The median age for Singaporeans getting married is higher than it was a decade ago. The increase may not be as sharp for the males as it is for the females, but the change cannot be denied. What accounts for this change?
On the one hand, financial security may be a big consideration before taking the plunge. But what about being able to run around and keep up with the kids before our knees give out? What goes through the minds of Singaporeans today when considering marriage?
1. We want to focus on higher education and better careers
Due to the competitiveness of today’s workforce, we try to stay ahead of the pack by investing in our skills. We devote more time to enhancing our talents by studying more and/or working more. If need be, we will learn more skills to further our career.
We don’t only view career advances and accomplishments as professional tools, but as social tools to help us become more attractive partners. In the same way, we look for similar achievements in choosing for a future spouse.
Success in careers has become synonymous with success in finding partners. In a way, we develop ourselves first before hoping to grow old with someone who is his/her best self as well.
What to do: Prioritise your EQ, which means being open to social activities through hobbies and other common interests.
2. We are busy building our nest egg
Higher education, training, and investing in careers cost money. Saving up for the future costs even more so. Housing includes rent or down payment, furniture, and household items. The new couple also has to consider the following living expenses now: food, water, electricity, entertainment, gifts, and hobbies.
Because we are more educated, we are more calculated in our approach in preparing for the future. We even factor in home renovations to our already growing list.
Compound all that with wanting to have a child. Along with vitamins and tests, the couple has to pay for doctor’s fees. If the couple has difficulty making a baby, they will also have to pay more for a healthy and successful pregnancy and delivery.
If everything is normal, the hospital fees are still quite a feat to conquer. After a successful delivery, couples also have to account for check-ups and tests on top of baby’s housing and living expenses as a new member of the family.
As the baby grows, education is another important cost to save up for. Whether public or private schooling, we need to secure our children’s education. Extracurricular activities are also factored in. The growing needs of the family will double, or triple accordingly as more children are added to the picture.
What to do: Start early. Check out Be Thrifty Now to Thrive in Your 30s for tips on how.
3. Wedding budgets are skyrocketing
So let’s say the nest egg has been somewhat, more or less, secured. Celebrating the big day is another financial feat to consider. Wedding to-dos include the location, banquet, betrothal and tea ceremonies. Honeymoon details also need to be considered.
Couples not only have a myriad of preparations to complete. These are costs to include in our wedding budget. We are not only choosing decor, theme, cake, or travel preferences. The choices need to be within our savings.
It was surprising to find that the more mature, professionally experienced and skilled singles may have also contributed to the increase in these costs. Due to our higher expectations, wedding suppliers inflate their prices to accommodate the demands.
What to do: Before you start spending on your wedding, plan out how much you’re going to spend and when you will be spending them. Take a load off your budget by synchronising your wedding expenses with credit card sign-up promotions, and meticulously use a few different credit cards to get the most of your spending. Collect air miles during this period and you could be on your way to a free flight to your honeymoon destination.
So whether you are investing in yourself first or have decided to settle down, don’t forget to check out 6 Essential Money Tips That All Newlywed Couples Can Use. Share this with your soon-to-be spouse to make sure all your hard work as a single becomes exponentially abundant when you become a double.
It’s important you’re on the same page especially as you balance your own books to forever.