Monday, March 10, 2014

How much money is needed to get married and start a family in Singapore?

Starting a family of your own is part and parcel of life. It sounds interesting to get married, get your first house and then have children. It may seem exciting but it actually requires a lot of responsibility and commitment from both the husband as well as the wife.



We all know that wedding and buying a house may be the 2 biggest expenses which we will face in our life. If we can have a glimpse of the cost involved and prepare in advance, then I think we can go through this process with our dearest more easily and with lesser stress. Wedding is a romantic event and owning your own house is a dream for many. These are both lovely events. The last thing we want is to quarrel with our spouse over money matters. With a little preparation, i'm sure we can indeed have a lovely and romantic time of our lives.

I've researched on the various wedding and housing costs which is required for any young adult planning to settle down and start a family. I hope this will help you in preparing for the 2 biggest event of your life.


Wedding 


The wedding below is an estimated cost of a typical Chinese wedding with banquet. 


  1. Wedding Package: $3000-$6000 (wedding dress, evening gown, photoshoot, wedding album, photo frame)
  2. Wedding Bands/Rings: $2000-$4000
  3. Wedding solemnization: $3000-$5000 (rental of gown, photographer and videographer, bridesmaid dresses rentals and so on)
  4. Wedding Banquet: $30,000-$36,000 (30 tables for $1000-$1200 each)
  5. Honeymoon: $5000 
Total cost for wedding: $43,000-$56,000

Does this cost sound shocking to you? If it is, then you're not prepared for a wedding. I guess this is the average cost most couples will incur for their weddings. $43k is the minimum for an average wedding with banquet. For weddings, of course you get Ang Baos (red packet) from your guest and relatives. If each guest gives $80-$100, then you'll get back $24,000-$30,000. 

This leaves us with a net cost for the whole wedding at:

Cost of wedding after collecting Ang Baos: $19,000-$26,000. 

This is just an estimate as how much your guest will give really varies. It is hard to know exactly how much red packet you will get. So, always factor in that you may get lesser red packets. 


House



Those who've read my blog earlier would know that I have a blog post on the estimated cost of buying a 4 room HDB flat in Singapore. For convenience sake, I will just list down the upfront cost which you may need for your new house.

  1. Down payment for new 4 room flat: $30,000
  2. Renovation & miscellaneous fees: $15,000-$20,000
  3. Buying of furniture and household items: $8,000-$15,000
Total cost for house: $53,000-$65,000

Down payment for your house can be paid by CPF. If you have the 10% down payment already in your CPF ordinary account, then you do not need to fork out additional cash. Still, after paying for the down payment, typical cost for your new home will be around $23,000 to $35,000. 


Combined cost to start a family in Singapore


Cost of Wedding + buying a house = Range of $76,000 to $91,000 cash (excluding down payment paid by CPF and excluding Ang Bao collected)

This is the cost that is expected for starting a family in Singapore. If you're planning to get married and buy a house, have you got the amount of savings in cash already? Do you have the $30,000 in your CPF OA account? The above cost does not factor in the Ang Baos money that you'll be getting. I've excluded it because you will not know how much Ang Bao you will be getting. Any amount you get back is a bonus and this will be your extra savings for your new marriage. I don't think you want to start a new family with zero savings right?

Most couples will have to share half of the cost each. So it's $38,000 cash for each person if they spend $76,000 in total. If you plan to get married in 3 years time, you'll roughly need to save $12,700 per year per person. 

This brings me to the point that you need roughly 3 years to prepare and save up in order to start a family. That's if you can save roughly $12k per year. If you can't, then give yourself a longer time to prepare. 

If you have a partner now, start talking about the preparation for the new life. For the guy who's serious about the girl you love, start planning and preparing now. Face up to reality that you need money for your new family which you're going to form. For the girl who's serious about the guy you love, plan together with your future husband. Sit down together as a couple and discuss on your new family plans. 

With proper preparation, you're on the way to a great new life. There will surely be lesser arguments when the time comes for you to get married and buy a house. 


What if I really can't afford it?



The cost may be too huge for some people. Wedding can actually be cheaper and you can save a lot by sourcing for cheaper deals. The wedding banquet will be the most expensive among all the cost. So if you can't afford it, then go for a cheaper banquets at a restaurant instead of a hotel ballroom. Some may even prefer not to have the banquet and go for a simple wedding with lunch reception only. That's your choice. 

