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Starting a Family?

  1. #1
    churbs is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong

    Starting a Family?

    Hi All! My husband and I recently arrived here in HK for work and we are planning on starting a family, but I still have my hesitations of starting this early. I want to find out the costs of raising a child in HK in terms of schooling and extracuricular activities. We know a few friends who have been married for a while now, but are still pursuing the financial stability to start their families. Some have already chosen not to have children. This scares me, since we arestill young, 25-27, but we really want to start planning and preparing for a family. Doany of you have any advice to offer?


  2. #2
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    I'd say a lot depends on you (assuming you will be the primary care giver), as opposed to your husband and what you want from your life. Do you want to become a stay at home mum or are you career minded. If you want to stay at home it wouldn't hurt to work a few more years and build up your finances. At 25 you still have many fertile years ahead of you!

    If you are career minded you have to look at how leaving your job for a little while will affect your career prospects now and say, when you are 30. Some women like to move up as high as they can before they have children others like to get the baby making out of the way so that then they can have a long, clear run at their career.

    Either way, I think most people would agree that there is no real 'right time'. You'll always find excuses to put having kids off, money is normally up there as a reason but in the end when you do find yourself a parent it's the best thing and you always find a way to make things work out.

  3. #3
    jools is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Discovery Bay

    This is a piece of advice that we were given when we were thinking about having chhildren. If you wait until you can afford to have children you will never have them.

    Yes having children is expensive there is no getting away from it and the figures that get bandied about, about how much it will cost by the time they are eighteen are enough to make your head spin. Remember that these costs are over time and don't come all at once.

    Now we have children, it was the best decision we ever made and yes sometimes the finances are a little tight, but all I need is a smile, hug or a giggle from any of my three and it's all worth while. You can't put a price on those things.

  4. #4
    joannek is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Hong Kong

    yes, there is never a good time for having children. having a child in hk can be expensive. but there are cheaper ways & expensive ways. you can join all the playgroups & pay $220/hour, or you can bring her to the park & the abundant playground which are free. if your child goes to a local school, it's not expensive either. if you want a helper or you want to bring your child by yourself? you want to buy a car or public transport is fine. different ppl have different standards. with clothing, you can go to Fa Yuen street, now that we have H&M, H&M is a good option. or you can go Dior & Gucci all the way.

    my hubby & I used to spend all we earn on holidays, clothing, eating at good restaurants & drinking. now we rent movies, go to asia (which is still very enjoyable), and eat at home with a bottle of nice wine. we still enjoy life at most, plus we have this little adorable 2 year old running around.

    personally, i think it's the mental readiness than the monetary one. one has to be psychologically prepared for the stress & pressure of raising a child (no matter where you are & what kind of living you want). when you become a parent, all your prospective change & your child becomes the most important (for me & my husband, that is very true). and then you probably want to agree on the values & morals & the way the 2 of you want to bring up your child. to spank or not to spank? to punish & scold in public or only in private? to spoil or not? these are probably the more important things you 2 should discuss before having a child.

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    i can't agree with the ladies above more.

    but in addition to that, think about this:

    my mum had me when she was 24 and she had my brother by the time she was 27. when she was 48(still young), both my brother and i were living overseas, finished uni and making lives for ourselves.

    i had my first when i was 32 and my second at 34 (9 weeks ago). my husband is 40. by the time our youngest is ready to START uni, he'll be 58!!!!

    i think you and you hubby need to decide if you want to live your lives now, or later. my hubby and i decided to do as much travelling to places that would be difficult with kids (think backpacking Egypt) BEFORE we were "too old". so we've done all that. whereas, my mum is just getting around to that kind of thing now.

    good luck with your decision
    ps. my mum told me the exact same thing as jools... you'll NEVER feel financially secure enough to have kids, so don't use that as your excuse! you'll always find a way to cut other costs or forego something for yourself in favour of something for your kids.

  6. #6
    joannek is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Hong Kong

    one more thing on age: my mom had my sister when she was 20, & me at 22. i had mine at 34. i barely have energy to chase her around the park. my husband, who's now 39, started exercising on the space walker since my baby is born, so that he'll have the energy to play with her & stay healthy & live to see her (hopefully) get married & have kids. my friend's husband who's 42 when his son is 2, just sits around & watch his son play. i remember when i was small, my parents used to bring me around the park & play with us all the time, & we never had a helper. we never needed one, cos they were still so young. my friends who have their children at around 25 don't need helpers, cos they have still have the energy to care for kids. & the mothers recover very soon after giving birth.

    so cara is right, you also have to think about whether you want to play now, and have kids later. or the other way round.

  7. #7
    BLC is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    One piece of advice is to take out maternity insurance. This will give you the option to go private.

    Your major decision is whether to have kids now or later. This is your own personal choice. My mum died when I was 16 and she was 47, I always felt she had had a life and this makes me feel good. My friend was 15 and her mum was 33 when she died and all their plans were made for when the children had grown up.

    For purely selfish reasons it made me decide not to have kids before I was 30.

    As it happened we came to HK when I was 24, I got married at 27 and had my daughter at 35. This timing has been perfect for me and my husband.

    What ever your decision just relax have fun, don't plan too much as most things will change after you have a child anyway.

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