How to manage family finances with two children but both parents are working full time? - Seedly
 

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Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 12 Dec 2019

How to manage family finances with two children but both parents are working full time?

I have a 6 month old baby now (in ifc) but I am expecting another one(accident). Both husband and I work full time. But I'm feeling a little strain physically (as I do the bathing and carrying of my baby most of the time). Would having a helper strain us financially?

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Choon Yuan Chan
Choon Yuan Chan
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Jan)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 24 Dec 2019

Well you will need to find time on your own to manage your expenses. However, I would recommend an app or an Excel. In fact, there are current cards like youtrip which records and allows you to look at each of your expenses. It also categorises for you. Hence Maybe you could use Revolut and Youtrip cards to pay and manage your finances.

This cards can be funded by grabpay credits which means if paired with a UOB one card, topping up grabay credits will yield you 8-10% rebates. Read up more about UOB-grab hack as well

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Cedric Jamie Soh
Cedric Jamie Soh, Director at Seniorcare.com.sg
Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 20 Dec 2019

For my own family, we figure my wife earns more than what we pay for the helper, so we decided she will continue her career while we pay for a domestic helper (we engaged her 1 mth before birth)

the helper has been a tremedous help in our life as you know, being a new parent is exhausting.

Luckily for both of us, her income is more than the helper's pay so it is worthwhile A LOT to us.

its not that financially straining when your improvement in life improves so much more.​​​

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Hi Anon,

Helper cost in total is about $1,000/m but it's not the biggest concern surviving day to day. Main question is alternative help like mum or MIL. If you have it, you could do without. If not, it's not really the cost. Hope it helps

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Lee Jiahui
Lee Jiahui
Level 6. Master
Answered on 27 Dec 2019

An avg helper costs about 1k/mth. With helper, you likely still want ifc which will be another 1k/mth. The breakeven point is around 3k monthly salary, ie one of you earn less than 3k then maybe quitting job is better than spending on helper.

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S
sandhyta
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 24 Dec 2019

I have the same issue with you too. but mine was a 1 year old and expecting one in 4 months time

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Hwee Kian
Hwee Kian
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 24 Dec 2019

I think you need to understand the costs of having a helper, which from ballpark estimation it's about $12k a year, i.e. around $1k per month.

So if this figure is what your and your husband can afford, then by all means do it to lessen your stress. I think as a working mum, it's extremely tiring - so the available options are far and few, i.e. grandparents take care, get a helper, or infant care. So please consider the options well with your husband and then make the decision together.

All the best.

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Isabel Wong
Isabel Wong
Level 6. Master
Answered on 24 Dec 2019

I think a helper is worth it. My mum was a stay at home housewife but she also hired a helper for some years.

It definitely comes at a cost but I believe that it is worth your overall well being. Unless you have parents/in laws that can help to take care.

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VC
Vicki Chng
Level 6. Master
Answered on 24 Dec 2019

I would say a helper might be a strain financially, but your mental health is also worth a lot. For a cheaper option, you can try getting a part time helper to come in to clean your house every week or so so that's one portion you don't have to worry about!

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The only way to find out whether it will strain you financially is by going back to the basics.

Firstly, start by understanding your personal cashflow. Through this process, we will understand our earning ability and spending habit. Here is a guide to help you: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/understanding-your-personal-cash-flow/

The same process goes for your husabnd, as well as on the household level.

Next, create a budget that is capable of helping you to plan for the future. The best way to do this is via automation and this is how I do mine: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/how-to-create-a-monthly-budget/

This is one of the most important step in financial planning as we are often misrepresentated by the fact that we have more money that we actually have. Consequently, we end up spending unnecessary money on impulsive purchases. Therefore, having a proper budget is important.

Once you have worked out a budget personally and on the household level, the next step will be to plan for your kids' expenses, e.g. day-to-day needs, school fees, education materials. This step requires more detailed planning with the uncanny ability to foresee the future. Hence, take more time into consideration for this step.

Thereupon, you will derive at the required lump sum over time. Then calculate backwards to understand how much you will need to save today in order to acheive your goal (for your children).

Now, you will have a clearer understanding on your cashflow and to know whether it is financially feasible to have a helper.

Here is everything about me and what I do best.

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Kenneth Quek
Kenneth Quek
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 12 Dec 2019

Hi. Being a new mum is tough. (New dad too, but I think it is more stressful for mums...)

Some suggestions:

  • Seek help from family. Your family, his family. It doesn't matter. Whoever is willing and able.

  • Hold things loosely. Don't stress about breastmilk or bottle milk. Carry or cry-it-out. Whatever works and keeps you sane.

  • Share the load. Have honest conversations with your spouse. Try to take turns to carry the burden so both of you don't burn out. Let your office know (both of you) about the circumstances at home. Seek their understanding as well.

  • Run the numbers for infantcare if you can't find help. Run the numbers for helper as well. Not everyone likes having a stranger at home though so do discuss.

  • Find a community. One of the issues that new parents face is the illusion that they have it worse than others. They don't. Every new parent goes through similar issues. There are others who have walked the road before you. It is heartening to hear that they have survived, and that, "this too will pass."

  • Finally. Enjoy your kids. You may not understand it now under the stress and sleepless nights. But there will come a time when you will look back on such memories with fondness. Enjoy them. They may not be your everything. But you are their everything. It is a precious gift.

God bless!

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