There's a good guide on wedding banquet price list for 2014 here: http://singaporebrides.com/wedding_banquet_pricelist.php 

Some restaurants have banquets priced at $500-$800 per table. It may be a more affordable alternative. 

On buying your first house, it is important to calculate your budget so that you do not overstretch yourself. If you can't afford a 4 room flat, buy a 3 room flat instead. Read:  A couple should buy a 3 room HDB flat if combined gross income is less than $4000


Advice on debt


I know there are 2 years 0% interest free credit card instalment plans out there for your wedding. Even when you buy furniture from places like Courts, there are interest free instalment plans. It may seem like a short cut and an easy way out for many couples who do not have enough savings. However, remember even if you take the 2 years plan now, you still have to pay up the amount in the future.


Let's say if you spend $76,000 in total and you take a 2 years interest free instalment plan. This works out to a monthly repayment of $3166 per month. Yikes. That's a lot to pay! Not forgetting you still have to pay $1000+ for your housing loan! Can you afford to pay $4000+ per month?

I hope you get the idea from the example above. Debt is a burden and in the event if you lose your job, you'll be in greater trouble. But anyway you can't take on too much debt now as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has restricted the total debt you can take to be 60% of your gross monthly income. This includes your housing loan, student loans, credit card debts etc. 


Conclusion

Definitely there is a lot to plan for the 2 biggest event of your life. Give yourself roughly 3-4 years to plan beforehand. Don't wait till its too late and you succumb yourself to take the short cut of taking on massive debts. Financial problems can be avoided. A family that manages finances well will be a happy family. 


P.S: Have you got married recently? Share your experiences by commenting below. How much did you spend on your wedding and on your house? Are there any tips on cheap and good deals? Are there any mistakes you've made before? Let other readers know so that everyone can learn together. 

Share this article with your friends who're planning for their new life. 

P.S: If you're unsure about your loan eligibility or wish to apply for a new housing loan, contact me at sgyi@homeloanwhiz.com.sg for a complimentary consultation today. I'm a mortgage broker who have links to 16 different banks and financial institutions in Singapore to provide you the best housing loan package at the lowest interest rates. Refinancing enquires are welcomed too. Click here for more information on the services I provide.

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Related Posts:
1. A couple should buy a 3 room HDB flat if combined gross income is less than $4000
2. How much money does a couple need to earn in order to afford a $300,000 HDB flat?

77 comments:

  1. Hi SGYI,

    Pretty spot on for most of your calculations. My wife and I did spend a bit more on renovations though.

    Waiting for 3 years isn't that bad since the couple should still be in their late twenties or early thirties if they met early enough. Otherwise, one can still save first to wait for the right one. And it's possible to save more than $1k per month if one earns a higher than average income.

    Good research and congrats on reaching a wider audience with this series of articles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi 15HWW,

      Save first and wait for the right one. That's good suggestion :)

      Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
    2. Hello!

      Interesting write up there! I did exactly that; started setting aside some cash in small amount right frm my pay check. Now that i am counting down to my wedding, i dont have to worry too much abt the rush of saving up.

      Other than cheaper alternatives like restaurant, maybe one can look st trimming the guest list.

      Delete
    3. Hi faithfate,

      Glad you prepared in advance. May you have a wonderful wedding day. :)

      I also feel we don't need to invite so many guest. Just the closer ones will be sufficient.

      Delete
  2. It's pretty accurate because I am saving for the renovation but I believe you can save on the wedding dinner portion! I read online that people do lunches at nice cafes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi graciejjcouple,

      Indeed we can save on the wedding dinner portion. I think only hotels are very expensive. Other places like cafes and restaurants are more affordable.

      Delete
  3. Hi SGYI,

    Thank you for the great article.

    Here's my sharing. I just got married last year, total cost for my wedding is only $20k+. My partner and I wanted a simple wedding, so we decided to go for the restaurant instead of ballroom. And trust me guys, its more worth it.

    Dont spend you money just because you want "face". Spend it when you think that your partner wont regret choosing you as their partner.

    For housing wise, do you know, for first time buyer, you can actually pay a downpayment of 5% instead of 10% for HDB if both of you are under the age of 30 years old.

    Just some of my 5 cents. Sorry for my bad english.

