The most important is to expect your life to not go according to plans... I am the more risk-adverse type so I believed in saving as much as possible, even if spreadsheet says 50% can liao, if have more i save more. Basically cut everything that can be cut. The biggest change is actually after the baby is born. The change I underwent was something I never imagined how I could have planned for. I suddenly didn't have any time for anything and everything, and my monthly savings fell below 50% no matter how I cut, so the only way was to change job to remain sane. If i could turn back time, I probably would have done a lot more things I had wanted to try before baby duties (like mba, learn a new language, learn to play music, work overseas) and not focused so much saving like a miser. 10 years later, I look back and think, ok I saved 500k, but I dont feel like spending it on anything. Taking mba or working overseas after kids is difficult because of the higher direct and indirect costs. Learning language or music after kids is doable but much tougher. I still don't have enough time for many things, dont have time to play games, read books, meet friends, so if value certain activities, fill your life with it because a little ball of flesh will rob you of all your time, for a good long time of your life.