May 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

At the end of every month, Mrs Budget and I will reconcile our monthly expenses and see what are we spending on, and where we can optimise or cut down our expenses.

We subscribe to the believe that every penny saved is a penny earned – sometimes its easier to save S$100, than to earn S$100, both of which results in the same net worth increase.

In May, here’s what Mr Budget spent on.

ExpensesMay
Meals$286.09
Entertainment$65.49
Groceries / Home$202.15
Shopping / Cloths$7.50
Phone Bill$40.00
Income Tax$206.22
Hair Cut$26.00
Singapore Mortgage$1,113.84
Others$644.33

Mr Budget’s total expenditure for May is at $2,591.62, a further reduction as compared to last month’s expenditure of $2,876.07.

Total essential expenses add up to only S$601.23 (meals, entertainment, groceries, phone bill).

If you strip it down further, bulk of the payment goes into mortgage payments and income tax. There was also a $644.33 expenses under the “Others” category made for a miles redemption program as well as a wedding angpao for a friend.

For Mrs Budget, here’s what she spent on.

ExpensesMay
Meals$126.78
Family$600.00
Groceries / Home$202.15
Phone Bill$25.00
Endowment$303.97
Shopping$63.34
Gifts (Wedding Festives)$55.15

Similarly, Mrs Budget also only spent $1,376.39 this month. Total essential expenses add up to only S$353.94 (meals, groceries, phone bill), while the others are variable expenses. Mrs Budget continued her monthly family contribution of S$600 as well as her monthly contribution to her endowment plan.

This monthly numbers also serves as a good indication of our cash flow when we retire, so now we have a good idea of how much we need to retire.

We don’t foresee any big expenditure coming in the next few months, and we will continue to tighten our belts and watch our cash outflow so that we can tide through this uncertain period.

In terms of our expenses, it is hard to further optimize our monthly expenses as we think they are reasonably low and within our expectations.

Our meals and groceries adds up to S$817 per month. If we divide that to 2 meals a day for 30 days, our cost per meal is at S$13.62.

We can definitely aim towards reducing that to S$10 per meal if we want to, but we would have to give up our indulgence like fishes and our love for vitagen, and that would slightly diminish our happiness.

May Meal and Groceries Total CostS$817.08
Cost per meal (60 meals / 2 meals a day)S$13.62

How has May been like for you?

October 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
November 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
December 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
January 2020 Monthly Expenses Update
February 2020 Monthly Expenses Update
March 2020 Monthly Expenses Update
April 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

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April 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

At the end of every month, Mrs Budget and I will reconcile our monthly expenses and see what are we spending on, and where we can optimise or cut down our expenses.

We subscribe to the believe that every penny saved is a penny earned – sometimes its easier to save S$100, than to earn S$100, both of which results in the same net worth increase.

In April, here’s what Mr Budget spent on.

ExpensesApril
Meals$393.69
Transportation (mrt)$10.00
Groceries / Home$194.99
Phone Bill$56.10
Mum$111.33
Income Tax$103.05
Malaysia Mortgage 1$800.00
Singapore Mortgage$1,206.91

Mr Budget’s total expenditure for April is at $2,876.07, a further reduction as compared to last month’s expenditure of $3,563.78.

Total essential expenses add up to only S$654.78 (meals, mrt, groceries, phone bill).

If you strip it down further, bulk of the payment goes into mortgage payments. There were no expenses recorded under “travel”, “entertainment”, “Haircut”, “shopping” or “Others” as Mrs Budget and I had been holed up at home. This should paint a good picture of our expenses when we retire.

For Mrs Budget, here’s what she spent on.

ExpensesApril
Meals$10.90
Family$600.00
Groceries / Home$194.99
Phone Bill$25.00
Endowment$303.97
Shopping$55.84
Dog$282.63

Similarly, Mrs Budget also only spent $1,473.33 this month. Total essential expenses add up to only S$230.89 (meals, groceries, phone bill), while the others are variable expenses. Mrs Budget bought an insurance for her dog hence that’s recorded as a one off expenses.

This monthly numbers also serves as a good indication of our cash flow when we retire, so now we have a good idea of how much we need to retire.

Before covid and post covid, our expenses has dropped by at least 50% – 60%, showing that we really spend a lot indulging in variable expenses such as travelling, entertainment and shopping – definitely something to think about.

