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Exactly How Much Money You Might Spend on Big-Deal Life Milestones

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They’re (mostly) exciting, but the transformative, rock-your-world events you'll encounter can also come with some serious hidden costs. Here’s how to hit your stride in the real-world Game of Life without stumbling into financial trouble.

Getting Married

Depending on where you live and the kind of wedding you want to plan, the venue, flowers, meal, photographer, cake, and adventures with your best men can run you anywhere from P1 million to P4 million—not exactly chump change. And that doesn’t even include the honeymoon. (No wonder many couples put that off for months.) If you're lucky, the 'rents or in-laws might contribute some cash, but what if you can't foot the entire bill upfront? Some folks charge much of the expenses and delay paying it off in exchange for interest. You could also consider a personal loan, which may have advantages to financing large expenses like these, specifically possibly lower interest rates and clear payoff schedules. You can borrow just what you need and a personal loan’s fixed interest rate means you’ll know exactly what you’re paying each month—no surprises. Some lenders let you choose the term to fit your budget, too. Just be sure to look for a lender that doesn’t charge origination or prepayment fees.

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Starting a Family

When you start trying to make babies—rather than doing everything to not—reality sets in: The latest brochure from St. Luke's shows that childbirth will cost you P80,000 to P87,000 for normal delivery. Maybe your insurance can cover a part of all that if you're lucky?

Start saving the day you say, “Let’s do this.”

Fingers crossed you have a good healthcare plan with reasonable coverage and everything goes swimmingly: Neonatal and post-natal care, from a doula to specialty-doctor visits ain’t cheap, and a Caesarian averages around P130,000. Infertility treatments can be incredibly pricey: Each “fresh” cycle of IVF can run as much as P600,000. With adoption, the costs involved in the process can run between $15,000 to $80,000 (for international adoptions). Fortunately, many organizations that offer these services have financing options. Start saving the day you say, “Let’s do this.” And if you run short of what’s needed to pay for the costs (of an adoption, for example), a personal loan can be used to cover these life events as well.

Buying a Home

The home down payment can be the difficult part, so start with a home you can afford, and start saving now. Consider the “36% rule”: Your monthly mortgage payments should be no more than a third of your gross income, so you’re not living paycheck to paycheck and freaking out on the first of each month. Start small; you can always trade up.

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Turning 40

Turns out that getting older, while certainly improving your wisdom and station in life, does come with negative side effects beyond two-day hangovers. Eye care, dental, and internal medicine bills could go up to about P200,000 a year—another reason to seek a solid health insurance plan.

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Sending the Kids to College

Your brilliant child will run you anywhere from P50,000 to P100,000 for college. Books and incidentals can be another couple of thousands—and that’s just per semester. Do yourself a favor and apply for every possible form of financial aid: grants, aids, and scholarships. Some are need-based and some are merit-based.

Midlife Crisis

Hey, ticking off those bucket-list items is an enjoyable thing. The sticker price for buying the Porsche, getting the eyelid lift, and quitting your job to pursue your passions runs quite a range: anywhere up to P5 million (or whatever salary you're ditching) for chucking it all in and devoting your days to kitesurfing. While we don’t recommend the irresponsible behavior that is often associated with turning 50ish, we’ll cut you some slack.

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Becoming a Grandparent

Many a granddad will tell you having grandchildren is far more satisfying than being a parent—it’s all the glory without the responsibility, plus the guilt-free spoiling is fun. But those family vacations and unnecessary gifts have been found to cost the older generation around P122,000 a year, according to one estimate. If you want to be truly magnanimous, you could also opt to pay for school, camp, a first car, a year abroad, the down payment on your grandchildren’s first home… the options are unlimited. Just don’t go beyond your means.

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An unexpected medical emergency is one of the top reasons why many slip into financial insecurity.

First Medical Scare

It’s terrifying to find a lump, get an alarming test result, or notice a mole run amok. In fact, an unexpected medical emergency is one of the top reasons why many slip into financial insecurity. There’s no real way to gird against the unknown, but squirreling away money with insurance is one way to save up for medical costs.

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A personal loan can be an accessible way to cover the costs of a medical emergency. Get specialists to answer questions and help you apply for an amount you need, so if approved, you won’t be scrambling for funds during an already stressful time. Fixed interest rates and a fixed monthly payment amount with a clear payoff date mean you'll know exactly when you’ll be free of the medical debt.

Retiring

We're guessing you’ll likely need to shell out an average of P2 million per year for the bills and other living expenses. That’s for housing, food, transportation, health care, entertainment, track suits, and bingo cards. With the financial planning you started when you began adulting, you’ll hopefully have a paid-off home, a healthy savings account, and a community of friends and family who will give you all the credit due to a man who has lived his best life.

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