1. ## Marriage in Singapore

I shall take the liberty to spin off from this thread http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=394239

A brief description of whats the situation now:

I am at the stage of my life now whereby people are starting to think about marriage. Nowadays when i go out with my friends, I could often hear them saying "this guy/gal is getting married with this gal/guy on xx/xx/xx date".

And the best thing is some of these friends whom are getting married are earning about \$2k/month each, so as a couple, their combined income is <\$4.5k/month.

Lets take a quote of a typical singaporean, our dear forummer Hitman:

Originally Posted by Hitman
Let's calculate the cost of living for a single working adult male living with parents in Singapore;

Meals : \$10 x 30 days = \$300
Transport : \$4 x 30 days = \$120
Shopping : Work shirt, pants \$150 x 2 times a month = \$300
Clubbing/Geylang : \$120 x 5 times a month = \$600
Give parents : \$200 per month

Total : \$1,520 a month

I haven't been working in Singapore for some time but I think this is the very basic, and I have inflated the amounts with some extras thrown in... So someone with a basic salary of S\$1,600 should be able to live comfortably in Singapore, with some money to save - if you minus the shopping and the 'fun' activities, you'll save even more!

What I'm trying to illustrate is - Spend within your means.... and you'll be happy.
as u can see a person alone has about \$1.5k expenditure per month. Thus as a couple their savings per month would be \$4.5k - \$1.5k x 2 = \$1k / month

With this \$1k/month, they are going to pay for their housing bills such as electrical, water etc. this can easily reduce the \$1k/month to \$500/month left.

Take note i still havent put in the amounts needed for buying house, renovation, money to host wedding dinner, money to pay to hire clubsnap ppl to shoot their weeddings.

wedding dinner + hotel etc. : about 20 tables, i take a conservative \$20k

Nightmare comes when u have babies:
a) Pamper and milk powder are not cheap at all.
b) Regular medical checkups for babies are again not cheap

With one more baby in the family, the baby could easily contribute \$500/month to the expenses. Not forgetting as the baby grows older, u have tonnes and tonnes of items such as textbook, computer, uniforms, occasional pampering items to buy.

The baby bonus that u receive will disappear into thin air before u can even blink ur eye, most ppl have theirs used up before baby 5 yrs old.

On the optimistic side, one can say that their income will gradually rise, if one takes a consensus and be more general, it doesnt take a smart alex to realise that most ppl's salary/month are capped at \$3 to 4k +/- till the day they walk to the graves.

Lets not forget that if either one or both gets retrenched, i dunno how is the family going to survive. The couple wont even have much savings like wat i have shown above. And Worst still if the couple is going to have multiple babies.

And by the time ur salary is up to \$3 to 4k, it is eaten off by mrt/bus transport hikes and overall economy inflation. An ice milo is only \$0.80 about 5+ years back but its \$1.20 now in coffee shops. thats 50% inflation over 5 years, arithmetic mean of 10% inflation per year.

And u guys knows wat is the best thing? There are people who are acutually jealous of ppl marrying early or are envious of them. And the people who are getting married are happy!

To me, I dont understand the point of marrying so young, or even having the point to marry in Singapore! Its true that marriage can be considered as the event that fuses 2 couples and their families together in a bond.

But with such high economic burden in a marriage, wats the point of marrying early or even marriage?

Love is important, but when we are tied down financially/mentally, who is going to give us bread to eat?

2. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Bro .. seriously if u still go to geylang wen u'v just got married then there might b something wrong sia in e 1st place. \$600 for tat? Serious or wat?

3. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

true loh, i think TS took the wrong example to start the thread. cos ideally, it should have been gender free also.

maybe expenses (generic) should be for:-
- meals
- bills
- transport
- parents
- clothes
- socialising (this exclude gambling, Geylang trips)
- occasional pampering (limit to 5% monthly income excluding bonuses, no shopping sprees)
- personal financial commitments (personal insurance schemes)
- personal grooming products

of course in real life there are a more receipts left unaccounted for, which makes it soo much harder for any1 to delve deeper into this very real, unpleasant issue. keeping in mind i have left out many frills...

4. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Bro .. seriously if u still go to geylang wen u'v just got married then there might b something wrong sia in e 1st place. \$600 for tat? Serious or wat?
no la, that \$600 is a post made by another forummer, how could i go to edit it...

\$600 for other people could be of course for other uses such as for buying groceries.

but, \$600 for geylang or not is not the point,

the main point is that it is expensive to survive, let alone getting married early or even becoming married.

5. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Originally Posted by kcuf2
I shall take the liberty to spin off from this thread http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=394239
But with such high economic burden in a marriage, wats the point of marrying early or even marriage?
If this is the starting consideration, then forget about the whole thing, BUT it shouldn't be. When my parents got married so many decades ago, the salaries they had were so unimaginably low by today's standards, health care provision was inconsistent, threat of race riots hung in the air. It never dampened their desire and optimism to start a life together. Its not an economic burden, you don't need all the luxury trappings, you can stay with parents for a start, take public transport. If both of you have a job, you will get by. In fact, in a marriage, resources can be pooled, money spent more effectively than 2 single people. Google for it, married couples become wealthier than 2 individual singles through pooling of resources and specialisation. Most important of all, when you meet the right person, you will know, and all these questions will fall away. In my experience, the folk who ask these questions are usually those who are not ready to tie the knot anyway and are merely rationalising their situation.

6. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

that's the problem, S'poreans are too rational to a fault.

7. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

i think we can spin off another thread on your \$600 clubbing/geylang idea... hahaha

8. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

well it's not by law to get married in singapore... so if it's not suited for a couple then by all means don't get married.

then again.. being married and having a wedding are two totally different things.

9. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Originally Posted by jOhO
well it's not by law to get married in singapore... so if it's not suited for a couple then by all means don't get married.

then again.. being married and having a wedding are two totally different things.

wedding is important, otherwise no work for you

10. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Originally Posted by sORe-EyEz
that's the problem, S'poreans are too rational to a fault.
that's the problem with most singaporeans... They never consider and think carefully about their financial background and then they committ to marriage and starting families, only to realise about 10 yrs down the road that they have failed to plan properly and drop into financial distress.

For those earning more than \$5k, \$10k per month a single person, its hard to view how hard is it to get married and start a family in singapore.

In my case, i have friends earning about \$4k combined as a couple and they are having babies. I have thought and thought for very long hours and I still couldn't figure out how are they going to maintain in the near future 5 to 10 years from now? For them, they are staying with parents at the moment so housing is not an issue, but the cost to bring up an individual in singapore is Humongous. With all these factored in, they also won't have much savings every month to cater for the future.

11. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Originally Posted by dkw
If this is the starting consideration, then forget about the whole thing, BUT it shouldn't be. When my parents got married so many decades ago, the salaries they had were so unimaginably low by today's standards, health care provision was inconsistent, threat of race riots hung in the air. It never dampened their desire and optimism to start a life together. Its not an economic burden, you don't need all the luxury trappings, you can stay with parents for a start, take public transport. If both of you have a job, you will get by. In fact, in a marriage, resources can be pooled, money spent more effectively than 2 single people. Google for it, married couples become wealthier than 2 individual singles through pooling of resources and specialisation. Most important of all, when you meet the right person, you will know, and all these questions will fall away. In my experience, the folk who ask these questions are usually those who are not ready to tie the knot anyway and are merely rationalising their situation.
Although our parents' salaries are low using our current standards, but everything in their surroundings are cheap too at their time. Fishball noodles for \$0.20 anyone?

Pooling of resources definitely can gain economies of scale, but if u have a typical singaporean salary to boot up, there is only that bit of savings that u can saved up every month.

1 person
Food \$10 outside per day for 20 working days - \$200
Public transport - \$200
Handphone bills - \$30
Occasional eat out/hanging out expenses for 10 weekends a month - \$150 (\$15/day)
Purchase of working clothes/clothings - \$100
Parents - \$400

Total = \$1,080

2 persons

Total = \$2,160

Groceries - \$150 per month
Utilities bill (Assuming they stay at one of their parents' house) - \$200
Insurance - \$200 for both

Grand Total - \$2,710/month as a couple
A lot of things I have already significantly reduced, I believe this is the best representative estimate.

