Young M'sian couples put off having kids due to finances

JOHOR BARU: Like some young couples in the country, Mohd Ariff Zainuddin believes that having a baby now is not his top priority.

The 27-year-old, who has been married to his wife, Sheila Yaakob, 27, for two years, said it was too early in their marriage to discuss starting a family.

"There are too many reasons for us to put a hold on having a child together. The main reason for us is financial because raising a child nowadays is very expensive and we have other financial commitments.

"Both my wife and I are busy working, and we hardly have time for each other as our dream is to buy our own house first before starting our family,” he said, adding that they were renting a single-story house near Taman Johor Jaya.

Junaidah Mutalip, 32, who works as a bank clerk has been married to her businessman husband, Mohd Adam Muhammad Ismail, 34, for five years.

"My husband has always wanted a son so that they can watch Manchester United together, while I want a daughter so that I can dress her up.

"However, there is no rezeki (no luck) for both of us, but we are trying. Hopefully, there will be some good news for us in the future,” she said, adding that having a child would ensure they have someone to look after them when they are old.

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) psychological and counselling service centre senior counsellor officer Noor Hadayah Ahmad said that it is very important for any couple to have a plan.

"Couples need to have a blueprint in their marriage. They should list their ideal target in their married life, including when they want to start having a child and manage their finances well.

"Young couples should not get loans or even use credit cards to hold lavish weddings as it will put them in financial difficulty.

"This will influence them to put a hold on their target of when they want to start a family as many of them would feel that having a child is an extra burden on their finances on top of paying other loans and bills,” she said.

Noor Hadayah added that it is vital for young couples to talk and listen to each other, so they could help better understand what they are facing as a couple.

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Couples , Married , UTM , Counselling , Child


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