We don’t foresee any big expenditure coming in the next few months, and we will continue to tighten our belts and watch our cash outflow so that we can tide through this uncertain period.

How has March been like for you?

October 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
November 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
December 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
January 2020 Monthly Expenses Update
February 2020 Monthly Expenses Update
March 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

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March 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

At the end of every month, Mrs Budget and I will reconcile our monthly expenses and see what are we spending on, and where we can optimise or cut down our expenses.

We subscribe to the believe that every penny saved is a penny earned – sometimes its easier to save S$100, than to earn S$100, both of which results in the same net worth increase.

In March, here’s what Mr Budget spent on.

ExpensesMarch
Meals$450.07
Transportation (mrt)$40.00
Entertainment$48.40
Groceries / Home$201.05
Phone Bill$56.10
Income Tax$103.05
Hair Cut$34.00
Digital Subs$30.56
Malaysia Mortgage 1$785.47
Malaysia Mortgage 2$407.21
Singapore Mortgage$1,215.26
Others$192.60

Mr Budget’s total expenditure for February is at $3,563.78, a further reduction as compared to last month’s expenditure of $4,868.09

The bulk of the expenses are mortgages related expenses, and if we remove all of those expenses, the true expenditure will be at S$1155.83. Mortgage related expenses is at S$2407.95, making up to 68% of the monthly expenses. 

For Mrs Budget, here’s what she spent on.

ExpensesMarch
Meals$154.60
Transportation$80.00
Family$600.00
Entertainment$17.00
Groceries / Home$201.05
Phone Bill$25.00
Endowment$303.97
Insurance$87.25
Income Tax$290.97
Shopping$14.31
Gifts (Wedding Festives)$170.14
Dog$231.35

Mrs Budget total expenditure is at $2,175.64, significantly lower than February’s expenditure of S$10,260.33. This amounted to her 6 months low, and reverted back to the normal true monthly expenses.

We dont foresee any big expenditure coming in the next few months, and we will continue to tighten our belts and watch our cash outflow so that we can tide through this uncertain period.

How has March been like for you?

October 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
November 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
December 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
January 2020 Monthly Expenses Update
February 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

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The Most Important Thing Right Now Is Job Preservation

Quarter 1 of 2020 is now over.

It is probably an understatement to say that 2020 has been a bad start for everyone around the world. Probably more so for investors who have been investing over the past 5 to 10 years preparing for retirement.

Since the start of the year, market has plunged, wiping out 10 – 30% of retirement portfolios around the world.

While many other financial bloggers and us here have shared our take on investing during this period, we wanted to pen down our thoughts on another equally important matter – job preservation.

To us, the most important thing right now is job preservation, and this topic is probably quite understated in Singapore. This is especially important because companies are now cutting cost and freezing hiring during this period of uncertainties.

Decide If You Are The Cost Or Profit Center

Specifically, job preservation means that you have to decide if you are the cost or profit center of the company.

If you are the profit center of the company, you are less likely to take a pay cut or be laid off. Example of profit center is the sales department.

However, if you are the cost center, you are more likely to be affected if there are any cost savings measures in the company. Example of cost centers include customer service, maintenance, accounting, IT, HR and more.

Another thing everyone should do is to make sure that you are irreplaceable, or that it cost more to fire you than to hire your replacement in the long term.

What this means is that you have to demonstrate value to your boss, and be more proactive during this period to see if there is anything you can do more to help your company survive during this period.

Job preservation and mass unemployment is a very real problem, and because it is a lagging indicator, we will only hear about these numbers 2 or 3 months later when the government announce the quarterly unemployment rate.

However, we can use US unemployment data to give us a glimpse of what is to be expected.

Earlier last month, US announced that the number of people claiming for unemployment insurance claim reaches 3.3 million, 400% more than the highest ever recorded in the history of US. There are also no signs that this is slowing down.

Here in Singapore, companies are also earmarked to be closing down, and laying off their staffs to save on costs. The government has also stepped in and government agencies are actively creating temp jobs to ensure that Singaporeans continue to have employment income.

Preserving Cash inflow and Controlling Cash Outflow

Other than job preservation, which takes care of your monthly inflow, one should also look at his or her monthly outflows.

