How to Save Money with Your Partner

After an amazing 12 years together, my husband and I finally tied the knot last year. Before embarking on this new chapter in our lives, we made sure we were financially prepared. Are you financially prepared?

When couples get married or move in together, they naturally take on shared responsibility for each other and their finances. Nonetheless, money-related misunderstandings can arise, which is why it’s essential to address them.

To help iron out these common money problems, let’s explore some practical financial tips for couples. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule, so these tips are here to guide you and your partner in achieving your financial goals together.


Right from the start of your relationship, it’s essential to be open and honest about where you both stand financially. If one of you is dealing with debt or has specific financial goals, discuss it openly. Take time to understand each other’s money habits, like spending tendencies and risk tolerance. You don’t have to have identical attitudes towards money, but finding a middle ground through compromise can be beneficial. Addressing these issues early on will prevent misunderstandings and arguments down the road.


Not all expenses need to be shared. While bills, groceries, and travel costs are typically shared, individual expenses like personal shopping or sending money to family back home remain separate. By clearly identifying your expenses, you can streamline money management and reduce complexity.


Discuss what financial goals are achievable for both of you in the long term and identify problems that can be resolved immediately. For example, if different earning capacities are a concern, consider starting a small business together or exploring additional income streams. Whenever possible, prioritize reducing debt, as this will save you money on interest in the long run.


A budget plan can be a lifesaver when it comes to managing your expenses. Decide on a reasonable amount to spend on everyday items, take-outs, entertainment, and personal expenses. Also, include bills, debt payments, irregular expenses, and contributions to your emergency fund in the budget plan. This step is especially valuable for young couples looking to stay on top of their expenses.


After discussing, analyzing, and crunching the numbers, it’s time to create an action plan. Determine who will handle the primary bookkeeping responsibilities to ensure that all bills are paid on time and accounts stay in good standing. However, it’s essential to keep the non-bookkeeping partner informed about your financial progress.

Once you have identified and addressed your pain points and financial objectives, develop a comprehensive action plan with a clear timeline. This plan may involve the following steps:

1. Establishing a joint savings account.
2. Exploring opportunities for additional sources of income.
3. Gradually settling smaller debts.
4. Conducting thorough research on investment options.
5. Making a structured plan for significant purchases.

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Lastly, don’t forget to reward yourselves along the way! Even after being married, my husband and I still make time for regular dates and save up for enjoyable activities like travel and relaxing spa treatments.

Remember, open communication, understanding, and teamwork are the keys to successfully managing your finances as a couple. By following these financial tips, you and your partner can build a strong financial foundation together and enjoy a prosperous future.

Sources: 1 & 2


The Real Cost of Infidelity

Infidelity is defined as the act of having a romantic, emotional, or sexual relationship with someone other than one’s wife, husband, or partner. Extramarital affairs are complex! Its relationship dynamics, emotional investments, logistics, and explosive fallout are far from simple. More importantly, it is expensive!

According to Dr. Ramani Durvasala, a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist: “Some people get an additional cell phone; a whole additional cell phone plan or a burner [phone] or something like that; they may travel; they may get hotel rooms; they may purchase gifts for this new person.”

The costs of maintaining two relationships add up. In fact, a study showed that expenses associated with an extramarital affair are typical and can cost nearly US$450 (S$601) per month. New flames can intoxicate your brain and push you to spend more. People spend money on event tickets, meals out, bar tabs, air fares, and hotel rooms. Covering one’s tracks can be expensive too. Some people are willing to pay more to ensure secrecy.

People have hired assistants whose sole responsibility was to manage the logistics of the affair or lawyers to draft the NDAs. “They get somebody, and they pay them double to shut them up, and they make that person sign an NDA,” said Dr. Ramina.

Paying an extra S$50 to S$100 a week on dating when you do not have that money can burn you quickly. Not to mention, the effects of infidelity can open a door to larger costs such as marriage counselling and divorce proceedings. Did you know that a 60-minute marriage counselling session can cost you around S$100 or more?

Apart from these costs, you must keep in mind the following elements.


The Court can order payment of child maintenance in the form of a monthly allowance or a lump sum. In Singapore, children are entitled to child maintenance from their biological parents until the age of 21. However, this order may be extended for certain circumstances such as undergoing national service.


If you have been infected with STD due to your spouse’s infidelity, you are entitled to sue. You might be able to receive financial compensation on the grounds of “marital tort” (i.e., misconduct) providing medical evidence such as a doctor’s testimony. Moreover, if you were infected with HIV due to your spouse’s affairs, your partner can be found guilty of an offense.


The most obvious price of infidelity is loss of trust. Trust is not won back easily. The damage created by unfaithfulness can leave a lasting emotional wound. The slightest word or thought can trigger a person’s distrust from others. Both parties suffer an inability to share their lives with others without fear of betrayal. Marriage counselling can help mediate the situation.


