My heart ached when I read earlier today about the struggling plight of a fairly young couple in their 30s in trying to feed and raise their 8 children.

While their love and sacrifice for their children is indeed heartwarming, one also needs to first consider if you can even afford to have a child in the first place. Some people view children as "poverty-inducing", but that view is far too simplistic as it dismisses the positive effects a child can bring into their parents' lives. 

This article also caught me by surprise because I can think of a few other ways Mr. and Mrs. Lin can earn more money to feed their children. Earning a combined income of $3,000 a month is simply not enough to feed a family of 10! Looking at the couple's choice of jobs (the wife works as a stall helper while the husband works as a milk deliveryman at night) doesn't seem to be the smartest job choices either, considering their heavy financial commitments.

This is in stark contrast to the 30-something GrabCar driver I just met this afternoon, who earns almost $10,000 a month just from driving alone. He works hard (and smart), driving 6 days a week from 6am to 11pm daily. The couple doesn't sound any less hardworking than this driver, but why is it that one earns less than $3,000 monthly, while another earns $10,000?

It may sound harsh, but this is also true - if you're poor, it is your own fault.

If I were in the Lins' situation, I would rent a car and work hard at driving instead. It isn't enough to simply work hard; one needs to work smart as well. 

But other than that, the news article is a timely reminder to all couples that planning is key when it comes to having children. Although financial constraints shouldn't be stopping you from having kids, it should definitely be one of your key considerations before you give birth. 

After all, if you bring a child into this world, you're obliged to care for him/her until he/she grows up. The costs are not cheap either. According to DrWealth, the estimated cost of raising a child in Singapore could be up to $1,000,000. 

How prepared are you, and what are your financial plans for raising your child(ren)?


  1. Totally agree on the quote "Don't work hard, work smart".

    "According to Tan Han Shek, senior counsellor of Touch Community Services, the Lins may not know much about birth control nor how to manage their resources, leading to their current state of affairs."... seriously?

    1. Hi investingwolf,

      You're up late today!

      Actually, why not work hard AND smart? :D

      It could be possible - the Lins don't sound like they are highly educated folks. If only I knew them though, I would definitely advise them to consider driving, it seems like a lucrative career these days in SG! Other than that, there are also a ton of other jobs out there that don't necessarily require academic certs to do yet be paid well. Just read about a guy who earns $4k a month by helping other people to do their grocery shopping! Talk about smart ;)

    2. Hi BB,

      Yea, don't need to wake up early today. :P Then must know where to work hard and smart on...

      The problem is 6 children from 2 failed relationship and she had another 4 with the current husband? I know our country needs to increase our birth rates, but this is not the way to do it.

      Also, with a combined salary of $3K and 6 child to raise when they got married, they must have known that they are going deeper into the abyss. If so, then why are they not actively looking for better employment or seek assistance? Why bring 4 more life into this world to add to their struggles?

      People are normally happy with their lives with their monthly paychecks. But failure to plan ahead will result in a lot of problems. One day, we will have to stop working due to a variety of reasons (injury, retirement, unemployable, etc.) but the bills will still come monthly without fail.

  2. Mrs Lin is a surprise. while it is important that we try our best not to leave anyone behind, the bigger question is how do we prevent future Mrs Lins. Here is a suggestion for MOE that I will put into Reach: 1. Open her house to groups of P6, Sec 1, Sec 2 students to do some social work eg taking care of the kids, teaching the kids... 2. Have her tell her story to the same group and her learnings 3. Have the kids work on a "Baby calculator" to understand costs of having a child