Many people said that marriage is a burden to expenses. I wouldn’t exactly deny that but I wouldn’t want to avoid marriage too for that reason. It is true that when two people got married, it seems that even though your spouse is also earning income (which adds up to your overall household income), the expenses seem to go up exponentially faster than the overall income combined. So how did I fare in coping with my expenses after marriage?
First of all, I was only married in June this year. Since the month of Jun and July were mostly spend on honeymoon and transitioning, both myself and wife only start keeping track for the expenses from Aug onwards. So without further adue, this is how we have fared in Aug:
People who know me would know that my wife and I are crazy food eaters and that we often post them on Facebook and Instagam. We like to try different types of food and atmosphere almost every weekends and we usually ended up spending much on food, which I think is fine. We usually spend little during our normal working days as we mostly ended up eating hawkers with our colleagues which costs very minimal. Overall, this segment usually represents more than 60% of the total expenses we incurred and it is not surprising to see why.
We live easy on transportation as we don’t own a car and only take public transportation such as buses and trains. At times, we would splurge a little to take cab to and fro if it is necessary but at the moment, we don’t spend on this too much. A few of my friends who own a car in Singapore can easily spend almost close to $800 on this segment per month. This is usually the biggest expense differentiation between a car owner and a non-car owner.
Utilities are a straight forward expense. It includes our telephone bills, internet as well as cable TV. Just on this month, I have managed to cut this segment down by canceling some of the channel which I hardly watch. I think I will be able to reduce this segment of the expenses down further in the coming months.
Our entertainment category makes up only movies. At times, we would like to splurge on concerts but because of the high demand we usually are unable to get the tickets. We love to travel as well but we don’t seem to do so as much as the others due to certain restrictions we have as a couple right now. We don’t drink, smoke and go clubbing – which is why our entertainment expenses are one of the lowest among all the other friends I know. Yes, a tequila shot can easily costs you $12 in just one gulp.
Miscellaneous expenses are usually an one-off and go expense. It consists of stuff like giving angpao or buying stationeries and are usually non-recurring. We would usually categorize buying clothes under this segment as well but it’s mostly my wife who would buy. I still have my brand new clothes which I have not worn since my honeymoon in Japan 😉
There are people who have said that we spent too little and called us a misery. There are another group of people who thinks that we’ve managed expenses well and called us a thrifty couple. Either way, I think it does not matter. What I wanted to highlight was that we managed to keep the expenses in check every month without overspending our targeted budget. Sure, in some months there will be times when we would spend huge and we would let it run if it is a mandatory expenses like relatives wedding for example. But overall, we’ve managed to keep the outflow tight and still being able to live very comfortably with what we spend on food, entertainment and other things.
I have always believed that saving habit goes a long way in life that you can pass on to your children in the future. With a good saving habit and proper return on your investment, your children would inherit a good start to their lives, which they would then continue to pass on to the next generation after generation. The key starts from now.