During this difficult period, cash is definitely king – and what we are actively doing is to make sure that we keep our expenses low. Because we are working from home now, we are cooking in more, which translate to slightly more savings.

All of our entertainment, travel and shopping budget are now shifted to zero as we try as much as possible to stay in and tide through this critical period.

Just as companies are taking this time to optimize for their finances, individuals should also take time to optimize their finances too.

For Mrs Budget and myself, we are also expecting dividend cuts from the counters we are holding on. SPH REIT had already announced a 78% reduction in their dividend, and we know that this will probably not be the only REIT to do so.

In similar vein, we also expected banks to cut the interest rates of high yield account, which all the 3 local banks have announced the past 2 days.

With the reduction of interest rates and dividend, that will reduce our monthly inflow, which means our outflow will have to be reduced too.

PM Lee and Minister Lawrence Wong has also shared in two different occasions that this will be a long drawn out battle, and will last at least another 6 months.

Times are bad folks. Please save up for rainy days.

Here at Mr and Mrs Budget, we will continue to update you on:

  1. What we are doing financially to cope with the slowdown in economy
  2. Updates on our portfolio and what we are buying and selling
  3. Important things to take note of during this COVID 19 situation

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February 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

At the end of every month, Mrs Budget and I will reconcile our monthly expenses and see what are we spending on, and where we can optimise or cut down our expenses.

We subscribe to the believe that every penny saved is a penny earned – sometimes its easier to save S$100, than to earn S$100, both of which results in the same net worth increase.

In February, here’s what Mr Budget spent on.

ExpensesFebruary
Meals$369.30
Transportation (mrt)$40.00
Entertainment$67.30
Groceries / Home$510.05
Shopping / Cloths$8.00
Phone Bill$56.10
Mum$210.00
Income Tax$103.05
Hair Cut$30.36
Digital Subs$30.56
Malaysia Mortgage 1$763.84
Malaysia Mortgage 2$359.96
Malaysia Home$583.33
Singapore Mortgage$1,215.26
Travel$38.67
Others$482.32

Mr Budget’s total expenditure for February is at $4,868.09, a significant reduction as compared to last month’s extraordinary expenditure. 

The bulk of the expenses are mortgages related expenses, and if we remove all of those expenses, the true expenditure will be at S$1945.71. Mortgage related expenses is at S$2922.39, making up to 60% of the monthly expenses. 

For Mrs Budget, here’s what she spent on.

ExpensesFebruary
Meals$149.70
Transportation$80.00
Family$600.00
Groceries / Home$510.05
Phone Bill$25.00
Endowment$303.97
Insurance$87.25
Shopping$163.02
Fitness$28.00
Dog$39.00
Singapore Mortgage$1,231.54
Others$7,042.80

Mrs Budget total expenditure is at S$10,260.33, significantly higher than January.

This is partly due to the one off annual contribution to her CPF SA account of S$7,000. Excluding that, there isn’t much changes in her monthly expenditure.

Both Mr and Mrs Budget also paid for our annual property tax last month and hence our home expenses shot up this month.

We don’t foresee to have any big expenses for the rest of the year other than some small travel expenses to Malaysia, so that should ease our cash flow as well as help us build up our cash savings for the year. 🙂

How has February been like for you?

October 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
November 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
December 2019 Monthly Expenses Update
January 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

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January 2020 Monthly Expenses Update

At the end of every month, Mrs Budget and I will reconcile our monthly expenses and see what are we spending on, and where we can optimise or cut down our expenses.

We subscribe to the believe that every penny saved is a penny earned – sometimes its easier to save S$100, than to earn S$100, both of which results in the same net worth increase.

In January, here’s what Mr Budget spent on.

ExpensesJanuary
Meals$318.56
Transportation $65.00
Entertainment$176.20
Groceries / Home$121.82
Shopping / Cloths$382.53
Phone Bill$56.10
Income Tax$103.05
Hair Cut$34.00
Digital Subs$30.56
Malaysia Mortgage 1$877.73
Malaysia Mortgage 2$366.51
Singapore Mortgage$1,231.80
Travel$1,819.94
CPF Top Up$7,000.00
Wedding Expenses$4,855.54

My total expenses for January ended up to be a whopping $17,439.34, consisting of a $2,699.75 fixed expenses and $14,739.59 of variable expenses.

