There are some really hot news recently surrounding our small nation.
The first is on Pokemon Go, where literally everyone and I really mean everyone, people of all ages I met on the bus and at work playing this game. Even my boss is playing the game. Am I the only one not playing the game?
The second news came out this morning when Singapore won their first historic gold medal in the name of Joseph Schooling. You can see when something like this happens, the nation unites as one. The last time I've seen similar things like this was during events like SG50, LKY memorial day and the SYOG. Incredible stuff.
There are some personal updates which I'd like to journal from my side as well.
New Addition to the Family
My wife is currently expecting our 2nd child and she is currently on her 16th weeks. I have yet to know the gender but will know the next visit to the gynae.
It is a joyous moment specially for me because I've always wanted to complete my family with 2 children and I don't take these things for granted. For those who understand, it's never easy to have what you want so I'm incredibly grateful for what I have, in all aspects.
The difference between the two siblings will be 3 years by the time he or she is born.
I am not going to lie here but financially I will struggle quite a bit when the new child is born and my older child is going to his pre-school in 2017.
With my sole income to support the household, it is becoming increasingly difficult to finance so many things that are happening at one go.
For one, I'll have to budget on the hospital and delivery fee which I have estimated to cost at around $12,000 to $15,000. This is the same costs I have used when my first child was born. It also includes a nanny which we have engaged through the agency for 1 month service after doing some research on it (special thanks to fellow blogger, Jes). We are not entitled to the baby bonus as we are only a permanent resident here. I will classify this as a one-time costs.
I'd also budgeted an additional $1,000 per month from 2017 onward for the second child. This is used to cover all the basic necessities which will be used to fund his or her needs. Again, this is the same amount of costs we've incurred each month for our older child. I suspect there might be some economies of scale involved, especially with the stroller, toys and other shirts / pants. But I think we should budget more on the prudent side. Any leftover from this fund will be used for his or her investment, like we did too for my older child.
My older child is also starting to begin his pre-school in Jan 2017 which is located very conveniently just opposite our house. The school fees amounted to about $2,000 for one term, which works out to be about $700 per month. The schedule runs for about half a day from Monday to Friday. This school is chosen due to its convenient location, and we also have a preference towards catholic school and school that focuses on Chinese language.
Just like that, I am expecting to incur an additional $1,700 per month in expenses on top of what I am already paying. This will push my savings rate almost to a low single digit per month.
In terms of increment, I am expecting somewhere in the region of $300 / month from my job. This will help to cushion the additional expenses. Let's just hope inflation doesn't hit the milk powder and diapers for most of the part. Go Mead Johnson and Mamy Poko. Otherwise, I might have to run to JB a little more often now.
Dividends will play an increasingly more important role than ever now that I have no more savings from the normal active income.
There is little to no chance that my wife will be going back to work, so the only way out is I'll have to work harder. There are no questions about it. Life is that tough to survive in Singapore with many children. I guess the low birth rate statistics is already hinting that.
Maid or Car
We've contemplated owning a car when we have two children but this looks like another additional expenses which we can't afford at the moment.
We have an existing maid which we have engaged back then and this will cost as much money as it is owning a car.
To me, this is a clear cut decision. It's either one of the two but certainly not both. At least, we are certain we cannot afford that in our household.
For the moment, we've decided that we would prefer having a maid at home than owning a car. At least from a financial perspective, it's pretty clear that owning a car beats taking a cab throughout. We spent about $300 per month currently on cabs, but it's still cheaper than owning a car.
|Ok just kidding... We weren't fantasizing about this car|
To be very honest, I will not know what will happen in terms of writing.
One thing for sure, my time will be even much lesser than what I am already having now. These days, most of my writing has to be done only at night once my kid is asleep or when I'm watching soccer on weekend nights. There will be time when my energy will be so exhausted that I won't be able to write anymore.
I'd leave this as open for now, but it'll be very likely that writing will become very rare once 2017 hits my time.
Due to the similar time constraint I mentioned above, I'd have to admit that I will be having a much lesser time to research on new companies. I'd have to leverage on much of the knowledge I have on companies I'm familiar with, so it's unlikely that you will see me venture far and beyond.
I still have passion looking at financial statements of the company and understanding the nature of their business, so it's also unlikely that I will go passive on ETFs at the moment.
There will be changes to how I will approach my investment from here but I'd like to keep it as private and personal since this blog is personal anyway.
On this note here, I'd also like to reiterate that everyone reading my analysis should take it with a pinch of salt, just like anything else you read out there.
Throughout my blogging journey, I've also received several pleasant and nasty comments and emails and I'd like to reiterate again that this blog is personal. I am not here to gain anything from anyone nor am I selling anything to you out there. This should be a clear disclaimer.
If you'd like to learn about investing, there are many good courses out there that teaches on value investing (Big Fat Purse, T.U.B, Fifth Person). I can assure that you get good value out of your classes with minimal costs there. These are the good knowledgeable guys who have been there and done it.
I suspect I am a herd aversion by nature.
I think I am the only known person who doesn't play this game at the moment, despite the craze it has brought to our country.
Separately, I am lately watching a korean reality tv series called "The Genius", where it depicts an intellectually smart show with social and fun laughter to it. I'd encourage everyone to give it a try if you have some time to kill off. I don't have much so I am watching them really on weird off timing.
I guess that's about on my personal updates from here. I'll check in again next time with any major updates again.
Thanks for reading.