June 17, 2024
“We can’t save money at all in Singapore” — Woman says that even her husband’s $9K monthly salary is still not enough

SINGAPORE: Many people assume that having a high income guarantees financial stability, but the reality is quite different for one woman.

Taking to r/askSingapore, she shared that despite her husband’s substantial monthly income of $9,000, they were still experiencing financial difficulties. “My husband earns 9k a month but it seems to be not enough. Recently, we can’t even save at all,” she wrote.

“We don’t have a lavish lifestyle, but we barely have food. We don’t even eat out a lot. Maybe once a week or sometimes not at all. And if we do, it’s only gonna be fast food,” she added.

She also revealed in her post that her husband shoulders the entire financial responsibility as the sole breadwinner while she takes on the role of a dedicated stay-at-home mom, caring for their two young children, aged 6 and 11 months.

As for their monthly expenses, she shared that a substantial portion of her husband’s $4,000 income is allocated to rent.

Their additional expenses include $180 for utilities, $50 for phone bills, $1,000 for a student loan, $300 for credit payments, $500 for baby essentials, $100 for transportation, and over $1,000 for groceries.

Despite expecting to save around $1,800, the woman said that unexpected costs often eat into their remaining money, leaving them with no surplus at the end of the month. She then asked the local community, “Are we not doing this properly?”

Singaporeans point out rental expenses as the main problem

In the online discussion, many agreed that the family’s major hurdle stemmed from their rental expenses. According to the Redditors, channeling almost half of their household income into rent was simply unsustainable.

They then offered a practical financial guideline: rental costs (or mortgage payments, where applicable) ideally should not surpass 30% of their monthly income.

For this family, following this rule would mean considering a change in residence or opting for a smaller unit that only costs $2,700.

Alternatively, a few proposed exploring the option of renting an HDB flat, estimating that this could bring their rental expenses down to approximately $3,200.

One individual commented, “You are paying $4K in rent, which the average SG household doesn’t (public housing). So not being able to save much is unsurprising.”

Another added, “Just the monthly fixed cost of 5.3k is insane with a 9k income. I dread to think about some of the cost you are not including, including taxes, insurance.

Don’t even talk about savings, I am surprised you can even last with 9k unless that is the take home pay after taxes, CPF, etc. (if relevant).”

Some also pointed out another issue in their family’s financial situation: their household income fell below the median level.

One individual said, “Singapore needs dual income households to survive; 9k household income is actually below median.”

Another explained that, comparatively, their household income is akin to what two typical university fresh graduates would earn. This meant that they’re not as financially well-off as some might assume.

He then added, “Sorry to say this but Singapore has a low birth rate for a reason, they want you to have kids but expect both adults to work.”

Read also: Man says his wife only thinks of “good places to eat and travel” while he worked tirelessly as the sole breadwinner

Featured image by Depositphotos

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