The expenses increases significantly mostly due to the final payment of our wedding expenses ($4,855.54), our recent honeymoon to Japan ($1,819.94) as well as a CPF SA contribution (S$7,000).

Removing all of these one off expenses, the true expenses in January would have been a more manageable S$3,763.86. Of the S$3,763.86, mortgage payment is at S$2,476.04, and the rest is at S$1287.82.

Daily Expenses$1,287.82
Mortgage Commitments$2,476.04
Wedding, CPF Top Up, Honeymoon$13,675.48
Total January Expenses$17,439.34
January Expenses Category Breakdown

For Mrs Budget, here’s what she spent on.

ExpensesJanuary
Meals$107.82
Transportation$80.00
Family$600.00
Groceries / Home$121.82
Phone Bill$65.58
Endowment$303.97
Insurance$87.25
Shopping$305.00
Travel$1,819.94
Gifts (Wedding Festives)$20.00
Wedding Expenses$4,716.54

Mrs Budget spent a total of $8,227.92, of which $1,244.62 is the fixed expenses and $6,983.30 is the variable expenses.

Similarly, wedding and travel expenses made up the bulk of the expenses in January. 

We don’t foresee to have any big expenses for the rest of the year other than some small travel expenses to Malaysia, so that should ease our cash flow as well as help us build up our cash savings for the year. 🙂

How has January been like for you?

October 2019 Monthly Expenses Update

November 2019 Monthly Expenses Update

December 2019 Monthly Expenses Update

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The Best Personal Finance Decision Mr Budget Made In 2019 – Expenses Tracking

Regular followers of Mr and Mrs Budget will know that we track our expenses monthly.

We have been publishing our monthly expenses since the start of this publication and if you have missed it, here’s our expenses for October, November, and December.

Many might find that tracking expenses is a tedious thing to do, especially you need to log down every single transaction that you spend on a daily basis. Mr Budget, like many many Singaporeans or Malaysians trying to sort out his life, tried to start tracking his finances long time ago, and always failed to keep to the habit. 

I remember my first attempt of daily expenses tracking was in university back in 2010, when I needed to know where I spend my money on. After tracking for a few days, life caught on and I soon stopped tracking because I didn’t understand why I need to track my finances, and told myself that since I have no control over my finances, there was no point in tracking.

After all, every month I would always end up spending everything in my bank account.

I tried again when I first entered the workforce in 2012, but because I was living pay check to pay check, with an entry salary of S$2,400, all of my salary would be used up for my rental payment, school loan payment, and my daily expenses.

To me, there was no point in tracking my expenses too because the entry would be the same – I would spend S$500 on rental, S$500 in school loan payment, S$500 on food, and the rest would either be brought over to next month, or will be spent indulging on entertainment.

It was only in mid 2018 when I finally sit down and told myself that I need to know where my money is going and only with these information can I optimise for my cashflow. 

This was also due to the fact that all financial gurus out there included expenses tracking as one of their mantras – surely all of them cant be wrong?

Here’s the first annual expenses report after I started tracking my expenses:

Expenses CategoryTotalAverage%
Meals$4,861.24$405.105.05%
Transportation (mrt)$795.04$66.250.83%
Entertainment$1,278.51$106.541.33%
Groceries / Home$9,931.37$827.6110.31%
Shopping / Cloths$1,525.40$127.121.58%
Phone Bill$687.20$57.270.71%
Utilities$495.25$41.270.51%
Insurance$2,720.51$226.712.83%
Parents$2,574.66$214.562.67%
Income Tax$1,415.72$117.981.47%
Hair Cut$323.20$26.930.34%
Digital Subs$302.51$25.210.31%
Malaysia Mortgage 1$10,222.20$851.8510.62%
Malaysia Mortgage 2$1,308.91$109.081.36%
Rental$2,125.00$177.082.21%
Singapore Mortgage & Home Renovation$16,102.11$1,341.8416.72%
Travel$2,575.48$214.622.67%
Hometown Expenses$1,305.12$108.761.36%
Wedding$13,758.50$1,146.5414.29%
CPF / EPF$8,000.008.31%
Others$13,976.99$1,164.7514.52%
Total$96,284.92$8,023.74100.00%
Mr Budget 2019 Expenses Table

Looking at Mr Budget’s 2019 annual expenses, the highest expense categories are our current Singapore home related expenses, taking up a 16.72%. This is on the high side as we just moved into our new home this year and incurred a one off renovation and move in expenses. 

