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Sorry if you’re looking for an actuarial study, there isn’t one yet. I just thought it would be a fun exercise to see how much it would cost to raise one child over 18 years. (Of course in my idea of the world, the child leaves the home at 18.) I’ll give you my estimates as a clueless childfree person, then you can tell me how far off the mark I am.

  • Pregnancy and childbirth: 100,000 PHP
  • First 5 years (doctors, vaccines, diapers, formula milk, etc): 10,000/month x 12 months x 5 years = 600,000 PHP
  • Tuition fee under K-12: 40,000 x 12 years = 480,000 PHP
  • College tuition (UP Bracket A estimate): 60,000/year x 4 years (you hope) = 240,000 PHP
  • Living expenses for 13 years: 5,000/month x 12 months x 16 years = 780,000 PHP

Total Cost: 2,200,000 PHP

The average number of children in the Philippines is 3.06 children born/woman (2014 est.), so that’s 6,600,000 PHP.

And that’s just the children. There’s also mortgages, your own expenses, trips, medical expenses, and so on.

I’m sure the following things are going through your mind:

  • That doesn’t matter if you have a good job.
  • That doesn’t matter if you marry a stable person.
  • That doesn’t matter because children are a reward in themselves.

In which case, good for you! You’re ready to have children and you’re going to have a wonderful life with them! You can go on and read this article on why it’s awesome to raise children in the PH.

But please don’t give childfree people these arguments.

As a childfree person living on an average salary, it does matter. It matters very much. Because these are very real costs that impact on every aspect of life and freedom. I can’t live on sentimentality and “family values,” I have things I need to do and places I need to be. That very low estimate of 6+ million can help me achieve so many of my own goals. Basically, what I’m saying given these costs is, I’ll leave the childbearing and child-rearing up to you guys! 🙂

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