What’s The Best Economical & Emotional Age To Start A Family?
We’ve talked about the best biological age to have a family. When it comes to the physical aspects of conceiving a baby, the earlier the better. However, that may not be the case when it comes to the financial and emotional aspects. Sure, an 18-year-old couple stands a very good chance of getting pregnant but they are most likely not well-equipped to handle the responsibilities of parenthood at that age. So, how do you know when you are ready for a family, economically and emotionally speaking?
What are the costs involved?
First, one should be at least be prepared to handle the costs involved from pregnancy to delivery and the first few years of raising the child. It is no secret that financial stress is one of the major causes of marital breakdowns. So the better prepared you are financially, the less stress it will pose on your parenthood journey. In Malaysia, the costs of pregnancy can go up to RM20,000 from pregnancy to the baby’s delivery, if there are no complications.
After which, the cost of living per year for a child age 0 to 6 years is between RM37,300 to RM48,000 according to estimates by financial experts. It can go higher depending on the quality of childcare, food, enrichment classes and also if the child needs special medical attention.
This includes (average costs):
- Childcare – RM800 – RM1,000
- Basic needs – RM1,000
- Miscellaneous (entertainment, extracurricular activities, etc): RM1,000
So it is safe to say that you should plan to allocate at least RM2,000 to 3,000 per month per child to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for the whole family. This is possible when:
When you are not deep in debt
If possible, have a concrete plan to settle any outstanding credit card debts and such before the baby comes. You want to give the very best to your children, and being deep in debt is not a good start for them. Besides, if the existing debt is not cleared, trust us when we say that having a new baby will dig the debt hole even deeper. Importantly, being out of debt will give you the opportunity to build on your rainy day savings. Financial experts recommend having at least 3 to 6 months worth of expenses saved up in case of unforeseen emergencies.
When you are ready to give up the party lifestyle
Whatever the follies and revelry of youth you have indulged in, you’ll need to kiss those days goodbye when you are starting a family. That means no more partying till late at night, going for that last-minute vacay to Krabi with friends and such. Firstly, your energy will be spent on being on your best health to conceive and later on, to cater to an infant’s demands. Not to mention, all that extra cash will go towards taking care of baby. Baby formulas and diapers don’t come cheap.
When you have a steady career
Not many of us have the privilege of enjoying what we do for a living right out of college or university. Some of us may hop from job to job, seeking a career that will fulfill us from inside out. That’s totally cool. However, this season in your life may not be the best time to start a family. The whole joy of self-discovery is to be unencumbered and free to dash off to a new opportunity or even country at a drop of a hat. That’s not really possible when you have a family. Unless, you have a steady stream of income from a reliable source, e.g., a trust fund or residual income from investments, it’s best to be in a steady job that you can see yourself doing for the considerable future before starting a family.
Best Age To Have A Baby
Based on the above, couples who have settled their pressing debts, have built a sizeable rainy day savings account, found stable careers and are earning RM80,000 to RM200,000 a year would be ready to have a baby. Those would fall under the ages of 30 to 35, giving them at least a decade of living life post-college. Biologically, this is a good age range too and you’ll have the mental maturity to know what you want in life by then.
Of course, these are just suggested guidelines; there are couples who start a family when they are younger and earn below the recommended annual income and they found ways to make it work. So take our recommendations with a pinch of salt. The best person to ask if you are ready is yourself. When you’re ready, you’re ready.
And when you discover that you are pregnant with a reliable pregnancy test like Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Conception Indicator, you’ll know that you are in a good place to give the very best for your little one.