This is followed by our wedding expenses, which Mr Budget spent almost S$14,000 on. This is another one off item and the cost is cushioned by a one off receipt in January from our wedding angpao received. 

Another high expenses category is the monthly mortgage payment of Mr Budget’s condo in Malaysia, which will be done soon, earmarked for investment purposes. 

Our home and groceries expenses is also another high expense category as both Mrs Budget and I are still purchasing new stuffs for our home occasionally and we are figuring out our co-living expenses. We foresee this to ease a bit this year in 2020.

Surprisingly, Mr Budget’s food expenses only makes up 5% of his total expenditure in 2019. We will be using this as a barometer to compare against our projected expenses for our retirement planning. 

While the overall expenses is high, eclipsing almost $100,000 of cash outflow in 2019, Mr Budget draw comfort in the fact that the high expenses categories are either one off items or are for asset building purpose.

These are the expenses paid in 2019 for asset building:

Asset Building ExpensesTotal%
Malaysia Mortgage 1$10,222.2010.62%
Malaysia Mortgage 2$1,308.911.36%
Singapore Mortgage & Home Renovation$16,102.1116.72%
CPF / EPF$8,000.008.31%
Total$35,633.2237.1%
One Off ExpensesTotal%
Rental$2,125.002.21%
Wedding$13,758.5014.29%
Others$13,976.9914.52%
Total$29,860.4931.01%

Minusing these, the actual day to day expenses such as meals, insurance, commute, groceries et cetera only makes up 32% of my total expenses in 2019.

With these data points, Mr Budget looks forward to comparing them with my 2020 expenses to see if there will be any improvements. I foresee that while bulk of the one off expenses this year will be channeled towards the asset building expenses this year, especially to continue servicing my mortgage responsibilities, we will see an overall reduction in expenses this year. 

For those of you who have not been tracking your cashflow, Mrs Budget and I really encourage you to start doing that. Once you get into a monthly habit of collating your expenses, you will continue to do that to find your spending patterns and with that, you are able to better optimise your personal finance and make data driven decisions. 

Happy tracking! 

Side note, do you track your expenses? What do you use to track them?

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December 2019 Monthly Expenses Update

At the end of every month, Mrs Budget and I will reconcile our monthly expenses and see what are we spending on, and where we can optimise or cut down our expenses.

We subscribe to the believe that every penny saved is a penny earned – sometimes its easier to save S$100, than to earn S$100, both of which results in the same net worth increase.

In December, here’s what Mr Budget spent on.

ExpensesDecember
Meals$432.84
Transportation $65.00
Entertainment$71.80
Groceries / Home$2,181.93
Shopping / Cloths$946.50
Phone Bill$56.10
Family$1,000.00
Income Tax$103.05
Hair Cut$36.00
Digital Subs$30.56
Malaysia Mortgage 1$879.83
Malaysia Mortgage 2
$141.89
Singapore Mortgage$1,231.78
Others$2,222.01

My total expenses for December is S$9,399.28, consisting of a fixed expenses of S$3,479.20 and variable expenses of S$5,920.08.

The expenses high an all time high as in December, Mr Budget made a few wedding related expenses, all of which are one off expenses. 

It is scary to think that Mr Budget is spending close to S$10,000 in December, but find consolation in the fact that some of these expenses were recovered via the wedding angpao, as shared in our previous update.

Hopefully 2020 will be a year of high savings and personal finance growth! The one part which can not be optimised further is the various mortgage payments – 3 in total, of which one is for the current Singapore house, and another 2 for the condos in Malaysia, both of which are for investment purposes. Hopefully we can reap the benefits in the future.

Also Read: We Spent A Net Total Of S$16,000 For Our Wedding, Or S$80 Per Wedding Guest.

For Mrs Budget, here’s what she spent on.

ExpensesDecember
Meals$274.52
Transportation$109.80
Family$600.00
Groceries / Home$2,181.93
Phone Bill$39.71
Endowment$303.97
Insurance$87.25
Shopping$439.71
Gifts (Wedding Festives)$388.00

Mrs Budget’s total expenditure was S$4,424.89, out of which S$1,415.25 is the fixes expenses.

