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How do you manage the finances of two as one?

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Savings

Personal Finance 101

Marriage

Family

How do couples manage their finances together?
Hi anon, I can share how I manage mine with my wife. We have a joint account (opened up after we got engaged) where we both contribute an equal amount each month. Since her income is fixed, and mine is variable, we both agree on a minimum fixed amount that we both won't have an issue to put in every month, and a maximum amount that she is comfortable to put in. Then, depending on my income, we both contribute the minimum fixed amount every month, and topup if my income is better on some months. I guess it does help that both of us have a common and very clear idea about what we intend to do for our finances; we're both income investors and are willing to spend more money investing than on things like holidays or food (although we do take the occasional break). Thus a common understanding is very important so that we end up at the same destination of being financially independent with our passive income, even if we don't agree on the method used to get there. The main difference is that our investments are currently separate, on top of the fact that we both have restrictions on investing due to the nature of her work (compliance issues). She doesn't question what I stocks or UTs that I buy, although she does give inputs. The same in reverse, I cannot force her not to buy or to buy a certain stock, but I will give her my analysis. The money in the joint account is only to be spent when both parties agree upon it. So this will be for major joint expenses such as buying new furniture or such. If a kid comes along, we'll both have to agree on the spending as well, and I'd expect it will even boil down to the type of milk powder, or brand of diapers. But we'll manage. Our personal expenses are kept separate, and we don't need to seek consent for that as long as it's not significant. I generally spend more money on my investments anyway, and that has to clear her compliance, so she knows what I'm spending a large part of my money on! It's possible to do a contribution proportionate to your income each month, but if your incomes are within 10% to 20% of each other, then it's probably okay to just decide on a fixed amount. Have a good conversation with your girlfriend and understand the differences in your viewpoints; find a common ground upon which you both can agree on as both of you will likely have different views. Prepare to compromise and allow each other a certain level of space when it comes to personal discretionary spending.
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Lifestyle

Marriage

Insurance

Situation : Married couple with no plan of having kids, ever. What sort of insurance planning (compared to the typical adult profile) is recommended for retirement and old age healthcare needs?
Angeline Teo
Angeline Teo, Calculator at The Internet
Level 6. Master
Answered on 01 May 2020
If its me, i will just do medical insurance (cPF medisave medishield plans), critical illness. simple term plan for each other, so that if 1 dies, the other spouse has some lump sum. thats it, no other plans. the rest of the money i will invest in etf or stocks for retirement.
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Marriage

Lifestyle

My husband spends at least $6 buying Starbucks every morning, I think it's a waste of money, but he doesn't want to stop. How can I convince him to stop spending on this?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Before you ask him to stop. Please ask yourself the following questions; 1. Is this his only pleasure / vice? 2. Do you have any pleasure / vice that he thinks is a waste of money? If the answer if yes for no. 1, if you can afford it, just let it be, at most negiotiate a monthly limit. If the answer is yes for no. 2, you can do a swap; "I give up this if you give up this."
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Lifestyle

SG Budget Babe

Marriage

How do you and your partner split costs when you were dating and after marriage? Any changes?
We have a joint account for major expenses such as anything relating to housing or holidays or buying appliances. The rationale being, these are relatively large expenses on items that will be largely used by us both, and there should at least be some kind of agreement before we pay in equal shares. However, most personal expenses are kept seperate. When going out, we take turns on the meals. If I take care of lunch, she takes care of dinner and vice versa. It's worked out pretty well.
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Lifestyle

Marriage

I found out that my husband is having an affair. However, he is also the only one earning in our family. If I file for a divorce, does it mean I will have to provide for my 2 children alone?
Yiyang Chen
Yiyang Chen
Level 4. Prodigy
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Sorry to hear of your situation. First try to talk to your husband and find out the cause of the affair. Listen to him and try your best to work on the problems. If the marriage cannot be salvaged and you file for a divorce, it does not mean you have to provide for your 2 children alone. You can apply for maintenance for both you and your children. You will be expected to find a job though as you are healthy so maintenance from him for you will not be high. But for your children, your husband will be reasonably expected to maintain their present lifestyle. As their mother, and if you are perfectly healthy, you will have custody of the children with access to your husband. Regarding housing, talk to your husband then and see if your husband is willing to transfer this house to you if you do not have the money to buy over his share. If you reach the stage of having to apply for a divorce, please seek advice from a divorce lawyer. And remember, you will not be alone. Hope the above helps.
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Personal Finance 101

