Family Finance Manager

money

Dear Boys,

Call me gullible, but I learned from my friend Steven to let The Wife handle the finance. Back then I was just dating your mum, and very early during the relationship, I handed my bank account pass book to my then girlfriend, one evening at her parents’ place. She was surprised, I think pleasantly, it probably demonstrated to her that I am serious about the two of us getting together for the long haul.

Wife =  Finance Manager

_20170127_124831

Steve let his wife, Kat handles all the money stuff. He said as long as there is $$$ in his wallet, he is okay. All his earnings, he hand to his wife, who does the numbers. From a very early age, I have never question that logic and took it wholeheartedly.

Perhaps it is because I don’t really have a template for family finances. I never understood how my parents does their finances, as my dad was a businessman and my mum, The Housewife. I suspect that my dad does everything, and to be honest, he is not the best person to handle money.

So when I see that Steve’s approach seem to keep him wealthy, in this case monetary sense, so it simply occur to me that perhaps letting the wife does the money is a really good idea.

Money = Trust

The logic for me back then, dating your mum, was also simple. I wasn’t earning that much, and she can see that she is really dating a poor bloke. There are 2 rationale;

  1. She will either see my pathetic bank account and leave for a richer boy.
  2. She will take all my money and leave for a richer boy

She didn’t, in fact trusting her with my finances serves as one of the bedrock for our relationship.

Your money = my money 

Back in those days where we were DINKies (Dual Income No Kids), there were never issues over who has who’s money, she gets her paycheck, I get mine, we all put it into a joint account and see all of our monies there.

We do not keep separate accounts as everything is put into one. I think it is a matter of the proverbial wife-husband joke “Your money is my money, my money is my money.”

But she has never put a limit on my spending, she has at times where finances were a little tight, told me to stinge, but this husband has never found himself short of cash.

Before I met your mum

My finances was basically hand to mouth, period. I have bills to pay, as well as school fees. So whatever I get, it will be used up pretty quickly. So it was certainly a good thing for me to hand my money over to your mum, as she has a better sense of things and that help me and of course the family, a lot.

The Guardian

Handling money is not something I would like to do, I can do I, but it is better to let the better person handle it; your mum.

Right now, as we are on a single income policy, I just focus on working to bring in the money, she focus on keeping and using the money I bring in.

There were some time in our past, where during my career transition, money was a bit short, and there was a deficit. I wasn’t earning enough to make ends meet. And over time, it eats into our savings and she kept all these from me. Part of our savings was a substantial severance package from her previous work, and most of that money, (her money to be specific) she put into the family. She kept all that from me, so that I don’t get stressed up and worried over the finances. I only learned about that recently, and I am forever indebted to her for keeping the family first. Using her money for the family.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I’m not too sure how you boys will handle your family finances when you start your own family. There are many models out there. There is really no science to it. The most important thing to remember is that in a marriage, it is the ‘marriage first’, not longer Husband and/or Wife, and certainly not a case of my money/ your money.

Even if you have a spouse who earns more than you, don’t let your ego get in the way, in a marriage, it is a team thing, and always let the best person handle the task, if it happens to be you handling the finance the first order of the day is to make sure the family has some savings, make an ‘Us account’, be fully transparent. Try not to hide secret funds, from each other, unless you are saving some money to buy her a nice surprise.

 

 

10 cents plus 10 cents = Bun

10 cents plus 10 cents = Bun

Dear Boys,

Your dad isn’t lucky, he is just extremely observant.

I will not hesitate to pick up any coins I see on the floor, and I have picked up quite a fair bit of them. Irrespective of denominations, I will pick them up, primarily because these coins are the lowest, smallest member of a million dollars, and to ignore them, you ignore your destiny to be wealthy. More importantly, you need to treasure and value whatever small fortune that comes your way, it is an attitude of gratitude.

During a chit chat in the office with my colleagues, we strayed into this conversation, and one of my colleague remarked that she didn’t used to pick up coins, but learned how to appreciate them when she was a 10-cent short,buying coffee. She only had $1.10 and the coffee cost $1.20.

Tough life.

I shared with them my 20-cents worth of this perspective.

20-cents is because that was all we got to buy a bun.

Many years back, I had to walk back from from Jalan Eunos to my home in Bedok, with my mum. We didn’t have enough money to take a bus back, and walked a 6km journey. Thanks to google map, I can approximately retrace those steps and come this is estimate; I was probably 14 years old then.Picture1It was in the evening, and thankfully, it wasn’t too hot. We didn’t feel poor, despite of not having even enough coins to take a bus back! My Mum and I took it as a kind of stroll back, from my dad’s warehouse, in Eunos, back home.

DSC_1092
this cost 70-cents now!

As we strolled through the Kembangan district, admiring all the landed properties there, we came across a small attap kampung house, where a mama shop is. We wanted to get something to munch and we dig for what little money we had with us. My Mum dished out a 10-cent from her purse, I dug into my pockets, and lo and behold! Another 10-cents! Together we pooled together and bought ourselves a cream bun. By the way, I bought one just for nostalgic reasons, it costs 70-cents now.

Of course I didn’t tell my colleagues the whole story, I told them the 10-cents plus 10-cents part. I also shared with them, at no point in time, my Mum and I felt poor, lousy or sad. We were quite spirited as we share the bun, and continued our journey. My colleagues were, naturally, silent like vegetables. This side of Randy, they never knew and I don’t think they have ever heard stories of such ‘poverty’ in Singapore!

My past made me who I am, I know with a 10-cent, I can still survive and be happy about life. It makes me appreciate every little thing I have. Poverty is really a state of mind, and I’m thankful, I don’t reside in that state. I’m always grateful for all the small serendipitous gifts I get along the way, little kindness means a mountain to me. And major nastiness in my life, I hunker down and weather the storm, knowing it will pass. To me it is all the small things that matters, because when the time comes, it will be the small things that makes or breaks you. After all we are all made up of small things!