Following an act of unfaithfulness, a couple can move forward when forgiveness is present. Forgiveness is complicated, especially when you are breaking a vow. Forgetfulness will likely never occur, which makes forgiveness much harder. Healing takes time and effort.

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Whether infidelity has taken place in the form of physical or emotional affair, the price is high.

Sources: 1,2,3,4, & 5


How to be a better partner to your significant other

an asian couple rolling out a carpet

Our relationships with our partners can steer us in different mood directions. Unfortunately, the everyday stresses of life can make it hard to maintain and nurture a loving relationship.

Between social and economic pressure, the ongoing pandemic, and an ever-changing world, some couples experience disconnection and begin to grow apart.

So is it possible to be a better partner to your significant other? Well, it all goes down to the littlest of things.

#1: Keep conversations going

One of the essential things you can do to maintain your relationship is talking to your partner. 

This doesn’t just mean sending them a short text at work or asking what movie they want to watch. It means having face-to-face quality conversations.

The simple act of talking to each other shows that you value each other and helps bring understanding into your relationship through proper conversations. 

#2: Practice active listening

Talking to your partner is only half of the equation. To effectively communicate with your partner, you must cultivate the habit of listening to them.

As M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, rightly writes, “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”

In our busy world, many of us are experts at half-listening. More often than not, our minds are focused on something else – the dishes to wash, the dog to feed, or bills to settle. This is not the best way to listen.

Instead, you want to keep up with active listening. Focus on your partner, listen without judgement, do not interrupt, and repeat summarised concepts to verify you are processing it right.

#3: Ask your partner what you can help with
a couple holding hands at the coffee table

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As people with diverse characteristics, we all have different likes and dislikes. One of the best ways to be a better partner is to ask your partner what their needs are.

See if you can help out with something that coincides with their love languages. Maybe your partner needs to spend more quality time together to feel loved, or perhaps they need to hear positive things from you.

“Talk with your partner about more nuanced ways you both feel loved, cared for and seen,” said psychotherapist Brittany Bouffard.

“Maybe more than your partner’s action of washing the dishes, you feel especially relieved if they called the internet company to dispute a bill — or another adulting task you dread. Your partner doesn’t need to stop helping with the dishes, of course, but it’s good to know more specifically what you most appreciate.”

#4: Start acting lest it becomes empty talk

Once you have your partner’s needs sorted, you should start acting! If your partner has told you that they value simply sitting on the couch and holding hands, initiate it the next time you guys come together to chill in the living room.

A loving gesture does not even need to be big to make a difference. Something as simple as making a cup of coffee or tea for your partner in the morning might just make their day without you knowing.

#5: Be consistent with your actions

We all get busy, and it is easy to forget that you would make dinner or put the laundry away.

“Being consistent and doing what you say goes a long way,” shared marriage and family therapist Anabel Basulto. For folks who are always absent-minded, why not use technology to your advantage?

It doesn’t take much time to set a reminder or alarm to send the car for a wash or pick up fresh loaves of bread for tomorrow’s breakfast.

#6: Let go of the small stuff
oil spill at the sink

Image Credits: Flickr

Due to COVID-19, many of us are spending more time than ever before with our partners at home.

It might be easy to fixate on a minor annoyance in these circumstances, which can escalate to disharmony. But is it really worth fighting over that little accidental spill at the sink? Probably not.

Letting go of your significant other’s mistakes will make your life easier too.

#7: Practice self-care

We’ve spent some time talking about our partners’ needs, but the fact remains that we are independent human beings from them, and we have needs too.

To recalibrate, take a weekend afternoon to yourself, or spend time reading a book, or FaceTime a friend. Doing things to take care of yourself will help you be a more fulfilled, less stressed out partner.

“If we don’t fill our own cups, it’s pretty much impossible to be present, patient and giving to our partners,” said psychologist Melissa Robinson-Brown based in New York City. “Take time for yourself and focus on restoration so you can show up in your relationship.”

#8: Take a break from screen time

Screen time can be a routine we’re so used to. It’s easy to sit and scroll mindlessly on our phones without realising time has passed. But it is the very thing that acts as a thief of attention.

It is hard to engage with someone on a meaningful level while engrossed in your mobile phone. So, put away the phone, turn off the television, and do something together without a device distraction.

Playing board games, taking a stroll, or even going bowling can be fun ways to spend quality time together.  

Be generous with thank-yous
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If there’s one thing you want to take away before leaving this page, just remember that being a better partner to your significant other can be as simple as being generous with your gratitude.

Even if they are doing something they routinely do, such as clearing trash, taking a moment of your time to tell them you appreciate their act is likely to warm their heart. We could all do with a little more love, can’t we?


