Preparing for Rebranding has allowed me to take a step back, almost like I did back in Thailand. I miss it.
Rebranding a business is a little like raising your second child. At least, I can only imagine.
Immediately after going in with some confidence and experience, you realize that your second child is a completely different animal from your first, and all the confidence that you built from raising your first child up to this point has completely dissipated.
You thought you had it covered, and it turns out you know nothing. It’s pretty humbling.
Changing Money Maverick has been really difficult.
One of the first goals I had towards making Money Maverick a more mature brand was to not completely eviscerate things that I would have otherwise done a year ago. A client expressed their surprise that I didn’t make a post to completely tear apart several outrageous mistakes made by non-licensed writers in the last few weeks, which was nice.
But maybe I haven’t matured all that much yet, because I was at a social event when this happened.
COUPLE 1: Something something CLIMATE CHANGE, really-like-super-concerned something something.
COUPLE 2: Ugh, I know right. That’s why we’re never having children. Keeping little parasites from ruining the earth, doing our part to prevent CLIMATE CHANGE. Something something.
COUPLE 1: AFFIRMATION, something something SELF PRAISE amongst the entire group something something.
ME: (irritated) You know the easiest way to reduce Climate Change? You could leave.
COUPLE 1: mixed responses, nobody asked or invited and who are you and also YOU leave.
ME: …Yeah that’s not the ‘leave’ I was referring to.
Aside from making it incredibly awkward for myself, I did leave early and I was kind of embarrassed I lost my cool that way.
I couldn't help it in the heat of the moment. My mum, like some Asian parents, have made recurring jokes about how I was a child found in a bin – but I’ve never thought I would ever hear someone in general refer to children as parasites.
We’re all someone else’s children – every single one of you reading this.
Are you a parasite?
Am I a parasite?
And what about this one? Really? Her?
I know there’s been a lot of articles recently that popped up for some reason – part of the reason why I haven’t really been talking about it is because it’s not my area of expertise, but it’s also not really my concern at the moment.
I don’t have children.
But for many members of Financial Communities such as Seedly or Insurance SG, they have children or want to have children – and the cost of having them has gone up.
Worse, the cost of financing their education has gone up so much – just to give them a competitive edge in this crazy, messed up world that we live in.
Seedly did up a good Tuition/CCA article, which showcased potential costs EVEN BEFORE FORMAL EDUCATION that were seriously outrageous. I am just appalled at how expensive it is to provide for children here.
It’s like telling you that the cherries and icing cost almost as much as the cake.
Having children has such a distressing financial effect on the lives of young parents that:
1. The costs completely overwrites the fact that statistically, married people get paid significantly more (and are generally more motivated in their occupation). That statistic would be blindingly widespread if there were evidence for a higher net worth, which, uh, well.
2. The minimum cost of raising a child till 21 through minimal spending is 6 figures
3. Even the ‘Game of Life’ and ‘CashFlow’ boardgames – as well as other similar ones – considers having children as net-negatives. You literally cannot achieve game victory if you have too many children.
But children aren’t generally parasites, and I’d like to point out why.
The Economic Value of a Child
1) Economic Value [Labor]
As a general rule, on fairly brainless labor alone – children produce much more financial benefit for the world than their overall cost, or drain on the world’s resources.
Benefits typically outweigh costs by 9 to 10 years old, and children can produce more economic utility - or 'break even' - by as early as teenage age.
Labor tends to be read in third world contexts, which is why the initial 20th century studies were conducted in developing countries [and thank goodness the results were as such, or contrasting evidence might be used to try to justify another genocide], but you can look at your own context.
Do you, the person reading this – not labor in your company?
And do you not produce an inherent value to your colleagues, your boss as well as the people you are serving as part of the job?
Do you not spend a ton that goes back into the economy (or fund projects through investing)?
And most importantly – in your job, do you not typically use your time, energy and expertise to create a value that is higher than what you’re being compensated at the time?
…Yeah, that’s a rough one, isn’t it?
2) Economic Value [Ingenuity and Creativity]
Imagine that you’re in an Escape Room with some friends. How many people do you want in there – more people, or less?
Too many cooks spoil the broth, but as a general rule you want more people in there. More minds, more problems solved.
