You’re better off spending your Christmas bonuses on something else.
When the pandemic hit, most couples lost access to adequate family planning measures, leading to a baby boom.
Sure, having a baby is a blessing and all, but this is probably the worst time to have one, as according to data aggregator iPrice, the average Southeast Asian family would need nearly P60,000 to take care of a newborn – and that’s just the start of it.
It published its findings on a recent report which recorded the median prices of various basic baby needs, counting only those that need to be purchased once. These include baby seats, strollers, cribs, and step stools, among others, which reportedly amount to about $1,148 or about P57,600. When it counted those that the baby would regularly need, such as diapers, sanitary wipes, and milk formula, the figure rose to $1,180, or just a few pesos from P60,000.
These items are strictly suited for newborns, which means the report didn’t consider other essentials such as bath products, clothing, feeding items, cleaning accessories, and baby decors. We also have to account for the mother’s post-birth needs if we were to paint a more accurate picture of parenthood. These more or less include maternity clothes and accessories, pregnancy pillows, supporters, and numerous hygiene and medicinal products to keep their bodies in check.
While there may be cheaper alternatives, it’s safe to say P60,000 is still a steep amount for any parents, be it their first time or not.
iPrice also took into consideration the Philippines’ minimum wage of P537 a day to compute for how long one would have to work to afford to have a baby. By this standard, an expecting, minimum-wage earner would have to set aside 70% to 80% of their salary for eight straight months to pay for these necessary one-off purchases.
The period is understandably shorter for the other neighboring countries that have a relatively higher monthly minimum wage. In comparison, a worker in Singapore who earns a minimum of P52,118 a month would have to save that much from their salary for only a couple of months.
“Careful family planning can be the key to a good quality of life. Parents just have to be smart about their money by tracking expenses closely or using price comparison tools like iPrice when purchasing for their babies,” said iPrice.
The site collected its data from the average cost of items on its platform between December 2020 to October 2021. Meanwhile, minimum wage numbers were from ASEAN Briefing, Channel News Asia, and Trading Economics.
Art Daniella Sison