Money money money


My mother and I overheard my grandmother tell our helper that I had banyat wang (lots of money). We looked at each other and laughed, because the truth is far from that. So many have the misconception that those who have moved overseas and married ang mohs are rich. My own mother believed that somewhat, until she came over to help me with the baby in June and saw how we lived.

Don’t get me wrong. We are not poor, but like most people, we have a mortgage, we have bills to pay, we don’t have much spare cash and so we need to be careful of what we spend on. It doesn’t help that my income is now just a third of what I used to earn because I am on maternity leave, and that we now have another person to feed and clothe (even though he only drinks milk and wears tiny garments but bloody hell do you know how much pushchairs cost?!).

Do I worry about money and the future? Every single day. Does it keep me awake? Never. I guess living within our means really helps. Yes we have a mortgage and we are sorting out another mortgage for the house R inherited, but it’s not unmanageable. We have a cheapo 15-year-old car which cost us ¬£200 and we don’t have credit card debts. In the UK, we rarely ever eat out at restaurants or take cabs. Our biggest indulgence is flying to Singapore and a short holiday to a Southeast Asian destination a couple of times a year.

So instead of becoming richer like everyone else assumes would be the case, we end up poorer because we have to fork out more on extras like frequent air travel and permanent residencies (god the paperwork and the ridiculous fee!). But it’s my decision to marry a foreigner. And because I accept the inconveniences (rather than conveniences!) that come with it, I haven’t become resentful.

But even if I had married a local guy, I’m sure we would have endless financial concerns too. Which couple doesn’t? Especially given the fact that it is so shockingly expensive to deliver a baby in Singapore (my manicurist told me she just gritted her teeth through her terrible labour pains because she didn’t want to spend S$600 on an epidural) and even more expensive to feed it (a one-kg tin of infant formula milk in Singapore costs S$40 and can last around 7-10 days).

R sometimes think I don’t take him seriously whenever he voices concerns about our future. His working days are limited, we have a young son, I want to move back to Singapore where things are CONSIDERABLY pricier as compared to the UK because of rising inflation, and also because of the weak pound.

It’s not that I am not bothered. I just believe in having some degree of planning but mostly just go with the flow, because what’s the point of fretting over things I can’t control? I like to use my boss’s favourite quote, “Don’t be too rigid and over-plan. We live in a world of chaos. The banks have top people to plan everything but in the end they still screwed up the economy.”

As long as we still have our brains, our limbs, are willing to work hard and understand sacrifices need to be made, there is no reason why we would starve, whether we remain in the UK or move here. And that is why I never lay awake worrying. My sleepless nights are only due to Lucien’s moaning.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family

2 Comments on “Money money money”

  1. Annabel Says:

    Very true. My mum is a huge and stubborn fan of planning every single thing and it only led to disappointments and frustrations for her. It’s good to have back of plans and rough ideas of where things are going but life is mostly about being able to improv!

  2. tintedglasses Says:

    Belle, I used to be like that too – I still love to plan every single detail but it doesn’t apply when it comes to our lives and future. Now that I have Lucien, I understand even more how fluid we need to be.


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