    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for sharing. :)

      Sometimes its really the face but come to think of it, is the impression others have on you so important? Marriage is about the life after that not just the marriage day.

      Yes, for HDB can pay 5% first but I lumped it together to reflect the actual cost.

      Delete
    2. Hi Kevin, please share which restaurant did you held your wedding?

      Delete
    3. Can try Ban Heng restaurant if die die also wanna held yr banquet in a Hotel or at ORchard Road, they got a branch at RELC Hotel (Next to Shangri-la), the other branch i think located at Orchard Central~ Price range start from 588 to 988 NETT, food is nice plus many perks haha

      Delete
    4. Hi Kelvin,

      May I know how tables did you get?

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Hi Ning,

      You're welcomed. Hope the article is beneficial for you. :)

      Delete
  5. Good article. I'm recently married, only 3 months in, my wedding costs were $25,000, minimal hongbaos. When I started planning for marriage, I worked like hell with multiple jobs managed to scrape $70,000. We haven't bought house since we know there gonna be lots of changes to the market. What I can advise to those planning to get married, enjoy life, especially with one another, no point of you incurring your debt asap. It'll be great to have your own house but with delayed gratification, and more money on hand your new home will be much sweeter. I'm planning to grab a house around my aged parents tgt price $300,000. That amounts to about $900 a month, abt 22% my debt ratio, quite high since it only includes my house. Further funds will come from passive investments from the excess cash off my wedding, which takes years to accumulate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree that we should not be in a hurry to get into debt but somehow a lot of couples want to settle down quickly. Its like marriage is a form of commitment to each other. That's why its important to plan early.

      A $300,000 HDB flat will require a $270,000 loan after paying the downpayment. That works out to be $1200+ per month on HDB housing loan at 2.6% and 25 years loan period. There are no more 30 years loan period for HDB. Unless they change the policy again in the future.

      Of course, if you get all the various grants, then it'll be cheaper.

      Delete
  6. My wedding actually only abt 10k,booked a place call museum and let everyone come to withness my ROM,have a buffet. My hubby source for cheap package to rent the gown n everything. Video n photo my fil is a expert on this so he helped us out.

    As for my future home,i got a 3room so that we are not slave to debts,despite that, we dont really have saving for reno and furniture *sigh* hopefully my dad can help me w it (his job is something to do w the house) and furniture is that we can buy basic things 1st and maybe slowly add things up when time comes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      More importantly is your life after the wedding. Wishing you a blissful and long lasting marriage for life :)

      Reno I think have to do up all at once if not in future you want to do again will be very troublesome. Yup, furniture can buy the basic stuffs first. Later can buy more.

      Delete
  7. Hi. Great article!

    My gf and I are preparing our wedding preparation and our new house will b ready by 2018.. Will like to share our experience:

    We always will like to have a 4 room flat.. but when there is a BTO estate in telok blangah.. we went for it.. however.. 4 room cost 500k and we do not want to be in such a big debt for our first house.. thus we went for a 3room.. with such a location (5mins walk to mrt, 29th floor, facing e sea) , we don't mind at all!

    Next.. we want our photo shoot to be in sg but not taken with iconic buildings.. rather something different.. we don't want overseas like Taiwan cos it's toooo common

    As for wedding banquet... We are gg for good restaurants because of the better quality of food.. average hotel's food is horrible.. tables wise.. family, relatives and good friends only.. 20 tables?

    Wedding bands are of everyday use.. IMM shops cost only 900.. with diamonds!

    Estimation.. banquet.. 18k.. photo shoot 3.3k.. u do the math😃

    Hope this helps.. btw our combined income exceed 5k

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ryan,

      Great to have you sharing here. Your house does sounds good. 29th floor with sea view is just amazing. How much does the 3room cost?

      Wedding banquets at restaurants is just as good in my opinion. I agree that food is better at some restaurants as compared to hotels. Good choice!

      Looks like your wedding will be around 20k. If add in the rings, gowns, rental of cars, honeymoon etc maybe will be around 30k? After getting ang bao I think your net cost should be below 20k. Good offer you have.

      Have an awesome wedding and a blissful marriage ahead :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Ryan Xie, income exceed 5k can buy 3room? :)

      Delete
    3. I'm pretty sure he mentioned combine income of the both of them. Not individual partner.

