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How much do you spend on your baby every month

  1. #1
    little mum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Hong Kong

    How much do you spend on your baby every month

    I am just wondering how much do you usually spend on your baby each month (eg, diapers, food, clothing, toys, etc).

    My friend is planning to have a baby, but she is worrying that the expenses will be too much. I have never good in Math, so I never calculated how much I spent on my children before. Anybody has a rough idea ?

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    as my mother always said... "if you wait until you feel like you can afford to have a baby, you will NEVER have a baby"

    you can spend as much as you like on having a baby....

    if you breastfeed, then you dont' pay for milk etc.
    if you use cloth nappies, there is a one-time expense and the cost of washing powder...
    if you shop for second hand cots/strollers etc. you can get very good deals on most of it.

    OR you can spend $10,000 on a stroller and another $10,000 on a cot etc....

    for my TWO kids...(when both were in nappies)...
    $400-500/month on nappies (should have gone with cloth!!!)
    $400/month on formula (this is now down to about $250 or so)
    $200/month on clothes
    $400/6 months on shoes
    $200/month on toys
    $200/month on books(i run a playgroup, so i spend a lot more than that on toys and books but they are not at my home...)
    $250/month on my older one's kindie

    my kids don't attend any other classes except the ones that i run, so i don't have any of those types of expenses. however, my older one will do soccer and swimming in the new that will be more $$$.

  3. #3
    Koan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I don't think my son costs much at all.

    Breastfeeding- free
    Cloth nappies- all up I spent what sounds like a lot, since I got a lot of organic bamboo and other expensive fabrics. But I can reuse them. Total about US$600. Not too bad for 2-3 kids.
    Stroller- HK$1200
    Cot- free from friends, and never been used since we co-sleep
    Clothes- super cheap here in HK. Shoes are pretty expensive, but they don't need ten pairs.
    Toys- we don't buy much. He plays with water bottles, boxes, balls, toys I knit for him, etc. Probably spent about HK$600 total so far, and he's 10 months old.
    Food- he eats what we eat, nothing special to buy

    My mother told me the same as carang's, if you wait, you'll never feel like you have enough money.

  4. #4
    MLBW Guest
    I think it's all relative to your lifestyle and the things you think are necessary or that you feel like you want to splurge on for your child. No one will twist your arm and make you buy that $10,000 HKD stroller or crib, but some people think that that stuff is important--or it's important to spend a bundle--either for quality or for image.

    Personally: We breastfed for 5 months and that was free of charge. We buy our clothes at local shops here in the New Territories--most are factory samples and they are cheap, cheap, cheap (3-5 HKD for Carter's onesies, 35 HKD for a REALLY nice Sunday-going-to-meeting outfit--that sort of thing). Also there is at least one "clothes exchange" it happens twice a year, I believe--once in the Spring and once in the Fall--where mothers bring clothes that their children--birth through teen--outgrow and lay them out and you pick up free clothes for your kids and drop off the ones you don't use. If you're interested, PM me and I'll give you more info. Even those who don't have clothes to donate are always encouraged to come because there is just that much to get rid of--and the quality is quite nice.

    For sleeping arrangement--we got our crib for free--and if you look around (Asia Expat Classified Free ads for example) you can often find that stuff--or just ask a friend who might have one. HK homes don't have much storage room so people are often in a hurry to get rid of furniture that isn't being used and is just taking up space.

    Our first stroller cost no more than $500 HKD and I just bought a brand new Combi Urban (which I LOVE because the handle is higher which is better for my posture) online at Amazon for about $65 USD ($500 HKD).

    Toys--we have great friends who buy our son toys--and he has two sets of grandparents to spoil him so we don't buy toys generally. On our trip to the States I stopped by a posh Good Will and picked up a slew of slightly used toys (Leap Frog, Fisher Price, Little Tikes) for all under $3 USD (batteries included and in full working order!) Also toys are a huge give-away item because they also take up space once the kid as outgrown them. We bought one toy for our son which was a combo lay-sit-stand toy that he still plays with and spent probably $250 HKD--we're more into books actually--and those are relatively inexpensive to come by as well (especially if you buy them used!)

