The most financially challenging period of my life

On 8th of April, I became a father for the second time! My little bundle of joy came slightly earlier than expected and my wife and I were a bit unprepared because incidentally, my elder daughter happened to fall sick during this period. But thank goodness, my mother-in-law and mum were around to help out. I really appreciate for what they did.

Everyone has the right to procreate and pass on his legacy. Nobody can take this right away from him. But I think most Singaporeans have the wrong mindset about raising kids in Singapore. They always associate money and the high cost of living as two key factors that deter them from having babies. Most Singaporeans want to establish their careers first before having children. Of course money is important, and we need good incomes to support family needs. But then again, how much is considered enough and when is the right age to be considered financially stable to have babies? Before they knew it, many Singaporeans could be well past their child-bearing age in no time and would regret not conceiving when young and healthy.

For the past three years, my daughter had brought us so much love, joy, tears, laughter, anger and frustrations.

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Year-end bonuses

It is that time of the year when employees look forward to collecting their year-end bonuses. Last week, the government declared the 13th month and 1.1 month annual variable bonuses for all civil servants.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has forecast Singapore’s economic growth to be about 3.5% – 4% for 2013. Growth is expected to be supported by externally-oriented sectors such as manufacturing and wholesale trade, in line with the slight pickup in the global economy, as well as domestically-oriented sectors like construction and business services which are expected to remain resilient.
With the world economy still in unstable mode, I believe most Singapore workers’ year end bonuses would be modest, in view of the moderated growth for Singapore economy.
This will be the 8th time I am collecting year-end bonuses. In my previous blog entry last year, I made a resolution last year to purchase an endowment plan for my baby daughter. This is to plan for her future tertiary education expenses. Hence, we bought an endowment plan in July.
For this year, I am setting aside some of the bonuses for next January’s Chinese New Year. I budgeted about $2500 to 3000 for the overall Chinese New Year expenses, which include red packets monies, new year clothing for my family and other miscellaneous expenses.
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