      Delete
  8. Ok so this really got me thinking . Nice article. Can u do one on Sg cars including coe and all those misc fees ? Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi taupui lim,

      I may consider writing an article on the affordability of cars. It would be interesting to know. Let me find out more on it first.

      Delete
  9. So, when is it your big day gonna be? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pok Chow,

      Probably when I have enough money for one. :p

      I've been writing articles on all these I feel I'm ready to settle down soon. Haha

      Delete
    2. Whatever it is, I wish you all the best!

      As you know, my school has started and juggling that, my interest and my site is really hard! I'm really impressed by your effort. Any advice for me?

      Thanks a million!

      Delete
    3. Hi Pok Chow,

      Definitely studying part time is tiring and takes up a lot of time too. But you'll get used to it soon.

      For blogging, it still takes up quite a lot of my time. But i enjoy researching and writing articles. Even my assignment essays for my degree course i enjoyed writing as well. 2500 words is not so difficult anymore :p

      Delete
  10. Hi,

    Maybe you should advise people to not spend so much on wedding since this is a investment related blog. Spending $1000-$1200 per wedding table doesn't sound like sound investment advice to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dew,

      How much to spend on a wedding depends on individuals. I can only list out the cost and let people decide on whether they want a grand wedding or a simple wedding. If they want to have a grand wedding then they have to know whether they can afford it? If not, go for a simple one may be a better choice.

      Most couples get into trouble because they don't know the full cost. Everything add up a bit here and there amounts to huge sums. If they only realise they can't afford at the end, then it will be too late.

      Delete
  11. "Total cost for house: $53,000-$65,000

    Down payment for your house can be paid by CPF. If you have the 10% down payment already in your CPF ordinary account, then you do not need to fork out additional cash. Still, after paying for the down payment, typical cost for your new home will be around $23,000 to $35,000. "

    Are you sure house is this cheap.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      This is only the upfront cost. The monthly loan which need to pay is in another earlier blog post.

      This is the initial savings that we need. The rest of the house cost is on loan so I didn't include in this article. Read my earlier article to find out the whole cost of the house.

      Delete
  12. Wedding Ring & Wedding Bands = 2000 to 4000? Are you sure its that cheap? Lol.

    JW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      One reader commented above that he got the wedding band from IMM at $900 only. Even cheaper.

      Delete
    2. that is if your wife-to-be don't hiam and don't have friends waving their 1-2 carat diamond ring from cartier, tiffany or Harry winston in their faces.
      I personally don't mind though, i rather my hubs shower me with love with practical actions rather than thru a ring. Pfft.

      Delete
    3. Hi caprichososhuz,

      I'm finding girls like you. Haha :p

      Its good to be frugal but I think for me, I will still get a decent wedding if I can afford it. For a couple, wedding is a once in a lifetime event.

      Delete
  13. Hi,

    If you have less savings, a simple and nice wedding will be lovely & sweet.
    If you have more to splurge, by all means go for a grand wedding. Same for housing, less saving go for a smaller house. It's only the beginning of your next phase in life and I'm sure with more savings and the 1st house as a base you can afford a bigger house some years down the road.

    I got married in March 2010.

    For my wedding I invited 300plus guest to a simple beach wedding and it cost me $25,000. (Haven't minus the ang baos yet)

    Bridal Package + Tea Ceremony + Photography + Actual Day: $6,000

    Wedding Band: $1,000

    I wanted to stay next to my mom's block, so we bought a resale 3 room:
    Re-Sale HDB (3 room flat): $33,000 upfront cash

    We painted the house, drill and nailed shelves, etc all on our own.
    Decorated it with nice and simple furniture to make it look modern.

    Minimal renovation done for wiring, lighting & fans only: $3,000

    Furniture + household items: $10,000
    Bought some items during Christmas sale and kept it for 3 months before my house is ready. Total it save me a few thousand.

    2 years later 10 days Honeymoon in Tokyo: $6,000

    I don't think you need a lot of money to get married. It really boils down to what you want to spend on. You can still have a wonderful wedding with little savings.

    At the end of the day it's what you really want to spend on.

    My thoughts, :)
    Belinda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Belinda,

      Thanks you for sharing. I'm sure other readers here will benefit from what you share :)

      I agree with you that it really depends on individuals on how much we want to spend on. Untimately, its important to budget and plan according to how much we have.

