How do you determine how much you set aside per month for savings? My girlfriend loves to shop, and I don't have much savings myself. How do I know how much is "enough"? - Seedly
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Anonymous

Asked on 25 Sep 2018

How do you determine how much you set aside per month for savings? My girlfriend loves to shop, and I don't have much savings myself. How do I know how much is "enough"?

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Siti Putri

Siti Putri

Level 5. Genius

Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Do you think this GF is someone you want a long term relationship and eventually getting married to? Surely besides her spending habits, she might have other good qualities?

If this is going to be a long term relationship, talk things out with her. Sometimes some people need to know the "why" not just by "telling her to save".

Regardless your GF, the important thing is you think and plan for ownself first. Create small goals like save $10k by 2019, or save $100 a month or 20% a month or save 6 months worth of expenses etc. If it is hard to save, then automate it. Set up automatic transfer to another account to be set aside as savings on your salary pay date so that you don't get tempted. Besides savings, track your monthly expenses to know what you are spending on and where to cut down. You can advice your GF to do the same thing.

Supposing if one day you decide to marry your GF, some money is needed for the wedding, home, renovation..so at least if you have started with your savings first will be good.

If you already talked maturely to your GF, and she still not heeding your advice despite giving her time to think through, suggest to change GF. Sorry, I am not trying to be wet blanket but having similar values is important in a marriage. Top cause for divorce is 'money', so spare yourself the suffering if both cannot see eye to eye on the concept of money.

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Leong Wen Fong
Leong Wen Fong

26 Sep 2018

Can I just ask, for automated transfer, you have to set up another account right? and after which can the automation be done online? or do I have to go down to the bank?
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Junus Eu

Junus Eu

Level 9. God of Wisdom

Answered on 13 Mar 2019

I realised most of the respondents to this question are male, so I thought I would pitch in from a female perspective :)

If your girlfriend loves to shop, she should be shopping using her own money. Her shopping habit should not have any bearing on you unless her shopping is in most part being financed by you.

Yes, if you want to buy the occasional gift, or pay for the meal - that's fine. But personally, I would not get anyone to fund my shopping expenses.

Taking a step back, it might make sense to evaluate your financial goals as a couple, especially if you guys are planning to get married. As most of the respondents have said, it is better to have shared values on money, lest it leads to disagreements down the road.

Tips:

  1. Determine your savings goals. Ie. $xx by year 20xx

  2. Always set aside a portion of your salary each month. Automate it if need be.

  3. Look at not just your monthly expenses (including non-essential spending) but also annual one-offs (eg. Holidays, insurance payments etc)

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Rave Ong Ci De

Rave Ong Ci De

Level 6. Master

Answered on 26 Sep 2018

First things first, how does girlfriend loves to shop and you having problem savings money links? The old age adage of ”your money is her money, her money is her money” is not relevant. If she likes to shop, is it possible that she earns more and have already saved a portion of her money? Next, start from yourself and aim to save at least 3 months worth of expenses. Start slowly, start steadily, but most important, START! From there on, you can save additional “ad-hoc” money. If you plan to marry her, then perhaps a goal would be to save up the wedding money?

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I think Seedly suggestions is good: 50/30/20. Read about it at:

https://blog.seedly.sg/working-adults-allocate-your-monthly-salary/

I can understand when you love one love to shop, when get out of control, it can be disasterous financially.

Suggest by discussing / sharing with her on setting 10% out of the 50% in the expenses category as her shopping funds, she can continue to do what she like (Shopping!:)) and still have good plannings.

Eg. Earn 3.5k, take home 2.8k. So 50% is for expenses = 1.2k. Take 10% out of this 1.2k = $120 per month to shop.

For things that she wish to buy but exceed this shopping budget, save it first and wait till next month to buy (as much as possible) or choose something that is within the budget.

This way she can continue her shopping hobbies with not too much damage monthly and it's more acceptable and easier for her to adapt. Which is also a compromise to be able to have the best of both world (Get to shop yet still manage to save and invest) until she grow out of it and learn to be more financially prudent.

The key is to cut other expenses and allocate 10% in the expense fund to shopping so she can continue her hobbies and slowly be able to reduce the need or funds to spend so much on shopping.

