7 simple ways to save money when welcoming a baby
Article by Cherlynn Ng
Welcoming a baby can be a costly affair, from conception to birth. Not to worry though! With proper planning and preparation, this can be easily avoided and allow you to fully focus on the remarkable journey that is parenthood. Thankfully, there are many resources available for new mums and dads, and it’s all about knowing how to fully utilise them.
1. Choose a public hospital
Choosing a public hospital over a private one can split your expenses by half. According to the Ministry of Health website, a normal birth in a public hospital costs around $1,200 onwards as compared to a whopping $7,900 for a private hospital. Both have their pros and cons, but it really depends on what your priorities are. While many parents opt for public hospitals in order to cut costs, it’s worth noting that medical and maternity care in Singapore is generally of a very high standard regardless of venue.
2. Utilise your Medisave Maternity Package
It’s great that the government offers a number of schemes to help Singaporeans ease the financial burden of maternity and newborn care. The Medisave Maternity Package not only covers delivery costs, but includes prenatal medical expenses such as consultations, tests, ultrasounds and medication too. Be sure to make full use of it!
3. Get your baby bonus
The Baby Bonus scheme consists of a cash gift and a special savings account (known as the Child Development Account), the latter of which can be used for your child’s education and healthcare needs. Aimed at helping parents lower the costs of raising a child, the amount varies according to how many kids you have.
4. Look into insurance
Always plan for emergencies — be it stashing away a ‘rainy day fund’ or buying insurance policies for your newborn in advance. There are many plans out there that offer comprehensive coverage, so know your needs and options before signing up for anything. A qualified financial services consultant will be able to advise you accordingly. It’s also worth noting that paying for insurance premiums on a per annum basis will give you a slightly cheaper rate.
5. Get second-hand baby clothes
Baby clothes do not come cheap if you buy brand new ones from retail and can be quite an unnecessary expense. Furthermore, babies grow out of their clothes extremely quickly and before you know it, you will find yourself needing another shopping trip. Hand-me-downs are a great idea when you are trying to reduce spending. Ask family or friends for old baby clothes that their own kids have outgrown or drop by thrift stores to snag some good deals. The money you save can be put to better use such as investing in a high-quality baby cot instead.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t splurge on the occasional outfit for special occasions. Simply plan your budget and be mindful of your shopping habits.
6. Choose breastfeeding over formula milk
It’s no secret how pricey formula milk is, with some of the more prominent brands costing as much $100+ per tin. Therefore, breastfeed your baby as much as you can if possible. Breast milk also has a much higher nutritional value since it’s au naturel and packed with antibodies. Need help with improving breast milk supply? Check out these tips.
7. Cheaper does not always mean better
Something that we should all keep in mind despite our money-saving goals is that cheaper does not always mean better. Think about it: Would it be better to invest in a $50 dress that is versatile and long-lasting, or a $10 one off the bargain shelf that is inferior in quality and spoils after a single wear? The first option, obviously. Well, the same theory applies for baby products such as cribs and strollers. There are some necessities that we just shouldn’t scrimp on!
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