      Delete
  14. Hi SGYI,
    Nice article and it is practical for most couples who is getting married to get prepared early. I think different people have different expectations as long as it is not borrowing to wed..Some parents also support the couples just to want them to be more happy. Most of my friends got support from family which I do not, cos I come from single mum housewife then. My spending many years ago as follows.

    Wed Package – 10k including buying albums. I took my package in Taiwan and Singapore.
    Wed Band & Rings – 10k. Heard a frd of mine saying his gf asking for ring for 20k…wowow
    Wed solem videographer + photographer + band – 7k
    Wed banquet – 20k. Manage to take back all plus some excess of 5k I think.
    Honeymoon – 6k. but bought a bag for my wife in Japan which add another 2k.
    Total ~ 55k.
    Ang pow we did get back our 25k thanks to my friends and relatives.
    So total damage is 30k excluding our HDB at that time.

    Resale HDB COV + Agent Fee + Reno + furnishings = 33k + 3k + 8 + 11k = 55k.

    Total 85k (after take back Ang Pow)


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rolf Suey,

      Thanks for sharing. I suppose you paid everything in cash? Looks like you really know how to save. Good!

      Wedding bands and rings for 20k is kinda crazy. Must be some big diamond. Your cost looks alright to me well since you can afford it then why not right?

      Delete
  15. Well my hubby and I spent about $8k for our rom cum buffet dinner for 20 at Fullerton Bay Hotel, honeymoon to Gold Coast (stayed at a youth hostel; own room, shared apartment with kitchen and bathroom, flew by Scoot), wedding bands from Meyson ($600+), tailor made gown and suit from qoo10, flower girls and boy clothes (for nieces and nephew) from Ebay, engagement ring from Love&Co, wedding cake from Iceing Room, pre wedding photoshoot (foc from a good friend) locally, actual rom photoshoot ($300 plus), makeup and hairdo for photoshoot and rom, bridal shoes, flowers (fake as I want to minimise wastage), tokens, invitation cards, stickers, diy photo albums for prewedding shoot, rom cum dinner and honeymoon, huge canvas for bedroom, live music for rom and dinner and extra photobooks for both sets of parents.

    I had the simple wedding I wanted and did not burn our pockets. Hubby still complained though. He wanted to rom only! I said no!

    We are waiting for our 3 room BTO which costs about $230000++ which would be ready in 2017. Got 30000$ grants.

    So you don't really need a lot of money to get married and start a family. As long as you believe in simple living and practises it it us good enough. Many ex colleagues of mine said they spent lots on their wedding and couldnt remember much about it later. Photo albums end up in storeroom!

    It is the marriage vows that matter not the dinner, shoots and honeymoon. We intend to go simple for our renovation in the future too. I will likely buy my stuff from taobao and diy! I fix my own furniture and painted my parents' flat anyways! None of the people I know abroad hire IDs to decorate their houses. And they are Europeans!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I guess I am lucky that I married a guy who is simple and is a saver. Haha. I guess he is lucky that I am not materialistic. During our honeymoon we went supermarket shopping and cooked our own dinners for a week plus. Even now we don't eat out much. You don't need to have dual incomes if you are willing to practise simple living.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My love&co engagement heart-shaped diamond ring was $2300+ and wedding bands with simple small diamond each was $300+ each from Meyson. Yup so wedding bands and engagement rings can cost less than $3000.

    My parents both spent like $20000 on the two times we moved (each) and after 5/6 years the kitchen cabinets and custom built wardrobes looked outdated and worn. Hence I guess modular kitchen cabinets would make more sense as I can replace them and recycle them if they are damaged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Your husband is indeed lucky to marry a girl like you. I can say you're the rare type of girl especially in Singapore. :)

      Thanks for sharing all your wedding info. It makes sense not to spend so much on wedding since its the life after that which is more important.

      Delete
  18. Hi,

    I guess I am the not so 'local' Singaporean girl. Heard that a lot from people. If I could I would have dragged my hubby go on a backpacking trip around the world after rom for 6 months! I did some backpacking before and it was so fun!

    I usually get a shock when I hear or read about how much people spend on weddings and renovations here. Have had siblings and cousins who ended up divorced despite having grand weddings. So yeah we should try not to get consumed in the consumerist world of ours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Wow, I love backpacking too. Haha. Feels so relax just travelling and its cheap too.

