Saturday, August 13, 2016

Personal Updates

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. 

Savings Rate

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.

Investment Strategy

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 PurseT.U.BFifth 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.

Pokemon Go? 

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.


  1. Hi B,

    Congrats on your new addition to your family.

    And you are not the only one that is not playing Pokemon Go. Me too. However its due to my phone being unable to play. Haha... And i am lazy to do more to enable my phone to play.

    Finally thanks for putting my blog post here. Really appreciate.

    Oh... don't worry about not finding or researching on companies. You can count on the rest of us doing the research first.

    Congrats again!


    1. Hi TUB

      Many thanks for your well wishes and hope you achieve greater success in your sharing and research on companies.

  2. Why not become a citizen?

    1. Hi Anonymous

      My wife has not fulfilled the criteria yet and we are awaiting the same before applying.

  3. Hi B,
    Congrats !
    Good choice between maid and car ... I just scrap my car recently,, the marginal cost is too high to have a car here in Singapore,, ,, thinks helpers is more important once you have your new member in your family ..
    Cheers ! As father's of two ..I know is really tough ,,, especially with much costly milk powder and diapers nowadays ...

    1. Hi STE

      Many thanks for your well wishes.

      Car is indeed a luxury here. Did you manage to get a replacement now that you scrapped your car or are you comfortable taking public transport.

    2. Hi B,
      After scraping my car. .I don't hv any replacement. I'm now taking public transport. .I'm ok with it since my car been under utilised before. .I'm only using it once a month sometimes. .went back Malaysia to see my parent. .

  4. Hi B, congrats. Children is first priority, blogging and the rest can come later.

    I do not think our home "factory" has stopped n still eagerly having more children.

    I d/l Pokemon Go during the first day n just want to know what exactly it is n catch a few monsters in my house. That is it!

    Quite a crazy phenomenon that I will not join.

    1. Hi Rolf

      Many thanks for the well wishes.

      They are indeed tiring times but fun at the same time. I can understand why the need for personal time at times, that is when we really need to recharge our energy forward once again.

  5. Hello B,

    Congrats... 2 is good. I only had 1... Sigh... And he is always feeling bored.

    Yup expenses will increase, especially with the maid etc... I speaking for myself but I think u will eventually give in for a car... Lol... Maybe not a brand new one .... I just want u to know that u will not regret having 2.

    Pokemon go? Both my wife and I are not playing. My wife find it irritating, that she says people looking at the phone and not sure if they are filming our security installations ... Me? Got time, I rather read and sleep.

    Enjoy the family bliss. Honestly, I am quite concerned about my son when my wife and I are old. Being the only son, but it's not like u want means have, it's a gift. Be thankful. Cheers!!

    1. Hi SI

      Many thanks for your well wishes.

      I think having 1 is a blessing as well, and we'd like to take everything for what they really are. I guess you are able to solely focus on the direction for the 1 child and that's a major benefit to it too.

      Perhaps not too late now? Unless the gap is pretty huge.

  6. Hi B,

    Congrats on completing your family! Definitely something to be happy about despite the increased costs. As the eldest child in my family I can't imagine life without my 2 younger brothers so I think your son will be happy about having a sibling :)

    I'll certainly miss your blog posts here though, they were illuminating at times and I can certainly see why you've been so successful at investing thus far. But of course family should come first!

    1. Hi J

      Many thanks for the well wishes.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Myself too are in a similar situation as yours. We are a siblings of 3 and we definitely enjoyed it more than if i were to be a only child.

      I really hope i can still have private time and do some things which I like. Finger cross on that though, im learning something everyday on new classic parenting role.

  7. B,

    You've been busy between the covers ;)

    Good for you!

    Do continue to have fun!

    Big daddy would approve ;)

    1. Hi SMOL

      Tiring but fun times.

      When are you meeting the dream girls of yours? :) do let us know yah...

  8. congrats B on the new addition to the family!

    can I ask the break-down of $1000 for your child? I just hv my first child and I am trying to set aside budget.. on top of the sleepless night!

    1. Hi Black

      Many thanks for your well wishes and similarly congrats to you too for having your first kid on the family :)

      Generally, the $1k breakdown would mostly consists of the basic expenses such as milk powder and diapers as well as some reading materials and toys for them to play at home. My wife also likes to shop for more things then is needed (since its the first kid and so more experiment) so expenses do go slightly up. Other than that, the rest would go under the hospitalization plan, maid allowance and playtime.

  9. Hi Brian,


    Heartland Boy

    1. Hi Heartland Boy

      Many thanks for your well wishes.

  10. B,
    congrats are definitely in order here!
    need more to catch up with the replacement rate in sgp!

    maybe its just the age thing, or herd aversion like you...
    i understand what is the hype about pokemon go...
    call me weird or hermit, i dont even use FB or WS.. haha...

    if i got time, i rather watch soccer.

    1. Hi FC

      Many thanks for your well wishes.

      It does seem like we are a few bunch of weirdos instead, not playing the craze.

      I can understand the hype and addiction as ive been several in the past myself with things that i am crazy with. But like you these days time extra are for sleep and rest and soccer time. Hahaha

  11. B,
    Congrats! Like you, my wife is also expecting our second child. However, unlike you I took a long time to have a second one.
    There are some regrets in this aspect, esp. when I see how lonely my son is at times. However as long as the second child is healthy - there is no regrets.

    Family is always more important than money. Don't worry too much about money - child is to be enjoyed.


    1. Hi Apenquotes

      Wah congrats too, didnt know about that. I hope the gap isnt too big otherwise the childhood playing time cannot be together.

      Myself and my brother are 10 years apart so i can understand what you mean by that. Still, siblings love and caring is unmatched for and it will be fun and lively during events like cny :)

  12. Hi B, Congrats!! Looks like your wife's edd is the same as me. haha! also my 2nd child this time. :D The joy of having children is priceless (most of the time) so don't fret too much about money. I believe you are already doing very very well :)

  13. Hi!

    Congrats on your second child and understand you might not have much time to blog. Like many others, I enjoy reading your posts and have learnt a great deal from them! Just hoping that you would be able to continue!! (hehe)

  14. Hi B,

    Congrats on the new addition to your family. The joy a child brings to your family will out weigh whatever problems, so don't worry too much about your time and money. 加油!

  15. Congrats.
    what, you are not a singaporean?

  16. Congrats!

    Now that your son has sibbling coming, sometime he might feel lonely hhehe... it's a good time to take him out catching Pokemon, having a little Daddy-Son quality time. hahaha!!

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