1. Finances, finances, finances.

Cut down that debt, especially credit card debt. You should have fixed up a financial plan and cut your debts before pregnancy and if you haven’t, you desperately need to now. A good place to start is in your credit cards, if you have any outstanding payments that have yet to be settled, do them quickly because balances in just a few thousand dollars, can cost many hundreds in interest and other charges. The interest that you pay can be used for other purchases such as milk powder, a play pan or an insurance plan for your child – you get the idea.cutting-down-bills

We all want the best for our children, we want them to go to the best schools possible, have the best foods and earn a high income in the future. Well it’s just too bad we are living in Singapore where the costs of living are as high as the flats we live in. And they are being built higher each year.

A research conducted by OCBC last year showed that “a four-year general degree at a local university (tuition fees and living costs) will cost $56,000 in 2036, up from $40,000 currently. A medical degree would cost $205,000, compared with $147,000 now. a general degree in the UK will set parents back $960,000 in 20 years, a huge jump from $157,000 currently. In the US, it will cost $757,000, from just $296,000 now. Sending their child to an Australian university will set parents back $315,000, compared with just $113,000 today.”

What can we do to cope with the sure rise of costs and inflation? One way for sure is to start investing now.  Watch what Albert Einstein once said, “ Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it”. For those who are skeptical of the term ‘investing’ due to the notion of being risky, there are actually  instruments in the market to cater to your investment preference ranging from lower risk to high risk. There are education plans which provides low risk investment with guaranteed returns and at the same time provides “forced” savings and these savings will grow over time.

Here is an simple illustration. Assuming you sign up an education plan for your child and the monthly premium is S$350 and after 18 years the maturity value is projected at S$79,120. The investment rate of return is 3.61%. On the other hand, assuming you put the same amount into a fixed deposit at 1% returns annually, the maturity value only equates to S$57,000. That is a cool S$22,120 difference.

The difference in the final amount of the two is obvious. Still not convinced that investing is the right way of saving for the future? Okay, how many people do you know became rich by leaving their money in a bank?

That’s right. To new moms and new dads out there I’m not going to lie to you, you really need some financial planning here.

2. Childproof your home.

We all know infants and toddlers like to crawl, pull and put everything they find into their mouths. Although it’s charming to watch them explore a new world, it isn’t so when they start getting injured. Here are some essential tips we have to childproof your home apart from installing window grills.baby-playing-with-drawers

If you are moving into a new home or just moved in and you’re intending to hire an interior designer, you’re in luck. Let them know that you have a baby in your family and you will need to childproof the home as much as possible. They know the drill – rounded corners, higher stoves, stronger hinges, no drawer handles to prevent children from climbing etc. But that’s only if you hire real interior designers and not charlatan contractors who copy paste the designs, get your carpentry cheaply done in Malaysia and installed into your home.

A rule of thumb when evaluating an interior design firm, always look into their good history of work and who does the carpentry.

For those who already have furnished homes or are on the way of having them furnished, mummy and daddy are going to have to do a little work for the little one here. The first place to work on will be your kitchen.

Install safety latches or locks on all your cabinets and drawers to prevent toddlers from getting to the detergents and medicines. Keep all your kitchen appliances out of reach and away from table edges. Forks, knives and almost everything you use to eat and can break, goes locked away into drawers once you washed and dried them.

Lock your toilet bowl lids. Yes, you heard it right, buy toilet lid locks and lock them up and they do exist. Toddlers are naturally top heavy and can drown in just an inch high of water. Locking the toilet lid after use is a good and common way of preventing toddlers from accidentally falling over into the bowl.  There are countless other ways that you can use to childproof your home. A quick visit to Babies “R” Us and IKEA and you will get to explore a wide array of methods to childproof your home.

There’s a lot to do whether you’re expecting a new-born or have infants and toddlers around the house, parenting is never easy. Don’t make the mistake of waiting till it’s too late and having to take the shortcut of taking on massive debt to pay for an education or a medical bill. A family that not only manages the home well but also the finances, will be a happy family.

(Source: https://www.ocbc.com/personal-banking/lifegoals/articles/invest-in-your-childs-future.html)

About Author :


Jocelyn Goh

AIA Financial Services Consultant
Baby and Child Insurance Specialist, Corporate Solutions Expert
2014 Top New Financial Services Consultant (Corporate Solutions)
M : (65) 8222 3437
E : jocelyngoh@aia.com.sg

You would be able to contact her at 8222 3437 for more details.

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