Recent news in stated that families in the USA, who earned between $57,000 and $99,000, spend roughly $221,000 on child related costs. The figures came from a USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (United States Department of Agriculture) report recently.

Families who earn less will spend less money whereas families who earn more will tend to spend more on the child up to the age of 17. The numbers calculated do not take into consideration the costs for childbearing and putting your child through college or university.

The amount of $221,000 is the cost for one child, two kids mean $442,000 and three kids come up to $663,000. Factor in the cost of a tertiary education and spending $1 million dollars to raise your kids is not unusual. Raising a child in Malaysia will similarly require high expenses.

Have a financial plan

Hence when it comes to family planning, financial planning is also a must. The three biggest expenses for a family are housing, food and child care and education costs. Early preparation is necessary, meaning you have to start saving money once you join the work force or earn an income.

I have three children to support and the normal expenses are on food, medical fees, school fees or expenditures, transportation fees, tuition fees and insurance fees. In addition, there are also entertainment cost, expenses for clothing or apparels, gifts or presents and money for their education fund.

I have seen big families with five or more children, where due to financial constraints, the children stop schooling after high school or secondary school and start to look for a job. I believe it all depends on the parents to make the proper decision on how they plan to raise the children.

More children=bigger responsibility

Personally, having more children means carrying a bigger responsibility in providing a comfortable life for them. On top of that, parents must also ensure that savings for their old age is well taken care off as we do not want to burden our children later on. On the other hand, parents do not want to raid their retirement or old age fund in order to fund their children through college. Therefore, plan carefully to achieve a proper balance and to make the correct decisions where child care and money is concerned. The message here is do not underestimate the costs related to childcare, raising your children and putting them through school.

Read other articles by Jacquelyn at on parenting matters and on solving marriage problems.

    7 replies to "Childcare Costs"

    • Lai Seng Choy

      I recall way back to 1996, I started to invest in unit trust for my children’s education fund. I really not sure why I did that as I was then single without girlfriend. I just want to do something for my “future” children.

      I married in 1999. My son and daughter born in 2001 and 2006 respectively. Among these years, I have been regularly topping up this education fund. The compounding effect works well and it is still accumulating well. Therefore, I strongly believe the critical successful factor on achieving any financial objective is to start early and invest regularly.

    • […] Average Childcare Costs: How much to spend? Where to get help? […]


      Average Childcare Costs: How much to spend? Where to get help?…

      managing childcare costs…

    • dollyfong

      Hello Jacquelyn,

      You are absolutely right about financial planning for your children. When push comes to shove, one can resort to other resources to save money. When our daughter was in high school, she made use of several online blogs for maths tutorials. I am running a blog where I give English grammar lessons. Please feel free to drop by.

      • Jacquelyn

        Hi Dolly,

        Using online blogs or useful websites is a great way for our children to learn and gain knowledge. It is free most of the time too. I applaud your efforts in setting up a blog that give lessons in English grammar. Will sure to check it out.

    • mtsen

      childcare is not all about finance, but financing is only a part of it. Only those who didn’t get more return with 1 kid sees that more kids = more responsibilities, if one enjoy more fun than cost of 1 kid, then more kids = more loves.

      There are more ways to address all the challenges you brought up other than financing, don’t start by assuming money is the ultimate solution …

    • min dfin

      Its true when you have child, you spent a lot more, as you need money for their milk powder, education, medical, transportation, tuition fees, gifts, clothings and you will be overwhelmed when they grow up, to demand from you, the latest handphones, motorbikes, badminton rackets and many other attractive material stuff that their friends have.

      I believe to curb all this is to proper money allocation planning. If you budget correctly, you will still have savings for yourself (to invest of course) and money allocated for your child education.
      There are many ways to save for your child education fund, some allocate a percentage of salary, to buy unit trust, which overtime will be compounded growing. Some, even did that before the child is even born. Some, invest in real estate, and when the time, their child needs the money, just sell away the house for cash to fund the education. Many more……

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