There is a ton of empirical evidence to support this – countries, societies in general, etc.
Sure, the glory, spoils and resources need to be better divided and this creates its own sets of problems, but on the overall, people thrive through entrepreneurship and innovation.
More minds, more problems solved. Especially since people are so unique – life circumstances that are so different it inspires creativity in ways we would never consider standing alone.
3) Social/Emotional Value
Naturally of course, there is also social and economic value. We could look at a ton of studies that refer to a child’s presence (and existence) for ‘intangible, psychic’ benefits, as often described in the 20th century.
But as a personal example for me, I am very happy that my sister brought Baby Esther into the world. It’s really made my family a lot closer and happier.
Despite not being her parent, there’s been a ton of ‘intangible, psychic’ benefits from having her around. I can only imagine that those are magnified when it is your own child.
1) As a general rule – having children is a ‘net-positive’ for the world, economically and socially
Which actually explains a lot, now that I’ve finished the research for this article – I’ve tried to keep it simple, but maybe that’s kind of why the Government will offer so many grants and benefits for married couples on the OFF chance that they will have children.
2) The net benefit of a child to the rest of society, does NOT overwrite the fact that parents will be forking out most of those expenses
For Christians, there’s a whole bunch of verses talking about how children are God’s precious gifts (somewhat taken out of context, but you get it). They’re to be loved and cherished etc, but if you see where I’m going with this…
…Basically as a parent, your child will (likely) create a net positive in this world, but not necessarily to you directly.
As a general rule, trying to enforce this is actually discouraged because it can really screw over your relationship with your children later.
This kind of leads to my third point -
3) An economic benefit is not a good reason for having a child
In any case, this article was not written to suggest or shame people for not wanting children.
In the contrasting studies arguing this article, some classic examples referred to are:
· Infanticide, in the form of sacrifices, or sold as slaves in the short term when they were unable to be provided for
· Financial Laborers – typically within the family, born primarily for the purpose of taking over a business or relationship. In old time contexts, such examples would be people who had to inherit land or marry somebody to maintain good relationships.
In today’s real-world contexts, it might be the kind of failed-actor parents who put their children through 9 years of child modelling so that their children can achieve the dreams they never could, regardless of how they felt about it.
· Having children to maintain a marriage – by far the most controversial culprit, to which the world hasn’t really reached a consensus on that yet.
Obviously, having children for selfish reasons like that can cause serious issues.
Summing It Up
So again – I’m not saying that this article is shaming you, the ones who don’t want to have children regardless of whether you can afford to or not. Even if it's for a reason like preventing climate change.
[Editor's Note: Seriously, there's a ton worse that you and I are doing to the planet than having children.]
It’s your choice.
It IS a little to shame people who would go far enough to seriously call children parasites, which is frankly speaking pretty disgusting behavior, but for the most part – if I could leave you with one takeaway…
Regardless of your choices now – are you a net positive?
Have you done enough with your life to make sure that you’re not a burden, nor will ever be a burden, or so in-eloquently put – a parasite to your family and those around you?
Think about it.
Of course, early and proper financial planning is a good start – and I can help you with that.
As one of the Top Financial Bloggers in Singapore (Feedspot, Withcontent.co), I would be happy to answer any emails and questions you may have, as I have been doing for my readers over the past few years - especially about Insurance and Investing, as it is my forte of personal and professional knowledge.
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Money Maverick is a Licensed Financial Consultant with MAS, who specializes in Investments and Critical Illness Insurance.
The views on his blog are strictly of his own opinion and have no affiliation to any of the companies he works with.
Here are some of my resources on:
3) Retirement and Leverage: Leveraging a Private Annuity, Pros and Cons (ft. Jamus Lim)
4) Spending and Saving: The Biggest Spending Mistakes You DIDNT Even Know you were Making (and how to avoid them)
5) Job Assessment: A Case Study on How a $6k/mth GIrl makes MUCH more money than a $10k/mth Guy
6) Financial Optimisation: How I Avoid the Largest 'Fees' of All
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1) Daily Star (Dunning Kruger)
3) Woke Salaryman
4) Various studies and articles on the economic value of a child
5) 123 RF