The Maternity Project

An ongoing project where we collect facts, insights and perspectives to prepare you to be mentally and financially ready for parenthood.

The Maternity Project: Part 1

Are You Mentally & Financially Prepared For Parenthood?

21 Questions

to discuss with your partner before having children

Choosing to have children with your spouse is one of the most important decisions you can make in your relationship, if not your life. Everything you thought you knew about your way of life is going to change!

Before making any major decisions, it’s a good idea to have an open and honest conversation with your spouse about your views and feelings on the subject. It’s a terrific opportunity to convey your viewpoint while also learning more about your spouse.

Before deciding to have children

  1. Why do we want kids?
  2. What should we do if I can’t get pregnant right away?
  3. If a pregnancy screening reveal that our baby has disabilities, what should we do?
  4. What are your strengths and weaknesses and tendencies when it comes to managing money?
  5. How are we going to provide for this child?
  6. How do we intend to save or invest for our child’s future university education?
  7. Are there any fears I have about parenting (even if this isn’t your first)?
  8. What are my biggest concerns about the baby phase?

Raising Your Children

  1. Is breastfeeding something we both want for the baby?
  2. How do we feel about sleep training?
  3. How are we going to split parenting duties?
  4. Where are we raising our children?
  5. What are the sleeping arrangements going to be?
  6. Who can we turn to when we need a break?
  7. How much help do we want, for how long, and from whom?
  8. Who are the people that we want to play a part in our child’s life other than us?
  9. Who will be our children’s guardian should something happens to us?
  10. Will there be a religion in our children’s life — and if so, which one(s)?
  11. What kind of childcare will we send our children to?
  12. What was the good things about my childhood that we would like to replicate?
  13. What are the less desirable things about my childhood that we wish to avoid for my children?

2. What is an emergency fund ?

It is critical to have an emergency fund in place as it is a financial safety net in the event of an emergency.

This emergency fund can be in form of a bank account containing money set aside for unexpected bills or events.

Having an emergency fund is even more important now that you have children since it must provide for both you and your child.

As a general rule, save 3-6 months of your pay in an emergency fund and set aside another 3-6 months for unexpected child-related expenses.

3. What is a parenthood budget?

Discuss the following topics with your partner to get a shared understanding when it comes to joint expenditures.

How much money will we make when the baby arrives?

This is where you’ll have to decide if both parents will return to work or if one will stay at home with your child for an extended period of time.

What kind of costs will raising our child incur?

Consider items like healthcare, dental treatment, and other potential health-related expenditures in addition to food, clothes, diapers, and toys.

How much is our current monthly spending in total?

Understanding your needs vs. wants while examining this component can help you discover where you can make changes.

Is there enough money to meet new and existing bills once the baby arrives?

It’s a good idea to slightly overestimate new costs. For example, you probably won’t need to buy clothing for the baby every month but set aside a fixed amount in your budget for all of the baby’s requirements just in case.

What can we cut if our expenses are too high?

You don’t have to give up all entertainment and enjoyment because you have a child, but you might want to consider cutting out items like television or other monthly subscriptions, such as magazines, that you can live without.

Are there any costs that we can cut instead of eliminating?

If you love going out to eat on Friday nights or renting movies, bear in mind that you may be able to lessen the frequency with which you do so without completely eliminating them.

4. The cost of raising a child in Singapore

For many parents, the financial responsibilities involved with having a child start before the baby arrives. Let’s look at the costs of raising a child in Singapore.

Newborn to Toddler (Year 0 to 4)

Age O

Pregnancy and delivery related costs

Public Hospital


Private Hospital

Age O-4

$600 – $720


$540 – $1020
Formula Milk
$840 – $1440
Others (e.g. wet wipes, baby detergent)
$1,950 – $3,200
Per Year

Infant Care

Which option do you prefer?
Foreign Helper

Per Month

Infant Care Centre
Per Month
($700 After Subsidy)
Full-time Nanny

Per Month



Per Month

Estimated Cost (Age 0 – 4)
Per Year

Kindergarten (Year 5 to 6)

Monthly Costs

Estimated Cost
Per Year

Schooling Years (Year 8 To 18)

Primary, Secondary, Junior College

Primary School

Per Month

Secondary School

Per Month

Junior College

Per Month

Allowance & Other Expenses


Per Month

Estimated Cost
Per Year

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