Love People & Use Things because The Opposite never works

Love People


I came across the below post in Seedly Personal Finance Facebook group:

Should I make my bf pay me rental fees? A “social-financial” cohesion problem.

“Dear Seedly Community, My bf and I are both in our late 30s and have recently decided to live together in my landed home, the mortgage for which I have fully paid up. He pays about $5k monthly for his rental condo unit and his current lease will end soon.

Should I make him pay me rent or do we draw up some financial arrangement to make sure he will not be a free-loader when he moves in with me? He earns lots more $ than me and also spends way more $ than me. Will be interested to hear your views please. 🙂 ” Aged 30 to 34 year old.

I have always felt that it is hard to quantify a ‘relationship’ with someone who is close to you.

Personally, I keep track of my personal finances (income and expenses) as well as my investment.

However, every now and then some needs would appear in my family. FYI, I am married with 2 kids.

  1. Quarterly enrichment classes fees for my son.
  2. Medical fees for my children.
  3. Birthday presents/celebration
  4. The occasional overseas holidays (to nearby places) with my family (and with my parents and siblings + their family).
  5. Eating out with family.
  6. Insurance policies (endowment and Whole life policies) for my children. Endowment plans for their future tertiary education.
  7. The monthly sum of money for my aging parents.

Oh yeah, recently we decided to replace our aircon system. It is indeed spoilt… we tried repairing numerous times, only to end up spending unnecessary money (end up not working again after a while).

Every Chinese New Year, I have to figure out how much to give for the Ang Baos. Again how do I quantify the amount to put in each red packet to the ones I love.

To me, these are money spent for my loved ones. People who are close to me. It is really hard to quantify or to put a figure on each item.

  • As parents, we hope our children have the necessary education and not feel left out.
  • As the son of my aging parents, I hope they can live happily in their twilight years and not worry about us (me and my siblings) or money.
  • As the husband – love the wife. Don’t you know I have 2 bosses (one at work… the other…at home).

We have a fully paid up HDB apartment. No car. No domestic helper.

I am rather tight-fisted with my finances. Occasionally, annoying the people around me. So I reckon it is a work in progress.

And yes, I think we should not spoil our kids (even if one is rich).

Not many people around me share the same beliefs about how I view finances. Their concept of money is somewhat different from how I view it.

For one, I don’t think my siblings, my wife, my parents kept a soft copy of their monthly finances, not to mention investment portfolio…

However, my parents do invest in stocks. And I do occasionally discuss stock picks with my dad. However, finances were seldom discussed …

I don’t think it is an ideal ‘budget’…

Haha… I think my portfolio would look a lot ‘better’ without the occasional big expenses. And I would be that much closer to my ‘retirement sum’. If I am not married, my lifestyle would probably be very different and maybe less interesting. I think I can survive on really a low amount if I try hard enough… living the bachelor lifestyle. However, sharing itself is a joy. As long as we are spending within our means.

Ultimately money is a means for something. If eventually, I can use it for something meaningful, it would be worth it.

And oh yes, my wife and me, both came from humble backgrounds. I don’t think I ever thought of using her…hmmm…(of course it doesn’t hurt if any of us have a condo or landed property, to begin with, hahahaha.. Just joking.).


Use Things


However, it could turn the other way if I spend on frivolous things or for pure entertainment, just to keep up with the Jones.

  • Money story: Our financial 180 (read here)

See below extract from the article:

As the years passed, my spending habit worsened. By 2012, we were spending six figures a year on… Stuff.

  • Two brand-new cars at $25,000 a pop? That’s normal, right?
  • A $40,000 wedding and a fancy Bahamian honeymoon? Sure, that was expensive but we could “afford” it.
  • $13,000 in restaurant spending during a single year? We liked to think of ourselves as food connoisseurs.

Why shouldn’t I treat myself? I was putting a full 6% into my 401(k) every year to get my employer match. That was more than most Americans. I was being smart! So, I continued my adventures in spending.

Before I knew it, our life was full: food and water delivery services, monthly massages at the spa, fancy dry cleaning bills, season tickets to various entertainment venues, expensive martial arts hobbies. You name it, we had it.

But as our life — and bank statements — filled up, we weren’t getting any happier. It was actually the opposite. We were more stressed than ever before! We just couldn’t figure out the problem.

I don’t actually own many things. Hey, I am all for the sharing economy.

On weekends, for traveling short distances around my place, I use the bikes from bike sharing companies (currently I have the obike and ofo Apps applications on my smartphone).

As a family, we normally travel via public transport eg. bus or MRT. Occasionally, we would use Grab or Taxis. I think we did book quite a number of taxis for the visiting.

No expensive hobbies. I like to swim while my son goes down to the playground on most days after revising his homework. And if I have the time, I like to go to the library to read up (reading online articles for long hours can be quite straining to my eyes).

My wife likes to doddle and tends to plants, and I occasionally blog.

No smartphone, no Ipad or Play station for my son.

No impressive collection of expensive stuff. However, we do have a mini collection of Lego. Can’t imagine myself dusting off or packing any big pile of stuff (remember no domestic helper).

To me, things are for using. Not to show off to people whom I don’t like. Anyway, the stuff do not know I own them, and can’t love me back :p


Shall leave with this song.



About apenquotes

Born in 1976. Married with 2 kids (a boy and a girl). A typical Singaporean living in a 4 room HDB flat. Check out my Facebook Page:
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2 Responses to Love People & Use Things because The Opposite never works

  1. Kate says:

    Nice post. However, in the case of her context, I don’t think it’s a bad idea for the boyfriend to chip in something. He could offer to pay for her utilities etc. Not using money as a measurement of love but I think it would be a nice gesture.


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