You never know what could happen. Average commitment would be around RM200 per month.
- Birthdays - Yes, I had to include parties in this list. However, this is subjective depending on the parents. The simpler the party, the less expensive it will be. Do keep in mind that even by throwing the simplest of parties would cost you an easy RM2000 maybe?
- Pre School - Now your child has grown. He or she now has to learn and learning isn't free. When I did my surveys recently, i was astonished as to the fee of pre schools these days. We are looking at RM3000 per semester. Can you imagine the impact that is going to cause? This is in addition to our car loan, home repayment, bills and other expenses.
Must Read : 5 Easy Ways to Teach Your Children to Save Money
Well, I hope that this article has shed some light as to how much it would cost to gave a child here in Malaysia. Although the prices I have stated may nit be exact, it should give you an idea.
Here is a video on some money saving tips for parents in a very creative manner. Do have a look.
(Video Source : CNA Insider YouTube Channel)
So, are you looking forward to raising a child? If you are, remember to get a great cashback credit card or an outstanding reward credit card to save more money from you spending moving forward!