Family Budget

When the pay check arrives, a big portion goes towards family expenses in these categories (not inclusive of church and wife's spending money):

1. Food/Groceries: $600-$800
2. Home/Utilities/Communication: $350-$500
3. Transport: $300
4. Education: $200
5. Insurance: $750
6. Parents: $500
7. Vacation: $500

So my family expenses range between $3100-$3550 per month.  Thanks to a very capable CEO in the family, Mrs LateInvestor the total monthly family expenses are usually just around $3000.  That leaves a neat sum for investment every month.

1. Food/Groceries

Our family of 5 usually eats at home.  We might eat out at the hawker centres once or twice a week, and once in a long, long while, at a restaurant or fast food joint.  At the start of the day, we spend breakfast time together (very rare for most Singapore families).   Dinner time is again family time when we eat together.  Mrs LateInvestor bakes as well, so we always have cakes, brownies, and even homemade fudge at home ... hence there is no need to buy expensive cakes at confectionaries.  You will not find soft drinks in our fridge; plain water is the best. On weekends, we gather at our parents' for family gathering; our parents are more than glad to feed us all.

2. Home/Utilities/Communications

All 3 bedrooms in our 4-room flat are fitted with air-con units but we seldom turn them on unless the weather is unbearably hot.  Usually it's the unit in the study room that is turned on, and all of us will crowd inside to enjoy the coolness while doing our work.

Both Mr & Mrs LateInvestor use the cheapest prepaid plan on our mobiles because we don't consume data when we are on the move.  You will not find us watching TV or surfing the web when we are commuting.  I and the kids always have a book with us to keep us occupied when we're on the bus or train.  No phone for the kids.

3. Transport

Public transport and occasionally a Grab or Go-jek ride.  We don't own a car.

4. Education

This basically covers school expenses and assessment books from Popular.  No tuition.  Evening time is when we go through the kids' school work, and work through assessment books.  All the kids do fairly well in school.  We don't think it is necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on tuition to chase that few marks just to make the A grade.  Success in life does not necessary come with labels of top schools.  There are teacher friends that we turn to for help once in a while.

5. Insurance

6. Parents

7. Vacation

Our family goes on at least one overseas trip a year.  The world is bigger than our little red dot, and we want to introduce the world to our kids.  As a family, we are not big on possessions; we go big on experiences.

These items are not in our monthly budget:

I. Health
II. Recreation
III. Shopping

I. Health

We seldom visit the clinic. On trips across the Causeway, we stock up our supply of vitamins and medicines, antibiotics included (much cheaper than in SG).  It's a wonder what a daily pill of vitamin C can do.  3 things we do to maintain our health: have sufficient sleep, eat properly, exercise regularly. 

II. Recreation

No fancy gym membership.  Jog, cycle or swim at public pools (use the ActiveSG points).  Mr and Mrs LateInvestors are fit people.  Also no movies. The library is the most visited place.

III Shopping

This falls under item 1 (Food/Groceries).  Clothes and shoes are usually bought just once or twice a year during sale seasons.  It's possible to go presentable or even stylish without going expensive.  Mrs LateInvestor is "low maintenance"; her beauty lies in her virtues, and I and the kids love her for that.

The rest of the pay check goes into savings and investments.


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