    For food--once we started our son on formula we spent about $300-450 HKD/month but that was only probably for about 3 months before he started consuming a lot more solid food. Now we fork out a pretty penny to feed him the type of milk we want but it's one of those splurge items we want to have for him.

    I buy a bit of jarred food for when we're traveling for convenience which runs me about $14 HKD/jar but mostly we cook our son's food at home so his eating costs are totally absorbed in our normal family food budget--he doesn't eat as much as an adult, of course. (But, watch out--if you get a boy you have their teen years to look forward to and my brother literally could eat us out of house and home when he went through those! Not to mention his growth spurts which still continue into his 20s--where he would up a shoe size every few months!)

    I would say the most expensive part of having a baby is the pre-natal and hospital costs. If you can go with the public system in HK, that's a way to lower the hospital and doctor costs but if you really want to give birth in a private hospital for the comfort and flexibility then you will have to pay for that--around $7,000 USD at least--if you have great insurance that covers it then it's no sweat.

    Then you have to concern yourself with the child's education costs. Do you want him to be in a specific school in HK? International school? Private kindergarten? If so, you will also have to pay more--and the government doesn't pick up the bill generally so this will rest with you. Do you want to help pay to send your child to university? That can be a major expense later. All questions you have to ask yourself.

    Later when your child needs to go to the doctor that's another concern--adding him/her to your insurance.

    So, it's the little things. For example, I had bad teeth and had to have braces or risk looking like a Werewolf--so did my sister--so my parents sacrificed a lot to get this expensive thing done for us. They could have just left it as it was but it was important to them to give us a good smile--especially important to my dad who grew up suffering from speech impairment because of bad teeth until he finally was able to have them fixed.

    Here is a neat tool:

    Cost of Raising Your Child

    According to this (I put Northeast for location) it's going to cost me over $204,000 to raise my child from 0-18 years. I've read estimates that it costs anywhere from $500,000-$1 million in the western world to raise a child on average. It is a pricey investment but probably most parents would say it's worth it.

  5. #5
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong
    My realty agent told me that it costs about HKD 3 million to raise a child in HK

  6. #6
    radicalmum's Avatar
    radicalmum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    fortress hill
    seriously not matter how we cut down on luxuries or stuff. the 2 main area of cost are still education(if you wanted a school with bilingual environment, not talking about expensive international school) and medical(my kid have torticollis, the amt of money i spent doesn't telly with the professionalism).

    if someone could give any suggestions, recommendations for the education sector that would be much much appreciated.


  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    my suggestion for saving a little on education would be to put the child into a local kindergarten.

    if you hold a valid HKID card, on almost any visa, then you are eligible for the gov't voucher for pre-primary education.

    we applied for this for our son and now we pay $160/month for his school. this is for 1/2 day. if we wanted full day, it would be $1089/month (this includes lunch).

    yes, they use cantonese as the medium of instruction. yes, it can be difficult for little ones at the beginning. no, he is not the only mixed/white child in the class. yes, they send out all notices in both english & cantonese.

    if you speak english at home, do you really need a bi-lingual kindergarten? your child will be fluent in english anyway.

  8. #8
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Gosh, you spend as you much as you can, right? Also, medical issues are often unpredictable as my son as reflux when he was first born and was on totally hypoallergenic formula which in the states was $24 USD / tin.

    Monthly expenses in USD:
    bf - was free for the first 4 months
    Bottles/Feeding equipment etc...: $300 - $400
    Cow & Gate's Pepti Junior: @ $10/tin x 8-9/month = @ $80-$90
    diapers: @ $100/month
    clothing: $100 (first child)
    Playgroups: $250 - $300 for 6-8 weeks programs
    Doctors / Immunizations: Priceless - we also put health first and will pay any price for the best treatments and/or 2nd opinions. It's almost $150/visit in Repulse Bay which usually includes a vaccination.

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