Next, can read more here by Seedly too: https://blog.seedly.sg/read-me-first-your-personal-finance-journey-starts-with-this-article/

Share with her more, ask her to join seedly and readup more, guide her to discover that fact that when we do the above, we can have a better future and most of all! More $ to shop when income grow and need not worry about no savings or no future ! :)

Hope it helps! Try :)

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How much savings you want to see in your bank now and the future, you have to count from there. Start early to learn bit by bit on how to save more. If your girlfriend likes to shop, she should pay for most of the things that she shopped. If you not only pay for her meals but also the shopping and you dont even have enough money for yourself, you will suffer. You spend so much money on her wants then if she breaks up with you, you are left with nothing. No savings No girlfriend.

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AT

Alexandria T.

Level 4. Prodigy

Answered on 02 Jul 2020

I think how much you set aside to save is dependent on factors like:

  1. Is there a certain goal you're working towards?

  2. Do you have debt you need to pay off alongside your monthly expenses & a set saving amount?

  3. Are there any other financial commitments you have?

Evaluate these factors and your lifestyle ( are you able to live on $xxx amount a month? What is the bare minimum?) From there work backwards towards an amount, because you don't want to set an unrealistically high savings amount which would then be setting yourself up for failure. Once you grow more used to saving and frugality, you can increase the amount you save as time goes by.

As for your gf, if you see her as a long term partner, I think you should sit her down and make sure your financial goals are aligned and you both know what you want and what you are working towards. Be honest with her! If she insists on spending or if retail therapy is important to her, try to reason with her to reduce her spending amount or get her to assume more financial responibility over her monthly budget maybe by splitting any bulk/ big payments up ( but she needs to keep track of this! Very important!)

This works for me when I have to make big purchases that don't fit into my monthly budget. I use this payment provider called hoolah that allows me to split my payment up over 3 months, no added charge and it actually keeps me accounatble for the following month's budget because I keep track of how much I need to pay and by when. You can try these options but ultimately it's important for you to discuss your finances / your future plans with her and the timeline you're working with.

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MT2020

MT2020

Level 7. Grand Master

Answered on 01 Mar 2020

You should probably have a good talk with her, as it doesn't matter how much you earn, if she is always spending, you will end up not having any money saved up at all.

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Hi Anon, I think it would be good to have a talk with your Gf on her spending habits. I don't think it's sustainable that she is shopping using your money. She should spend within her own means.

Nonetheless, I personally don't set aside a particular sum of money as savings. I just restrict my expenditure every month, whatever that is left is my savings.

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Davin

Davin

Level 7. Grand Master

Answered on 01 Mar 2020

It depends on yr target retirement age. If u r saving 50%, u can achieve FI in 17 years of working. If u r saving 10%, u will need to work 50 years to achieve FI.

U can read the article below to understand how saving rate impact yr FI plan

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

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-dependent on the absolute amount of your income (and your monthly spending)

-otherwise: as much you can at the youngest age, though spend some for happiness

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A good gauge of what is enough, is the amount you're able to tide for 6 months without working(in times of retrenchment). Introduce your gf to read seedly. Try to instill money saving habits. Try to instill a $500 watch and a $50 watch still tell the same thing, time. Try to instill a $1000 handbag and a $20 handbag is still the same function, to carry personal items.

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You already know the root cause of your monetary problems. The next is to change it, and if you can't, get rid of it.

Aim to have liquid savings of around 6 months of expenses.

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Nicholas Chan

Nicholas Chan

Level 6. Master

Answered on 25 Sep 2018

If spending habits are worlds apart, better to talk it through whether a long term relationship is worthwhile. Financial intimacy on marriage is very important.

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Yong Kah Hwee

Yong Kah Hwee

Level 8. Wizard

Answered on 25 Sep 2018

Enough savings, to me, is when you can stop working and still be able to live off your savings for 6-12 months before having to work again :)

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There is no magic number, you will find people and articles stating %

personally i Save more than 50% a month

i think introducing investment to your GF and watching that money grow might make her move towards being more inclind to save and invest.

not saying it’s wrong to spend but it has to be a balance.

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Tina Sharon Lee

Tina Sharon Lee

Level 4. Prodigy

Answered on 25 Sep 2018

You have to look after your finances first. Set aside say 10 percent of your take home pay for a start and see how it goes. If you and your girlfriend do not have have the same or similar financial goals, you may want to rethink the relationship. At the end of the day, it will lead to more headaches when you decide to marry and set up a household. Best of luck!

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Gabriel

Gabriel

Level 8. Wizard

Answered on 25 Sep 2018

It usually feels that savings are never enough. So you need to have a goal and start saving from as little $100 every month. Small steps make a difference and get you closer to your financial goals

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