      I hope I won't have to spend so much on my future wedding too.

      Delete
    2. The "local" Singaporean girl seems to have a pretty bad rep. LOL

      Delete
  19. Any recommendation on what saving account or plan to prepare for such big cost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      The only way is to save up for your big day as early as possible. Since we now roughly know the cost involved, we can prepare ourselves much earlier.

      Delete
  20. You can consider starsaver account from CIMB. 0.8% per annum. If you have a big base for saving, you can get quite good interest in return.

    Alternatively, cut your spending and pay in instalment prior to your wedding, not after your wedding. Check our credit card for rebates. You can save costs for a table or two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the info on the star saver account.

      Credit cards do have rebates which is quite significant. When used correctly, its of good benefit.

      Delete
  21. Hi SGYI, thanks for your fantastic write-up :)
    I see from the comments above, some mentioned abt taking advantage of credit card rebates during wedding prep. Would u care to do a write up on this? I would love to find out abt credit card tricks for my upcoming wedding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      You're welcomed :)

      Credit card do have points system or they give cash back. Even debit cards do have cash back rebates. For example, I used the standard chartered xtra saver debit card which gives 1% cashback for any mastercard purchases both online and at retail stores. The cash back will be debited back to my bank acc with standard chartered bank.

      You can check out the various rewards with different banks credit or debit cards. It will be available on its website.

      Delete
  22. Did my wedding at tung lok arena last yr for $398 nett per table at their restuarant i spent nearly 12k for 27 tables + 1 halah table. Spend what u can within ur budget. If u wan grand grand wedding then no choice have to save more. I onli wan a simple wedding n go japan honeymoon. 12k wedding lunch, 3.3k wedding package and 5k japan trip plus spending. Also include those chinese custom item around $500 to $800 and some misc stuff like new shoes wedding band (got a really simple and cheap during year end sale) ..etc i don't remember i spend more then 25k for my wedding and my ang pow pretty much break even the cost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. $398 nett per table is quite a good price. I'm sure other readers here can learn from your experience.

      Delete
  23. Can also consider to hold your Wedding banquet at restaurants in hotel like peach garden @ miramar and si chuan dou Hua @ park royal. Food wise beat renowned hotels hands down.

    As for your wedding nest, rule of thumb is not to over commit. My new house is a 3rm at level 37, mins to clementi mrt, unblocked Seaview, within 1 km of nan hua pri sch. Not necessarily need to go for 4rm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Peach garden sounds good. Ban Heng restaurant at Vivo is not bad also. My cousin's wedding was there.

      Your house seems like a good location with good view. I won't mind getting a 3 room just for the sea view. Nice!

      Delete
  24. Probably, you might want to re-title to the typical Singaporean wedding, which is ballpark-accurate.
    However, just to get wed with a typical Chinese wedding, minimal cost is needed for ROM and pong teh (assuming most of the dowry is "returned"). For house, can stay with parents if feasbile. Otherwise, BTO hdbs are mostly affordable, even for the better locations. It is for the couple to learn not to bite more than they can chew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Good advice. It is for the couple to learn not to bite more than they can chew. Well said!

      Delete
  25. 20 years down the road, the same old money issues will surface again and again. It all boils down to living within your means, and forget about ‘face-value’. A standard wedding hotel dinner packages in 1990 starts at $800 to $2,000 per table. Instead of the usual wedding, my wife and I booked a small corner at a café in a hotel for buffet dinner, 30 pax at $23.95 per pax. That’s our wedding banquet. No fancy outfits. No fancy decorations. But we had joy. The monetary gifts covered the entire wedding dinner. Our first home was a 5-years-old re-sale 3 room flat costing $67,000 at Bukit Batok. The only renovation cost were the few cans of paint and labour provided by friends with beers as payment. For the first 10 years of our marriage our focus was on raising our beautiful children, career advancements, savings and savings. The holidays were simple, Malaysian beaches and towns.

    My cousin spent $65,000 on a lavish wedding in 1992. Fancy restaurants, overseas photography packages, skilled professional hairstylists, Hong Kong air-flown make-up artists etc. She divorced her husband in 1995. Re-married in late 90s, this time spending $85,000 on wedding banquet. Renovation and furnishing for her new home came close to $200,000. She yet to have any kids as they’re planning to split.

