raising a child

Raising a Baby: How Much Does it Cost?

raising a childI found this article when I open my Baby Center account. The data used were mostly from the US, but it’s pretty much the same here in my country. This is one of those articles that I wish I’ve found 3 years ago…before I actually got pregnant…it definitely would have made a difference. Let me share how we found out the TRUTH.

Totally Clueless

Yes! Me and hubby were totally clueless about the true cost of raising a baby. In 2006, with some saving in the bank and a pretty stable job (…and state of mind…harhar!), we decided that we’re financially ready to take a plunge into the parenting world. Why? Well, let’s look at what made us think we’re ready:

  1. About 90% of our parent co-employees and their spouses earn just half of what we’re earning and yet they manage to raise 2-3 kids.
  2. We came from a poor family…as in both of us…and well, they manage to raise 5 kids…
  3. We have some friends who came into parenting unprepared, and yet they too are managing it quite well.

…can you imagine now how totally clueless we are?

The Realization (base on OUR true story)

I’m only listing the basics here. The ones I regularly have to include in our monthly budget. Future planning; precious memories; and happy and safe baby matters not included. You would have to read the article in Baby Center site for those.

House changes. Major changes, I tell you! MAJOR! First, we moved from our very-cheap-out-of-the-city-but-near-the-office apartment to a bigger-but-very-far-from-office-and-more-expensive apartment. We already knew then that I’ll still be working after giving birth, so we have to move somewhere near my parents. That way, they can check on the baby and the nanny on a regular basis. Unfortunately, they live at the center of the city, where rent cost a lot higher compare to where we used to live.

Of course, since the house is far from work, our gas expenses also went up…it actually doubled. And the continuous oil price increases is not helping. Then, there’s the other utility bills that started going up as soon as the baby came. Woohoo!

Baby Vaccines. I knew that after the baby’s born, there will be vaccines and check-up. But I didn’t know there were soooo many vaccines, and that they are sooo expensive. I mean I read about it…and heard about it…I just didn’t grasp the reality of things until our first PHP4,500($100) 6-in-1. This vaccine is given in 3 session so the cost is also x3.  That’s just the first vaccines.  Ki’s baby book have 2 pages dedicated to her vaccine schedule… No wonder the kid hates doctors. I think we already spent about PHP50,000 ($1,111) for Ki’s vaccine and there’s still the annual vaccines and boosters along the road.

Note: The government provide free vaccination, so you don’t really have to pay as much as we did.  The downside though is there are no free 6-in-1.  Your kids need to get all 6 vaccine separately which means more injections…

Food, Clothing, and Grocery Bills. Need I say more? Formula (for the unlucky us who can’t produce enough milk despite all efforts): PHP2,800-3,500 ($62-78) per month; Diaper: PHP1,400 ($31) per month; Baby Food: PHP2,000 ($44) per month. Clothes: PHP1,000-4,000 ($22-88). Others (baby care products, vitamins, etc): PHP1,000 ($22) per month.

I think this is also worth including:

Cost of being pregnant. Well, I have an HMO so no problem, right? WRONG! My HMOs only cover pre-natal check-up and that’s it. There might be some health insurance that actually cover maternity costs but I’m no expert on the subject, so I won’t be going there.

Back to being pregnant. My monthly check-ups were free but what’s costly are the tests and the vitamins. Prenatal supplements cost around a PHP1000-2000 ($23-46) a month. Then the test…I didn’t know there’s so much…blood tests, ultrasounds (2-3x), GTT, Pap smear, urine test, etc. All with prices ranging from PHP800 – 2500($18-56).

Now the biggest cost, DELIVERY! Normal delivery: PHP10,000-40,000 ($223-889). Make that double for c-section.

So why was I pregnant again? Haha! Let’s not go there.

Anyway, all this figures are just straight computation. Cheaper alternatives, money-saving methods, extended family assistance, and medical insurance NOT included. Maybe I’ll write about that next time.

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Nanay Gin

Nanay Gin is a mom of 2, a loving yet crazy wife, wannabe writer, lazy crafter and deprived cook. After quitting her day job to take care of her kids, she now work for an SEO firm - managing websites content, monitoring social channels, and doing online research.