Other than contributing a monthly stipend to her parents and contributing to her endowment plan, the other high expenses is the wedding table downpayment which we captured under our “Home” category. As per usual, Mrs Budget’s spending is well within our satisfaction.

October 2019 Monthly Expenses Update

November 2019 Monthly Expenses Update

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We Spent A Net Total Of S$16,000 For Our Wedding, Or S$80 Per Wedding Guest.

Regular readers will know that Mrs Budget and I recently just got married! And we are glad that everything is finally over now!

Of course, as with all money matters, we tracked our spending as much as possible to see if we have overspent and if there are things we can improve on.

So here are all our wedding costs listed:

Pre Wedding ItemsCost
Wedding Bands$2,964.50
ROM fees$42.00
Ping Jing$4,976.00
Betrothal Package (Guo Da Li)$78.00

Wedding ItemsCost
Friend Accomodation Cost$338.98
Bridal Package$3,788.00
Groom Suit$890.00
Bride Additional Gown$178.00
Bridal Make Up Artist$720.00
Photographer extra hour charges$118.00
Car Rental$306.00
bridal car deco$80.00
Jing Cha Angpao$240.00
Wedding Banquet$25,693.01
Wedding Video$688.00
Wedding Gift$30.00
Wedding Photo Album$62.00
Wedding day angpao$878.00
Emcee$888.00


Grand Total$42,958.49

As you can see from the above table, we’ve spent close to S$43,000 for our wedding.

Of course, this includes line items like the wedding bands and the Ping Jing, all of which is from Mr Budget’s own pocket. For the actual wedding stuffs, most of it is co-shared by Mr and Mrs Budget.

One of the most expensive line item is our bridal package, which is at S$3788, consisting of 2 wedding gowns and 1 set of Kua for Mrs Budget, 1 set of male Kua for Mr Budget, on day 10 hour photography as well as on day make up artist for Mrs Budget. Overall we feel that the price we paid for is still quite reasonable for what we receive from the bridal shop.

For Mr Budget’s suit, we had it tailored for S$890, consisting of a 3 piece suit, an additional shirt and a tie. Other miscellaneous cost we incurred are getting a videographer to do our march in video, hiring a wonderful emcee to host our wedding, make up artist for our family members, wedding day angpaos for the groomsmen and bridesmaid, and of course, the biggest cost for us is the wedding banquet itself, at S$25,693.01. 

When you add all of these up, it comes up to a grand total of S$42,958.49, all of which we slowly paid for since last year.

Wedding ReceiptsTotal
Angpao (friends)$13,128.00
Angpao relative$19,688.00
Jing Cha$1,644.00
– table surplus-($7,480.00)


Grand Total$26,980.00

As with all weddings, we received angpaos to help cushion the cost, and we count ourselves lucky that the angpaos are able to cover the cost of the banquet.

For the angpaos, we received a total of S$32,816, which more than cover the wedding banquet all thanks to Mrs Budget’s very generous relatives. To be fair to our parents, for all surpluses of wedding angpao from the relative’s table, we gave them back to our parents.

Adding the additional angpaos from the tea ceremony, we received a total of S$26,980 worth of angpaos.

All in all, the net spent for us is S$15,978.49.

That may be a lot for some, but what we received in return is:

  • A day filled with lots of memories and catching up with people who makes us happy (albeit a short catch up)
  • The official marriage of Mr and Mrs Budget (although we have already been legally married)
  • A tailored 3 piece suit for Mr Budget
  • A beautiful wedding gown for Mrs Budget
  • Wedding jewellery worth >S$10,000

What we got back was definitely worth more than what we paid for. 🙂

Another way to look at the costing is that, for our wedding, 200 people came, so that’s about S$80 per person we spent to come celebrate our wedding with us.

All in all, we’d say we are quite happy with what we’ve spent, and there are probably not much areas that we felt we have overspent. We did away with a wedding live band which probably saved us S$1,000 – S$2,000. 