    Today, my wife and I are in our late 40s. Happily married. Our daughter is 20 and son is 15. We’ve no less than 8 properties spreading over Singapore, Australia and Malaysia. No less than 3 fancy cars and annual European holidays. I’m not writing to show-off. The point that I’m trying to make is marriage has nothing to do with the amount of money one spent on the wedding banquet or renovating/buying a new home. It has to do with love. If a couple loves each other they will sacrifice and compromise …….. to achieve their dreams. The dreams of building a sustainable family. The dreams of bringing up children in a warm lovely home. The dreams of building assets with no whatsoever issues of insufficient money. To do this, the first step is avoid debt. Forget about excessive big wedding banquet with exorbitant photography/video packages. Just make it simple, dinner with family and close friends with less than 5 tables. Be yourself. Be merry. Marriage is about love not the amount one spend on his or her wedding. Also, the family you’re going to build is not judge by the renovation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Wow, as I read your comment, I feel that you have truly understood what life is especially after living through the last 20 years of your marriage. If only young people understood this, there would not be so many marriage problems and divorces that we see today.

      I subscribe to the spend below your means lifestyle. It is totally unnecessary to amass debt just because of a wedding. Love is the most important thing in a marriage.

      Delete
  26. I think it ia better to buy a bigger house further (in non mature estate) but still close from MRT than buying a smaller house in mature estate far from MRT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Damien,

      Oh yes. Location is important whrn choosing a house.

      Delete
  27. Hi, thank you so much for your effort in contributing this wonderful article to create awareness.

    I had my ROM on a yacht as my wife and I decide to go for a simple tea ceremony for our elders and buffet at our new flat (plus housewarming)without banquet, with our parents blessings.

    We budgeted for a simple renovation, but including bathroom accessories, lights, furnitures it still exceeded our desired budget to keep everything below $25K. Your calculation is closer to how much we are spending.

    We chose a day photoshoot (2-3 hours) for our wedding package which included a gown for ROM and the gowns required for customary tea ceremony. For wedding bands, we actually customized it with friend instead of getting it at retail as I am afraid of the mark-up prices.

    My house was slightly more expensive compared to my peers when I balloted for it 3 years ago due to 5 min proximity to mrt,

    So overall our cost (as at now):
    Wedding Bands - $1300
    Wedding Package - $2800
    ROM - $6000
    Renovation - $16000
    Furnitures & Fittings & Electrical - $13000
    4-Room HDB Cost - $350,000 (Put 10% downpayment, rest HDB loan)
    Honeymoon - have not gone (estimated $5k-$8k)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thanks for sharing. From what I see, without the wedding banquet, you managed to save quite a fair amount of money which you can use it for better pruposes such as having better renovation and furnitures which will last you for many years to come. This is so much better than spending on a one night banquet which we may just forget after awhile. Good choice there!

      Delete
  28. Hi SGYI,

    I enjoyed reading your post and it was very informative. Comparing with my friends and myself I would say average wedding cost can go up to about 25-30K - depending on many factors. As requested here's my break down and hope to give others a rough idea. Also planning with your partner is very important and it is not done overnight. We started planning 1.5 years ago and our big day is in Dec 2014. We booked our BTO in Nov 2012 and it will be ready in Q3 2017.

    We started out a budget of 20K but soon realized we would spend more than that. Saved an average of 1K each per month. But realistically not every month we can save 2000 due to other commitments. Initial savings of 5k before planning for wedding helped in making deposits and bookings for the wedding with hotel, bridal package etc

    Wedding band - 1500
    Church including catering - 2000
    Hotel Dinner - 14000
    Bridal package including AD photography - 4000
    Emcee/DJ/Wedding coordinator - 3000
    Videographer - 1000
    Miscellaneous - 1500
    Honeymoon in Bali 5D4N (Flight + Hotel) - 1800
    Total - 29,000 (plus/minus)

    Others may save on entertainment (Emcee/DJ) which is optional. But we decided on having the entertainment for our wedding so that everyone would be able to enjoy themselves. Also, I signed up for a 2 year installment plan for the bridal package using a credit card to pay the 4k. To me using my credit card for 0% interest helps but one must be mindful and not default the monthly payment so as to not get a penalty fee. The installment helps by paying it monthly and not having to fork out the full amount in cash after collecting the pre wedding photos and album :)

    As for our BTO we decided on getting a 3 room HDB in Toa Payoh Estate - 5 mins walk to the MRT station. It cost 360K on the 36th floor over looking MacRitchie reservoir. We knew the 4 room going for above 500k was more than what we can afford and are happy to get the 3 room due to the location and nearby amenities. Having said that, couples can opt for other estates and get a 4 room for an average of 300k. As mentioned, it depends on what the couple is keen on - Size or Location and other factors of course.

