How do you manage your/family finances?

With rising costs and increased learning needs, financing our children's education is no longer a simple walk in the park. Discuss with other parents about how they are managing their finances to cope with their expenses.

How do you manage your/family finances?

Postby winth » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:05 pm

Hi,

A very interesting read from 3Boys from the Health thread about how one obtains 'peace of mind' when it comes to managing one's family expenditure.

Just a thought that came:
And I wonder how parents out here manage your own or family savings/expenses/investments?

Personally, I don't think it's how much you make. The difference is how much you manage to save in what I would term - net savings.

I didn't know that I haven't been saving up until I signed up for the POSB MySavings account. Since last year, after contributing to the family's joint account, I put 0.25 of my net income into MySavings as a form of forced savings since my only expenditure is only on books & food & transport (i don't shop at all). It came as a surprise to me how much I've saved over the past one year when I first hit my 5 digit in mysavings :oops:.

I offered to sponsor my parents to a Taiwan trip with 4K of my savings, but it got rejected :P. Hey, but I think they are happy that I offered.

We've been driving a van (from my previous failed business), lived in a 3-room flat and yet squeeze out a room to rent to a tenant for the past 4 years. Now with a comfy 5-room, we squeezed out a room to rent. Soon, we'll be moving to a bigger unit, rent out the whole unit but we'll still squeeze out a room to rent in our new house. We've just upgraded our van to a cheap 2L car. Nothing fanciful, just simple living in our own comfort zone.

We just learnt to go for our Malaysia drive trips and target to visit Taiwan every year. Cheap trips, but it's happy and fulfilling when I get to travel to Malaysia as a family and yet spend time with my hubby in Taiwan.

We wear simple clothes, and my wardrobe is dated 3 years back :oops:. I have only 2 bags to inter-change from and 5 pairs of shoes - track shoes, slippers & 3 high heels. I think I'm a disgrace for most women :oops:. But I am a happy simple woman :D.

winth
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Postby tamarind » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:14 pm

I actually created a blog about the cheapest ways of living in Singapore.

Those who are interested can read and feel free to comment :
http://mysingaporeguide.blogspot.com/

I initially posted my blog in the flowerpod forum. I actually received many negative comments, like why do I want to torture myself by living such a difficult life without any luxury ? I am surprised that many people in Singapore do not understand the importance of saving money. Hopefully the kiasu parents in this forum are much more sensible.

So if I earn $7000 a month(I don't), does that mean that I must carry an LV bag and my kids must not go to PCF kindergarten ?

The fact is that my kids do go to PCF kindergarten, and I save so much money by teaching/enriching them at home instead of sending to many enrichment classes. I am not depriving them, because they are learning so much more than any enrichment classes can teach for their age.

My handbag costs less than $50, and I stay in a humble HDB flat(fully paid for 6 years ago). My hubby owns a car, not me. When he is not free to fetch me, I take the MRT as much as possible.

But I do spend money on things which I feel are very important, like hundreds of wonderful books for my kids, educational toys, and interesting trips overseas with them.

We wear simple clothes, and my wardrobe is dated 3 years back . I have only 2 bags to inter-change from and 5 pairs of shoes - track shoes, slippers & 3 high heels. I think I'm a disgrace for most women . But I am a happy simple woman .


You are certainly not a disgrace ! Wardrobe and handbags do not define a woman ! A woman should be defined by her virtues and character.

You know when is the last time I went to the hair stylist ? More than one year ago ! I cut my own fringe at home :wink:

I don't put any cosmetics, not even moisturizers on my face :oops: My job does not require me to look glamorous. Anyway I am a fat auntie already, don't need to look so nice hahaha
Last edited by tamarind on Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby winth » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:41 pm

tamarind wrote:I initially posted my blog in the flowerpod forum. I actually received many negative comments, like why do I want to torture myself by living such a difficult life without any luxury ? I am surprised that many people in Singapore do not understand the importance of saving money. Hopefully the kiasu parents in this forum are much more sensible.


Haha... I remember reading this thread sometime back. I had wanted to post to back your views up but you know how flowerpod people think. It's like entering a different frequency-zone where such youngsters still do not value $$ as a tool to do wonderful things. I remembered telling DH about this lady who saves $ but kanna whacked.

