TN Advisory


Education Planning: With Two Kids, Here’s How You Manage Expenditure

Education Planning With Two Kids, Here’s How You Manage Expenditure



“Two children require a monthly basic expenses of about S$5,800 to S$6,400”, said an article . The numbers may be estimation, but the expenses are real.

What really surprised me was the timing of these expenses. Here’s what happened:

My girl was starting childcare. Since I have a job, I bought four sets of uniform to cope with the lean times ahead. I was selective with her enrichment classes and excursions, doing a great deal of research before making every decision.

Expenses increased. Time was stretched thin. But, I had everything under control.

Until, it was my son’s turn.

Yes, I have two children. Suddenly, both were in childcare at the same time. I had to get 8 sets of uniforms, and pay double for every enrichment class and excursion—every year from then on.

Reality struck me when I least expected. What do I do? How do I afford the sudden hike in expenses? Let them take turns? So when jie jie goes for excursion, di di will stay at home?

But then this also means that only one child will attend enrichment class at one time…

One child will see the dentist a year… 

And (I have to pray that) only one child will need medical attention during an emergency.

You’re probably thinking: that’s ridiculous!

You may even be scolding me: Don’t you know better? With kids, everything must be planned: clothes, food, transport, time, activities and education!

Well, you’re right. And I learned one of my major lessons in life: education planning is bound tightly to household finances—especially when I need to provide the best for two children at the same time.

I started with coordinating my expenditure, and here are the steps I took:

1. Consider the Age Gap & Gender of Your Children

Take my case as an example: my girl and boy are 2 years apart:

You can see in Figure 1 (below), after my girl graduates, I still have to finance my boy’s degree for another 3 to 4 years, depending on his course of study.

My commitment may be prolonged, but I’ll only need to make one payment at a time.

Education Planning For Two Or More Kids


Figure 1: Timeline For 2 Children, Girl (older) and Boy, of Age Gap 2 Years

What if my son was the older child?

Education Planning For Two Or More Kids


Figure 2: Timeline For 2 Children, Boy (older) and Girl, of Age Gap 2 Years

Then, it’s clear in Figure 2 that my financial commitment will end when they both graduate. However, I’ll have to make two payments at the same time.

What if I have 2 sons or 2 daughters?

Education Planning For Two Or More Kids

Figure 3: Timeline For 2 Children, Boy and Boy, of Age Gap 2 Years

You can see that whether boy or girl my financial commitment will extend AND I’ll have to make two payments at the same time in the last 2 years of their studies.

2. Work Out an Estimated Sum of Funds Needed

Each level of study requires a certain amount of funds—you won’t be able to get an accurate number at this point, but it’s helpful to have a realistic figure, even if it was estimated.


Type of Fee

Monthly Fees


Infant Care

Anchor Operator

Max. 1,275

Partner Operator

Max. 1,400


Premium Childcare Centre

1,000 – 2,500

Anchor Operator

Up to 720

Partner Operator

Up to 800


Anchor Operator

Up to 160


School Fees


Miscellaneous Fees

Max. 13


Govt. (School Fees)


Govt. (Miscellaneous Fees)

10 – 18

Independent (School Fees)

Max. 600

Post-Sec (JC)

Govt. (School Fees)


Govt. (Miscellaneous Fees)


Independent (School Fees)

Max. 600

Table 4: Amount of Funds Needed for Each Level for a Singaporean child.
(Source: income, 2021; Ministry of Education, 2022; The Independent, 2021)



Annual Fees


Post-Sec (Poly)

Tuition Fee



Tuition Fee

8,200 – 10,770

Table 5: Amount of Funds Needed for Each Level for a Singaporean child.
(For more information, see article ‘Education Planning: Parents, Don’t make these 3 mistakes’)
(Source:income, 2021)

For tertiary level, the annual tuition fee is dependent on the course of study, so you can refer to my other article ‘Education Planning or Retirement Planning—Why Not Do Both?’ to identify a more precise amount.

3. Take Note of Different Forms of Financial Support

Including the $200 one-off top-up into Edusave account or Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA), every Singaporean child actually receives a subsidy of over 90% of the education costs, from primary to post-secondary level ().

There is a wide spectrum of financial support available—and trust me, it’s definitely good to know what’s out there.

Take my case for example: since my son entered childcare during my daughter’s third year there, I’ve worked out the following calculations.


3rd Year of Childcare





Other Discounts


Amount Payable









10% x 720*


Total (S$)





Table 6: Monthly Amount Payable for Two Children, Girl (Older) and Boy.
(*Available sibling discount, which is dependent on the establishment.)(Source: ECDA, 2022; HONEYKIDS, 2019)

You can clearly see the amount of money I saved, and this is possible when I’m aware of the available financial support (i.e. subsidies and discounts that are possible with the second (or subsequent) child, such as the ‘sibling discount’, which is usually set at 10% of the fees). 

To get started, refer to Table 7 below.


Forms of Support


Amount (Estimated)

Level of Study


Edusave Awards

  • Good Performance
  • Good Progress
  • Good Character
  • Leadership Skills

S$100 – S$500

Pri to Post-Sec


  • Programme-Specific

Max. S$2,400 per year + Allowance of S$1,000


  • Government (MOE)

Max. S$2,400 per year

Sec to Tertiary

  • Singapore-Industry

Full tuition fees*


Non-Merit Based


  • Infant Care
  • Childcare
  • Kindergarten

Max. S$1,310 per month


Enhanced Government Bursary

  • Higher Education

Part of Tuition Fee

(75% for Degree / 95% for Diploma)


Government Loan Schemes

  • Tuition Fee Grant

Part of Tuition Fee

(90% for Degree / 95% for Diploma)


  • Study Loan

Max. 25% of payable tuition fees + $2k to $3.6k living allowance


Financial Assistance

  • MOE

Other school expenses

Pri to Post-Sec

Table 7: Forms of Financial Support for Preschool to Tertiary Level of Study.
*Terms and conditions applied.
(Source: Ministry of Education, 2022;, 2020)

4. Decide Your Savings Goal

It’s time to discuss with your spouse: how long do you want to save for—until your children’s post-secondary (i.e. polytechnic ) or tertiary education? Thinking through this helps you work out the time frame of your financial commitment and set a healthy boundary to safeguard your well being.

The key is to be as realistic as possible; we can’t dedicate 100% of our savings—education planning is not just about your children; it’s also about you!

What about your passion or hobbies? How about your retirement plans?

As much as we, parents, need to support our children’s dreams, we can’t forget ours; we can still pursue the life we want—that’s why we’re planning, right?

5. Do the Math!

With all the numbers ready, you can use the following table to work out the funds needed—from the lump sum for each child’s tertiary education to current year’s expenditure, to current month’s spending. (Here, you can use Table 6 in step 3 as a reference.)

I hope my guide is able to help you better manage your financial stress.

If you need more realistic and accurate figures, or if planning becomes complicated because you have more than 2 children, a financial consultant is your best help.

So get in touch with me! I’m here for you.

Written by Pamela Chong (Associate Manager from TN Advisory Group)

At TN Advisory Group, our services and expertise can be used to assist interested parties in relation to the various fields of financial planning. Should you decide to not seek advice, do consider if the product in question is suitable for you.

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