    As the others commented, wedding and getting a house can be expensive. So our plan was to get married and have enough time to save again for our BTO. The monetary gifts from the wedding will go into a savings account for our new home and within the next 2 years, we would like to travel if possible before we settle down and start a family ;)

    Hope this helps other readers. Ultimately, planning is very important and I also strongly believe in being realistic to carry out your plans with your partner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Wow, thanks for your sharing. I'm sure this would help the other readers who're here. Can i re share your comment on my Facebook page to let others know about this? Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Sure go ahead :) I hope that wont get me in any trouble of any sorts haha. Appreciate your reply and for posting up my comment and thoughts.

      Delete
    3. Ok thanks. I will post it up probably tomorrow. Don't worry won't get into trouble. Haha. Its just sharing. :)

      Delete
  29. I read your post and I really appreciate your experience. I get good knowledge from there as well. Keep posting…

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi,

    I think that this is a wonderful summary about getting married as well as buying a new hdb. However, would it be possible for you to update this together with the new grants that the government is now giving out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      You can refer to my latest post here on the new grants the government is giving: http://sgyounginvestment.blogspot.sg/2015/09/should-couples-buy-5-room-hdb-flat-for.html

      Delete
  31. Hihi, a little late to the game given that this article is more than 2 years old. XD

    Anyway, here's the lowdown on our wedding and flat reno:

    Total cost for wedding: About 35K
    The bulk of the cost is for the wedding dinner because my husband has a large family and a big circle of friends. Nonetheless, we managed to recoup the full cost of the dinner via generous angbaos from our wonderful friends and family. After deducting the angbaos, the final amount of money we forked out was about $6k. We didn’t sign up for any wedding package so this amount covers:
    - wedding dress ($780) from The Gown Warehouse
    - evening gown + bridesmaid dress ($140) from City Plaza
    - wedding bands from Tian Poh ($1000), no customisation
    - make-up artist for both pre-wed photos and actual wedding day ($960)
    - photography (pre-wed and actual day, $2000)
    - customised bouquet & boutonniere for groomsman, groom, parents etc ($380 from Etsy)
    - miscellaneous stuff including DIY materials, photo book, retro snacks for a small number of guests, went to BKK to purchase some stuff as well

    Total cost for flat reno: $13k (excluding furniture and appliances)
    We did the barest minimum. No false ceiling, no walk-in wardrobe, no feature wall. Just basic painting, built-ins for the kitchen and master bedroom, hacked the kitchen yard wall etc. I simply accented the house with well-placed knick-knacks and decorations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for sharing. Yes the post is more than 2 years but its never too late to share :)

      Really thank you for the detailed break down of your wedding and reno expenses. It seems quite manageable and realistic. Most important is the happy marriage after all the celebrations. All the best for your marriage life!

      Delete
    2. Thanks! XD Yes, it doesn't make sense to pay so much for a event that's probably one in a dozen weddings that take place over the course of 1 year. Your guests won't remember the intricate details you painstakingly mull over but they will remember the food. So remember to feed them delicious noms! XD

      As for the reno, we simply added furniture & decor every month so we can avoid the sudden outpour of cash from purchasing everything at one go. =D

      Delete
  32. My husband and I had a budget of 15k wedding. So we were really glad that it worked out within the budget!

    Venue - 5,820.46
    Wedding Band - 3,200.00
    Bridal Package - 2,588.00
    Actual Day Photography - 700.00
    Emcee - 388.00
    Wedding Cake - 470.80
    Invitation Card - 80.00 (DIY materials)
    Other Misc - 1,000.00 (Ang Paos to giveaway, Simplified Guo Da Li items, Chinese Teacup sets)

    Total Cost: 14,235.26

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thanks for sharing. $15,000 for a wedding is really very affordable in todays standard. I guess you didn't have a wedding banquet? What was the venue you had our wedding at?

      Delete