Investments

Marriage

SG Budget Babe

How would you convince your spouse to start investing?
To be fair, understanding the value of money and how to become its master is more important than investing itself. Once we understood its real value and is determined to not become its slave, we will be more driven to maximise its value during our short life span. Personally, I will suggest to go back to the basics by understanding our cashflow. Through this process, we will understand our earning ability and spending habit. Here is a guide to help you: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/understanding-your-personal-cash-flow/ Thereafter, understand what is going to happen in the future and set tangible goals, e.g. children's education in 27 years' time, and retirement in 30 years' time. Additionally, goals can be as simple as not having to worry about money for holidays every year. To help us acknowledge the urgency of each event, calculate the exact amount that we need for each event. Then work backwards to find out how much we need today. From here, it should be obvious that such goal is impossible without compounding our money. The power of Compound Interest: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/what-is-compound-interest/ Now, learn about the various tools available to help us achieve our goals, e.g. bonds, equity, balanced portfolio. So long as we are serious about our goals, then we will know the importance to use the right tools to achieve it. Without a tangible goal, it is often tough to understand why we should grow our money. Here is everything about me and what I do best.
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Marriage

Savings

Investments

I'm 22 this year just started working with $2.5-2.8k salary. Thing is, I have ~$39k savings. With a relatively low starting salary but quite a lot of savings, how should i plan my future finances?
Arpita Mukherjee
Arpita Mukherjee, Community Evangelist at Kristal.AI
Level 6. Master
Answered on 13 Nov 2019
Hi Anon, Good to see that you're already doing so much to save and grow your money. You can start by not putting all your eggs in one basket. An ideal, successful portfolio requires thought and you must analyse each and every one of your investments rigorously before you invest. You might find this process daunting, which is why it is more beneficial to build your investment portfolio slowly over time, rather than rushing into making a ton of investments quickly. Allow yourself the time and space to grow and learn before diversifying or rebalancing anything. Of course, if your advisor tells you to do something specific, you should certainly take that into consideration too! Here's something more elaborate. I work at Kristal.AI, and my mojo is to help people make the right financial decisions. If you think I helped you, do give me "Thumbs up". If you think my response was biased let me know, I will work on it.
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HDB BTO

Family

Marriage

National Service (NS)

I’m currently 25 years old and married but i’m serving NS with another year to go. Is it possible for me to apply for a BTO flat?
It’s possible. But here are a few factors to consider before deciding whether or not it is advisable. 1. What is the intention of the house purchase? Is it to be a permanent place of domicile? 2. After considering the first question carefully, you might than ask whether or not you actually want to get a BTO due to the process as opposed to resale. The time cost of 3-4 year might not be worth it in some cases for some couples, especially given your budget and flexibility, the BTOs you can get might not be in a convenient location. 3. While the cost of the option to buy is low, you might want to take into consideration resale as the process saves you time, which is also an important asset you need to take into account, not just the dollars. Click here to find out more about me!
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Lifestyle

Wedding

Marriage

Which jewelry shop would you recommend for Si Dian Jin 四点金?
I got mine at Poh Heng. But this was due to circumstances not in my control. I'm satisfied with them and the wife is happy, so sometimes you can't place a price on happiness. Ideally you'd want to go shop around first before committing, and it is known that the shops in Chinatown have very competitive prices. This will also apply to other things like Guo Da Li items.
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Savings

Investments

Family

PhillipCapital (POEMS)

Marriage

Should I devote excess cash over my emergency funds (I’m thinking 1 year of base salary as cash in my bank account) in POEMS for short term goals?
Hi anon, 1 year of base expenses would be my benchmark for emergency funds, but there is no harm to have 1 year of base salary either. Assuming you have your emergency funds set aside, you should aim to grow the rest of the monies, taking into account your time horizon and needs. Regardless of whether both of you are aiming for FIRE or not, do bear in mind that investments involve risk, so in the short-mid term (3 to 5 years), monies that are needed during this period should be placed in safer investments. FDs, SSBs, POEMS money market, and even short term endowments can be considered. You wouldn't want to invest your monies only to see 20%-40% of the portfolio value wiped out right before the downpayment for the house renovations or the wedding. Understand that time bound commitments will require a certain level of predictability for funding them (if you have to pay the wedding banquet, the hotel won't extend an extra year to you just because the market is down), whereas FIRE, which doesn't technically have a fixed time frame (if you FIRE a year later than you intened, it doesn't really hurt you). For context, although I don't know what you have in mind for your wedding/reno/car, I can provide some context for the wedding costs (these are more common, if you wish to engage other vendors, then it depends, eg. an emcee): - Wedding banquet: Tables are anywhere from $1000 - $1800 depending on the hotel. Restaurants are cheaper. Multiply that by the number of tables - Photog: $1200 onwards - Video: $1500 onwards - Bridal package: $2000 onwards depending on package details, number of dresses, etc - MUA: $700 onwards - Wedding Bands: $1000 onwards - Don't forget the ang baos for the actual day! It can add up Renovations can cost anywhere from $15K-$20K onwards. Home appliances will really depend, but actually you'd probably get by with a basic washing machine, dryer, fridge and TV, while slowly installing other stuff like home entertainment systems or robotic vaccum cleaners. I don't own a car, so hard for me to comment there. Sorry. Try getting a second hand though, to get an idea of the costs, without a significant capital outlay required.
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