Suppose the couple earns \$5k/month i.e. \$2.5k each take home pay is \$4k after cpf

Remaining left per month is about \$1.3k conservatively.

Using the guideline of saving 10% of take home pay - \$400 for a couple

What u have left as a couple = \$900

Taking care of baby in the initial years could easily take you more than \$300/month

If u are lucky and u managed to hit within my calculation exactly, u will have \$600 left. Don't forget u have tonnes of items that could just spoil and that u have to replace it. Refrigerators, computer, watch, television, furnitures, lights, handphones. Even if u buy simple items aka not branded,

the fact is u are surviving on a very tight margin.

Some may say "since we both love each other deep deep (), we can transcend all boundaries of hardship ()".

In our environment now, it is super easy to get retrenched and hard to find jobs, if one person is jobless, my calcuations above will go hay-wire and the whole family can eat grass, even if they have deep deep love.

Originally Posted by dkw
In my experience, the folk who ask these questions are usually those who are not ready to tie the knot anyway and are merely rationalising their situation.
If they dun rationalise their situation and project whats gona happen in the normal and worst case scenario, retrenchment/mishap will just screw up everything.

And by the way, my calculations above havent include saving up for wedding, buying house, buying essential house furnitures...

12. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

i'm not sure why love/marriage has anything to do with money?

regardless of whether u are single or married u still have to make ends meet.

everyone has commitments, if it's not a spouse/kid(s), it could be a (sick) parent, or a relative or a dog even... single or married we need a house/home (another commitment) too?

my point is that regardless of what stage of life you are in or plan to go into, there will always be sums to count. and some pple intend to count those sums as part of living a life, rather than it consuming the life.

kcuf2, i agree with your calculations and reasonings, but why isolate the married couple (and potential kids) when it affects all?

sorry if i've misunderstood you, cos i was looking at your thread title....

13. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Originally Posted by jOhO
i'm not sure why love/marriage has anything to do with money?

regardless of whether u are single or married u still have to make ends meet.

everyone has commitments, if it's not a spouse/kid(s), it could be a (sick) parent, or a relative or a dog even... single or married we need a house/home (another commitment) too?

my point is that regardless of what stage of life you are in or plan to go into, there will always be sums to count. and some pple intend to count those sums as part of living a life, rather than it consuming the life.

kcuf2, i agree with your calculations and reasonings, but why isolate the married couple (and potential kids) when it affects all?

sorry if i've misunderstood you, cos i was looking at your thread title....
Maybe my definition of marriage in the title is too vague, sorry about that.

Perhaps i should state that my definition of the word "marriage":
Marriage equals settling down and starting a family and not just the \$20 ROM fee.

I linked up love/marriage with money is because:

b) and because of these recent news article http://justwoman.asiaone.com/Just%2B...715-76796.html

c) and because my peers around me are at the marrying age, and they are very excited and looking forward to getting married which i dun understand why. My peers are typical singaporeans earning <\$3k/month

d) and because of these, I did the calculations and I really couldn't understand why do people wanna get married when their financials is not there yet (that is why i brought out one example of my friend)

Point to note is that, i am not against anyone who is getting married/getting married early. The thing is I could forsee all the financial problems that are bound to happen in the future, isn't taking such a decision to marry when the financials is not there yet too risky?

And dear jOhO, i totally agree with you that
"everyone has commitments, if it's not a spouse/kid(s), it could be a (sick) parent, or a relative or a dog even... single or married we need a house/home (another commitment) too?" These are items that i did not take into account in the calculations..

Your statement further cement the arguement for our environment being too negative for marriage... I still dun understand why people are happy/looking forward to marriage, and ppl are rushing for it...

14. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

It is never cheap starting a family.

15. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

year 1 -3 : 2.5, 3k
year 3 - 5: 4k, 4.5k
year 5 - 7: 6.5k
year 8-10: slowly increase to 10k
year 11 - 13: 10-11.5k
starting at about 24 after uni,

40 years old, preferbly about 14k
45 18k
then can stagnant till get really senior promotion.
if not 18-25k

P.S you need about 3 mil to retire comfortably nowadays. go figure.

16. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

kcuf, I can understand where you're coming from. However if I can give an alternative viewpoint.

Money obviously is important whether one is married or not and we like in a society that epitomises the pursuit of money. Each one of us can compute our finances and make a judgement whether one can afford to get married or not. But the fact remains is it still a judgement call based on how we project the kind of lifestyle we envisage and expenses related to it.

However a lot of people I know today "count the cost" of having a relationship and ultimately whether to get married and to eventually raise a family. I know of so many who are married to their careers and the quantifiable and tangible financial rewards that come with it that they are unwilling to "sacrifice" for the uncertainty of marriage and the prospect of raising a family. I know of singles who baulk at the idea of marriage, and it is not because of the lack of finances. I also know of married couples who make a lot of money but are unprepared to give up their current lifestyle to want to have kids.

To me this is sadly a phenomena endemic among Singaporeans where people count the cost upfront and make decisions based on a what's in it for me mindset. Unfortunately a marriage is a journey based on what one puts into it. There is no way to quantify the intangibles, nor is there a way to foresee ahead. I know lots of happily married couples who didn't make a computation of their finances and who certainly aren't rich but have a strong faith that as a couple, they could make a life together notwithstanding their finances. Yes money is important but you don't need money to make a marriage work or to have kids.

17. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

You marry for love in Singapore.

You can't put a figure into it.

You won't feel hungry with love.

18. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Originally Posted by kcuf2
Although our parents' salaries are low using our current standards, but everything in their surroundings are cheap too at their time. Fishball noodles for \$0.20 anyone?

Pooling of resources definitely can gain economies of scale, but if u have a typical singaporean salary to boot up, there is only that bit of savings that u can saved up every month.

1 person
Food \$10 outside per day for 20 working days - \$200
Public transport - \$200
Handphone bills - \$30
Occasional eat out/hanging out expenses for 10 weekends a month - \$150 (\$15/day)
Purchase of working clothes/clothings - \$100
Parents - \$400

Total = \$1,080

2 persons

Total = \$2,160

Groceries - \$150 per month
Utilities bill (Assuming they stay at one of their parents' house) - \$200
Insurance - \$200 for both

Grand Total - \$2,710/month as a couple
A lot of things I have already significantly reduced, I believe this is the best representative estimate.

Suppose the couple earns \$5k/month i.e. \$2.5k each take home pay is \$4k after cpf

Remaining left per month is about \$1.3k conservatively.

Using the guideline of saving 10% of take home pay - \$400 for a couple

What u have left as a couple = \$900

Taking care of baby in the initial years could easily take you more than \$300/month

If u are lucky and u managed to hit within my calculation exactly, u will have \$600 left. Don't forget u have tonnes of items that could just spoil and that u have to replace it. Refrigerators, computer, watch, television, furnitures, lights, handphones. Even if u buy simple items aka not branded,

the fact is u are surviving on a very tight margin.

Some may say "since we both love each other deep deep (), we can transcend all boundaries of hardship ()".

In our environment now, it is super easy to get retrenched and hard to find jobs, if one person is jobless, my calcuations above will go hay-wire and the whole family can eat grass, even if they have deep deep love.

If they dun rationalise their situation and project whats gona happen in the normal and worst case scenario, retrenchment/mishap will just screw up everything.

And by the way, my calculations above havent include saving up for wedding, buying house, buying essential house furnitures...

You have just proven my point, you are over-analysing and I dispute your estimates as being on the high side and overly inclusive. Most children born to S'porean's this year will receive very good healthcare and education. Most families will survive with a roof over their heads, food on the table and an occasional luxury without going into bankruptcy. You don't NEED a big wedding bash, you don't need your own house to start with (I didn't), and you can furnish a flat adequately under 10k (with some compromises). It depends on what you define as a NEED and as a WANT. Many folk, even poor, will marry and successfully raise families this year. Its a matter of making the right adjustments and sacrifices. Maybe Philip Yeo was right, our younger folk seem to lack the gumption and can-do spirit.

Cheers.

19. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

if u can feed yourself if u are single, then u wun starve when u get married la. count until dollars and cents also useless because the real challenges are not these at all.

20. ## Re: Marriage in Singapore

Love conquers all...

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