With the end of the year coming, Mr Budget tend to reflect towards what has happened over the year and see if there are any aspects in life which we can improve on.
Of course, it is still a bit early for that as we have 2 more months before the end of the year.
But we thought it is important to sit down and discuss some of the more important things for Mrs Budget and myself, seeing that we were recently legally married and our wedding will be happening early next year.
1. How Do We Manage Our Money
Mid way into our relationship before we became Mr and Mrs Budget, I remember that one night when the Mrs and myself sat in the car and spoke the first time about our finances.
Personal finance is a taboo topic among all asian families and is a hard topic to broach. In view of our relationship getting more serious with talks of marriage and proposal, Mr Budget took a leap of faith and “showhand-ed” his finances to Mrs Budget.
Basically, Mr Budget brought his laptop and opened up his spreadsheet which tracks all his assets and liabilities, along with monthly expenses, and showed it to Mrs Budget.
Because Mr Budget didn’t grow up in a family with good financial habits, it is important for him to make sure that his other half do not have bad financial habits. Mr Budget also needs to ensure that the relationship is built on full financial transparency so that we can truly make the best joint decisions.
To his joy, Mrs Budget also slowly opened up her personal finances to Mr Budget and now has her own finance spreadsheet too. Mrs Budget was intrigued at the detail (though not as detailed as other financial bloggers out there) of Mr Budget’s tracking and became an active money manager convert.
Mr Budget also always counts himself a very lucky man because Mrs Budget is a capable woman with no liabilities and has no bad financial habits or vices (such as splurging on clothings or luxury items).
We adopt a separate / individual net worth tracking method, where we will personally manage our own money and make any investment decisions since we are both adults, although Mr Budget will mostly be the one giving advises.
Every month, we will contribute a token S$1000 each into our joint account for household expenditure, as well as savings for our future kids fund.
This method works well for both the Mrs and myself and we are happy to keep it that way.
2. How Much Are We Spending For Our Wedding
Another big topic that we discuss about was our expectation towards our wedding.
We learn from other couples from our immediate social circle that after their wedding, they won’t usually think about what they did not do, but they would always discuss what they could have done without.
And both Mrs Budget and myself subscribe to that too – we know that during the wedding, most of the guest will be Mrs Budget’s family, and our close friends. We agree that we won’t be spending on unnecessary items on the wedding, and that the savings from the wedding can be used for other more meaningful experiences.
Because of that too, we’ve decided to go with a lunch wedding, which is cheaper, and do away with wedding photography, flashy expensive wedding gown packages, expensive diamond ring or expensive bridesmaids and brothers outfit.
At the end of the day, we truly believe that our immediate family and close friends will be truly happy for us, and that we don’t have to prove anything to anyone. 🙂 In Chinese, we know that we 心底扎实就好了。
After our wedding in January, we will probably be sharing how much we have spent so do keep a look out for that.
3. Are We Ready For Kids
This is probably the conversation that the Mrs and myself have not spoken about yet.
Financially, Mr Budget has not done up the “kids expenditure and cost projection” spreadsheet, and because of that, there are no basis for us to base our decisions upon.
I know we will never be 100% ready financially, because there are so many variables that we need to account for – child care, child education, child expenses, and everything child related.
But it is nonetheless an important topic to discuss with your other half, and of course, make plans together for it.
For us, we are clear that we want to spend at least 1 year between the both of us after wedding, before we try to have our kids. This is also reflected in our life goals.
Read Also: Our Financial Goals
4. How Can We Ensure We Can Grow Old Comfortably
Finally, one of the things I always touch upon is this – how can we ensure that we can grow old comfortably.
I think it is very important to work as a team, and that we find each other’s blind spot in our respective personal finance and see how we can optimise for each other.
Some of the stuffs that we consistently do is:
- Keep a lookout for dividend paying equities and reits
- Annual CPF Special Accounts Top Up
- Active cross checking of monthly expenses
Which is why Mr Budget is glad that Mrs Budget is actively tracking her personal finance matters.
What this means is that, every month, the Mrs and myself sit in front of our spreadsheet together, and we reconcile the figures together – very similar as a parent checking their kid’s report card.
Every year, we will also have our projected figures, and we will compare our actual figures against the projected number and see how we are faring.
With these numbers, only then can we have meaningful discussions about what we can do as we age and grow old together.
Are there any other conversations that we should be having? 🙂
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