On top of that, we also optimised our credit card for the wedding banquet and received up to S$1,000 in cash back – this is only possible as the hotel allow us to make monthly charges to our respective credit cards, hence we charged S$2000 monthly to each of our UOB One credit card to get a max 5% cash back, and the rest of it we charged it to our Standard Chartered Unlimited Cash Back Card.

Do you think we’ve overspent? How much did you spend for your wedding?

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The Ideal Minimum Salary Range For 30 – 35 Years Old Singaporean Is Between S$3,500 To S$4,500

Syfe, a roboadvisor in Singapore, recently released a study that looks at whether Singaporeans are ready for retirement. 

Dubbed the Syfe Retirement Readiness Index, the study showed a few findings after polling about 1000+ Singaporeans across all age groups.

Here’s what they found:

  1. 60% of Singaporeans feel that they are not adequately prepared for retirement
  2. 69% of Singaporeans don’t think they can retire comfortably
  3. 50% save less than 20% of their income
  4. 40% of Singaporeans are significantly behind on retirement planning
  5. Women are slightly more retirement ready than men
  6. Nearly 30% of homeowners saved less than 10% of their salary

What caught our attention is actually the low savings rate for the 35 – 44 age bracket – also most likely to be new homeowners and young parents.

Seeing that this will be Mr and Mrs Budget’s profile in the next few years, this worried us a bit too. 

According to the study, for the 35 – 44 years old, only 52% save more than 20% of their salary, and nearly 30% of homeowners saved less than 10% of their salary.

With this in mind, we tried to do a forecast on our future expenses and see how much do we need to spend, and then we can work backwards from there to see how much we need to earn, in order to have excess money to save up for our retirement.

For the forecast, we will be calculating based on a young couple, with one kid as well as a maid to help with household chores, living in a private condo.

Budget Forecast when we reach 35 years old

Currently, Mrs Budget and I spend about S$700 for groceries and meals, and we order in quite a fair bit.

With a child and a maid, we forecast the groceries and meal to be around S$1000 a month. For the home utilities, we calculated in the home utilities, mobile bills as well as the internet bill.

We estimate the cost of a maid to be about S$800. Other assumptions: mortgage payment will be S$3000 a month, and we are contributing a monthly stipend to our parents.

Hence the rough estimated household cost is at S$7,400 a month.

And wow that’s a lot. 

We tried to see if our estimation is too far off, hence we compared this projection with another young family’s expense. We found that the figure is not too far off.

Here’s the real monthly expenses as shared by Dave and Kate:

Source

From the above spending, you will see that the monthly average is S$7916.63 a month. Of course, they have two kids in the family so the expenses is slightly high.

So it will seem like the average household expenditure is around S$7000 – S$8000.

If we split that by two working adults, you will need to earn at least S$4,375 per person so that your take home pay is at least S$3500!

S$4375 per person can be quite high for some, and it is no wonder that young parents who are homeowners will struggle to save more than 10 or 20% of their salary every month. When the money comes in, all of it will have to be spent on household items, your child, your parents, and the hefty mortgage. 

I’d imagine if a person is earning less than S$4,000 when he or she is older than 40 years old to feel as if he is living pay check to pay check. In my previous article, I have calculated that one have to earn at least S$2,600 a month before 30 years old.

Coupled with this new calculation, it seems like the ideal minimum salary range between 30 – 35 years old will have to be at least S$3,500 – S$4,500

Ideal Minimum Salary By Age

This way, he will be ready for all the mortgage and household expenses when he is 35 years old. This is also assuming the other partner has equal share in terms of household expenditure.

Also Read: At 30 Years Old, Your Monthly Salary Should Have Been S$2,600 For You To Feel Financially Secure.

Which is why prudent spending during your younger age is extremely important, and once you have this habit, you will bring it along with you even as you grow older. 

It is also equally important to make sure that you increase your income every year, so that you can catch up with new expenses as we grow older. 

For Mrs Budget and I, we will be using S$8,000 of monthly household expenses as a baseline to do a cash flow forecast for the next few years, and to see if our income can support that household expenses requirement.

Otherwise, we will have to make certain lifestyle adjustment to bring down the monthly household expenses. And it certainly looks that way now.

For our readers, do share with us your household expenditure so that we know if our figures are too far off. 🙂

Disclaimer: Figures above are not adjusted to inflation, and are only used as a general estimation. Real life expenditure varies from individual to individual.

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