Your daughter comes to you and says, “Can I have a pair of skates? My best friend just got one.” You don’t really want to buy them for her. She says, “Pleaseeeee.” Can you say no? You might just go ahead and buy a set for her. The expenses come to around Rs. 2,000. You are okay with it. But what if the list goes on? In real life, the list indeed is very long. It starts with diapers, Dora sippers and goes on to an iPad. An iPad Air (32 GB) will cost you Rs. 38,000.
Are you prepared?
There are a number of expenses that you need to take into account if you are planning to become a parent. We have tried to list some of the most important ones and ones that didn’t even exist a couple of decades ago when your parents were busy bringing you up. Put them on your to-do list and check if you have enough savings for them.
If you want a good diaper for your baby that doesn’t cause a rash, you will need to spend Rs. 10-12 per diaper. Initially, the baby either drinks breast milk or has formula milk. So, that’s a LOT of wet diapers every day. This could be as much as 10-12 diapers depending on how often your baby pees and poops. This means you need to shell out Rs. 150 per day. That makes it Rs. 1,000 a week and Rs. 4,200 a month! This might go on until your baby is introduced to solid food. But note that unless your kid is toilet trained, you need to keep using diapers. This generally happens when the baby turns 2-3 years. Essentially, you might need to spend Rs. 50,000 a year on diapers! Wondering whether you should have a kid? Hold on, there’s more – we’re only just getting started.
Innovation in the medical field is a good thing, right? We can protect ourselves from a number of diseases through vaccinations. But these aren’t free. You need to pay for every vaccine, of course. This starts with your kids. Today, you get vaccines that are painless and fever-less; that is, they won’t cause pain or fever in your child after they are given. Such vaccines cost you Rs. 3,000-4,000, while normal vaccines are half that cost. There are about 28 vaccines that need to be given to your kid before he/she turns one. So, you need to spend Rs. 1,12,000 to ensure that your kid has received every vaccination that the doctor prescribes. Even if you choose the less expensive ones, you will shell out Rs. 56,000 by the time your cutie turns one.
Of course, breast milk doesn’t cost a thing. But for working mothers, formula is their best friend. Formula milk powders can set you back by Rs. 700-800 per tin (yes, the best formula in the market). Typically, a tin will last you 2-3 days when you start giving formula from the time your child is born. So you might need at least 10 tins a week. This means Rs. 8,000 a month. But this will reduce as you introduce solid food. Note that cow’s milk can be introduced only at one year. Therefore, you will need to spend at least Rs. 4,000 a month on formula. A new parent will tell you that he/she spent Rs.72,000 on formula milk during their child’s first year. Head spinning? We aren’t done yet.
- Day Care
Day-care centres are saviours for working parents who have no parental support. Some of the kids of working couples go to day care before they even start playschool. The average cost of putting your child in a day care will come to Rs. 5,000 a month today. It can, of course, go up to Rs. 10,000. So you will need to spend at least Rs. 60,000 a year. Sometimes, you might choose a more expensive one because your neighbour’s kid goes there. It all depends on your lifestyle.
- Play School
Once your little munchkin turns 2, you will need to put him/her in play school. The best of play schools charge Rs. 1 lakh a year! You can choose to put your kid in one that charges Rs. 40,000 a year. This is the average fee that a play school will charge you if you live in a metro.This is only the tip of the iceberg. As your sweetheart grows into an adorable teenager, you will spend on his/her summer camps, coaching classes, activity classes such as music or dance and obviously, for the latest gadgets or gizmos and other indulgences. Watch your neighbour’s kid for clues! Kids have to deal with peer pressure – just like you do.We are sure you want to give the best of everything to your little one. Can you let the next-door neighbour’s kid win over yours? Of course not! Provide everything that will make your child happy but make sure you don’t become bankrupt in the process.
Kick-start your savings plan before you decide to have a child. Why not start by creating a Fixed Deposit for them even before they are born? It’s safe and simple. You can then choose more complicated investments such as Mutual Funds to meet goals such as your kids’ higher education after they are born. Who knows? He/she might want to become a doctor. So, remember all that money you spent on vaccinations? You can get it right back!