Financial Responsibilities Of Newly Married Couples

Managing your finances together is one of the most important roles you partake on in a marriage.

Differing views and attitudes towards money can pose issues to a relationship. For instance, you may seem frugal to others and stingy to her. If you both live beyond your means and spend lavishly on each other, you might find yourselves trapped in debt. There is time to change. Planning ahead as a team can help you build a strong foundation for your marriage.


Get to know each other’s financial beliefs and spending habits. Understand where your partner is coming from and adapt if necessary. If your partner is a spender, agree on establishing some limits. If your partner is prudent, agree on the things you would like to prioritize. Make your expectations clear to arrive on the same page.

“The handling of finances is one of the major emotional battlegrounds of any marriage. Lack of finances is seldom the issue. The root of the problem seems to be an unrealistic and immature view of money.” – David Augsburger, The Meaning of Money in Marriage


Assess the differences in your income and money management strengths to determine how to divide the financial duties. Delegate the person who is financially savvier to take the role of managing your family’s investment options. While, the person who is better at budgeting can take charge of managing the household bills. Take advantage of each other’s strengths and fill the gaps in between.


For families with a sole breadwinner, it is practical to maintain an adequate emergency fund to withstand unexpected financial woes. Please consider the number of dependents when finalizing the amount of money to be set aside.

Single income couples should consider helping each other in terms of their CPF responsibilities. You can top up your spouse’s CPF account, especially if he or she has low CPF balances. You can transfer your CPF Ordinary Account savings after setting aside the Basic Retirement Sum in your own CPF account.


There is no one size fits all! Your household arrangement depends on your marital assets, income levels, and financial commitments. Think about which expenses you want to keep separate and which you want to share. You open a joint account for their household bills. Set aside a specific amount monthly to grow your joint account together. Meanwhile, you can keep your own individual accounts to fund your own spending.


Financial infidelity refers to hiding financial information behind your partner’s back. Failing to mention a significant expenditure to your spouse may cause problems in the long run. Top money lies include under-declaring one’s income or hiding one’s debts. Such dishonesty can diminish the level of trust between a couple.


Find a way to work on shared financial goals. Agree on the amount of personal contributions depending on your income.  Some of the common themes that most financial goals share are having a budget, living frugally, getting out of debt, and having a good credit score. Do not forget to save for your emergency fund and retirement plans.

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You are in this (wild ride) together!

Sources: 1 & 2


Stuck At Home Valentine’s Day Ideas

Romance does not have to fade just because you are at home. Considering the impact of the pandemic and the need to practice social distancing, you have probably struggled to keep your indoor dates exciting. Fret not! There are a myriad of creative date activities that you can enjoy right in the comfort of your own home.

Spend Valentine’s Day with your special someone with these fun ideas.


Stretch the night away by practicing couples yoga with your partner. Now is the time find your inner Zen. Poses suitable for couples are more intimate and challenging. It is a shared experience focused more on the connection with one another, rather than just yourself.


Add spice to your Netflix and chill by making your own pizza. Try different recipes such as baguette pizza and Marinara pizza.


Do you have a favorite love song? Challenge your partner to a melodious night of karaoke. Sing your hearts out by searching karaoke videos on YouTube. Singing some of your favorite tunes is guaranteed to boost your spirit.


Whether you are a fan of Vincent van Gogh or cultural art, you can find a virtual museum tour for both of your interests. I recommend watching the National Museum of Singapore’s Zoom Into History Video series. It is an insightful look at the artifacts and everyday objects that have defined our nation’s past. You can also watch the virtual tours streamed on the National Gallery of Singapore’s Facebook Live.


Show off your bartending skills in the comfort of your own space by making a cocktail together with your loved one. Make the Love Potion #9. It is made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and pomegranate juice. Enjoy!


Encourage your friends to join your book club. Bring your partner along too. Choose a book to read together with the group and then pick an evening to discuss it over wine and cheese on Zoom or Skype.


Spare a few hours for an at-home photoshoot. Ensure that your pictures have backdrops and decorations that fit your theme. You can have these photos printed and gathered into an album.


Whether you want to indulge on a game or movie night, you can set February 14 as your “best day ever”. You can forgo dinner by turning the lights out and preparing snacks that can boost your movie night experience. If you cannot agree on a movie you both want to watch, consider the first movie you ever watched together. Alternatively, you can play video games. Your partner can either be impressed by your mad skills on screen or will think it is adorable to see you consistently losing.


Drop in your nearest Lush outlet or create your own DIY bath bombs to enjoy a spa date. Have a bath together with bath salts and bath bombs. Afterwards, you can give each other massages with aromatherapy oils. Lastly, you can give your partner a manicure or a pedicure. Complete the experience with matching robes!

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Sources: 1 & 2