Now, I only visit flowerpod when I get bored or to read on the latest entertainment or relationship gossips just to get a good laugh. Flowerpod is meant for a much younger target group.

winth
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Postby Funz » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:20 pm

Let me digress and complicate matters a little further, it is not enough just to look at net savings. You must consider the net present value of that savings. Money sitting in the bank depreciates in value.

Keep enough liquid cash for rainy days scenarios, the rest put them into forms of investments that can maintain the net value if not grow it.

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Postby smurf » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:23 pm

interesting. as a SAHM, I dun have much savings dun say income. going to flowerpod, majority are just graduated from schs and entering into workforce and also dating, so to them, dressing up nicely is important. just like years ago when I just started working. after all, you do need to look presentable where you work right? (depending on what job lah)

to me, dressing up doesn't mean you need to have designer bags, shoes,etc. a simple and trendy bag can be very nice also. just need to shop wisely.

hmm, Tamarind.dun quite agreed with your last sentence. I think even as an auntie (dun think you are lah, never met u b4, but think you are not,haa), you also need to take care of yourself.:celebrate:

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Postby winth » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:29 pm

funz wrote:You must consider the net present value of that savings. Money sitting in the bank depreciates in value.


funz wrote:Keep enough liquid cash for rainy days scenarios, the rest put them into forms of investments that can maintain the net value if not grow it.


Sigh... That's very true.

Oh, forgot about my 2nd part of the story:
After MySavings dropped their savings rate to puny % early this year, we withdrew all $ out (anger played a part too) and transferred to StandChart. And what the h***, they also dropped their savings rate.

So DH managed to park his $ in Maybank, while I'm still dangling there at StandChart. We invested our family savings on some funds, except stocks.

winth
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Postby Happygolucky » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:33 pm

I understand the virtue of saving and totally respect your decision to live the life you want. I also do not have a walk-in wardrobe to flaunt, neither do I have a good range of shoes. I do not believe in dressing like "Tai Tai" but I believe in dressing appropriate for different occasion. Going to have a hair cut is definitely not extravagant. Having a hair cut is not just about "cutting the hair", but to give yourself and your family a fresher look. Try it.

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Postby 3Boys » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:38 pm

I do try to keep things simple.....the easiest way to generate wealth is......spend little of what you earn (easier said than done).

I have never viewed stock investments, unit trusts, fixed deposits as reliable ways of wealth creation. They may supplement, but can never be the core for most people.

Yah, money depreciates, but the worst depreciator is when it exits your wallet and ends up in someone else's cash register. Cash preservation is the cornerstone to wealth creation.
Last edited by 3Boys on Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby hquek » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:39 pm

Wow! Didn't know that coming to ksp, I'll not only meet pp who are concerned about kids' education, but also similar in temperament. I don't dress up - still wear clothes I bought years back. I'm embarrassed to say how long ago the oldest item is, suffice to say, it's got the stage where DH will cheerfully sponsor me a LV bag. I thought I was the only dinosaur around. :oops:

Anyway, at the start of each month, I'll put x amount into an account that goes towards paying cc bills and savings, leaving me with barely enough to get by. not the best of ways cos the correct method will be to put into an account i cannot touch. but this kinda works for me cos I always feel very poor when I stare at the atm.

Each time I feel rich enough, I'll start scouting for unit trusts or shares to buy.

As for cash, most of it is parked in smartmortgage - they give an equivalent interest that goes towards offsetting interest I am paying towards the property. So it's there for rainy days, but yet, I don't have to pay so much interest.

BTW, we use standchart xtrasaver - gives 7% rebate on petrol (any station) and more rebates on credit card and nets purchases. we get back far more cold hard cash than with other credit cards.

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Postby winth » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:04 pm

hquek wrote:BTW, we use standchart xtrasaver - gives 7% rebate on petrol (any station) and more rebates on credit card and nets purchases. we get back far more cold hard cash than with other credit cards.


Gotta ask my hubby if he knows about this. He's taking care of family finances while I know nuts. Thanks!

We're using citibank miles card to clock in mileage points so that our air tickets will come free when we fly. We figured that we don't really need other points for free movie passes, free (dunno what) hotel stay or spa treatments.

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