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AK responds to wedding advice given by an IFA. (Financially prepared to be married?)

Monday, July 15, 2013

I might be putting my head on the chopping board with this blog post but this is not something I have not said before: 

"If there is not enough money for a wedding, the two people do not have enough money to be married."

So, when I saw this topic being discussed in Facebook and, shortly after, read an article on how to prepare financially for marriage, the writing bug bit me.

The article written by an independent financial adviser (IFA) is titled "10 Tips on What to Prepare Financially for Your Upcoming Marriage".

The first line in the article: 

"If you have finished school, worked for a few years and is attached, your most likely plan next in the agenda is to get married."

This is like someone who translated his emotional needs into action without sending his emotions through a mental filter first! 

A more prudent thing for the couple to do is to ensure that they are financially stable and have the financial capability to be married.

"It is OK to rent (a flat) when you get married."

My response:
No, it is not. I don't think I need to say why. (Unless you do not qualify for a BTO flat, why can't you wait for a BTO flat? Why are you in such a rush to get your own place? OK, you don't need to answer that. Think Rule of 15.)

"If you are going to borrow to pay that renovation, try to borrow from your own parents first (hopefully they can lend you interest free!)."

My response:
Forget the renovation. If you do not have the money to renovate your home (unless there is a safety issue), don't. You think parents are ATMs?

"You may wish to postpone investments until you have fully satisfied that you have set aside sufficient budget for your marriage."

My response:
This is like putting the cart in front of the horse! Consumption before investment? OMG! Whatever happened to delaying gratification? OMG! This is like... er... OMG!

"Finally, do spend some amount of money engaging a good professional wedding photographer. Years later, the only way your kids can know about your wedding is through photographs. Make sure you have both hard and softcopies of these photographs."

My response:
I am not curious about my parents' wedding and they do not see the need to tell me anything about it too. I wonder how many are curious about their parents' weddings or how many people would see it as important to educate their children about theirs?

If you ask me, true love does not need a marriage certificate. Of course, if you want to have kids, then, please get married. 

Marriage, in my opinion, is to give the children legitimacy. Unless the family is not part of mainstream society, children born out of wedlock will have many issues growing up.

Two people planning to get married and thinking of borrowing money for everything in the process should not be getting married. 

Obviously, at least to me, they are not financially prepared for it.

"Once you get into debt, it's hell to get out." Charlie Munger.

Related post:
Not enough money to be married.


mighty_matt said...

Hi AK,

Some comments in this blog post really strike a chord with my views about marriages!

I and my wife immediately tried to make baby after we got married. When some friends asked why we never consider planning some quality 二人世界 before we have kids, my answer to them is: If we wanted more 二人世界, then we shouldn't have married.

I also told my wife that I took my time to propose because I want to be sure we can be financially stable after marriage. Not because I was still doubting if she is the one (I knew it long ago that she is the one. lol). To me, the day that a married couple starts quarreling about finances, the happiest days are likely over. :(

AK71 said...

Hi matt,

It is your wife's good fortune to have a husband who thinks the way you do. :)

Of course, it is very romantic to think that 有情饮水饱 but romance can quickly sour when reality sinks in.

bhsh said...

I agree with most of your points except the one on investments.
Marriage in my opinion is the most important financial decision anyone can make. It is the point when 2 individual works towards a final goal. Getting it wrong can be costly for both. Getting married and investing in a home is a way forward or a start to financial freedom, take it as forced savings but don't stretch. Get your entitlement of the 2 bites of the citizen cherry.
Lastly NO to the pictures and dinner. have not seen my wedding since I collected them over 2 decades ago, don't even know where they are now.

AK71 said...

Hi bhsh,

Marriage is definitely one of the most important decisions someone might have to make in life and it does not necessarily have to be a financial decision.

Strictly speaking buying a property for self-stay is consumption, not investment. Buy at the wrong time and we could end up with negative equity. So, it could be argued that it is more speculation than investment.

If we do not have sound financial health, things could go really bad and I do know of a couple who divorced over money issues and sold their executive flat at a big loss during the Asian Financial Crisis.

So, living in the world we live in, I would suggest putting financial prudence higher in importance than the want to get married. Of course, if marriage is a need, then, it is a different story. ;)

Sillyinvestor said...

Ak, agree with what u say. but its also important not to be over prudent and want to save the world before one get married. It's good to get married early, do not delay for monetary reasons if both of u are ready, also do not delay to have children for the lame excuse that money is not enough. True is, it will never be enough. I got married with my wife when the 2 of us are just 1 year into our working life'. U just need to adjust to your expectations. We were lucky we got married early, HDB was a buyer market then, we got a resale flat for only 260k after CPF rebate and that is a 5 room flat beside bukit panjang interchange. We were cheapo in other ways, we choose a good resale unit, and did very minimum renovation. We use instatement plans for furnitures. So we spend a bit on future money but still not borrowing. The dinner paid for itself as we invite our guests to a restaurant and not a hotel ballroom. I still have enough savings to pay for our honeymoon at Hokkaido .. We have our first child 1 year into our marriage. Savings become difficult, but I still manage to save up on my bonus and have some spare for investment after properly insuring our family, health plan education plan, etc. I have to ask for less dinning out thou, and my wife agree, we later move into our in law and rent out our units. Some might laugh at us and say we are financially unestablished. But, money although important is a means not an end. U can never buy the smile or joy o watching your kid grow. I know of colleagues who postphone their plans, and their kids are still dependable on them financially although they are in the late 50s. A different version of delayed gratification perhaps?

AK71 said...

Hi silly investor,

This is why I say I might be putting my head on the chopping block with this blog post! LOL!

Obviously, this is a very emotive topic for many people. What I have done is to simply be more unfeeling about the topic by approaching it like I would any major decision in my life that might require quite a bit of money.

Apart from some universal needs in life, what are needs to some people are wants to others. Of course, what are wants to some people are needs to others.

However, if we were to agree on the principle of financial prudence, then, our views could converge. Of course, if emotive elements enter our decision making process, then, there could be 101 outcomes.

Money is definitely a means and nothing good ever comes out of loving money. However, being short of money or being financially insecure cannot be a good thing.

Anyway, you seem to have made it all work out well and I congratulate you. :)

Anonymous said...


I think you get me wrong, I agree with you that financial prudence is necessary in marriage, without it, it will not work. I am just providing another perspective of not swinging too much to the other side of the pendulum.

I definitely will not agree to getting loans to renovation, honeymoon etc.

I myself pass through a stage of anguish when I could not save monthly. I used to be able to save almost 50% of my NS allowance even though its just around 700 dollars! So imagine my sense of insecurity when I am not able to save.

But being through there, I believe as long as we have decent spending and saving habits, we should be able to move on, and as our pay improves as we climb the coporate ladder, we should be alright.

When I look at some of my friend who are still single and investing, and learn of their recurring income, I feel ashamed of myself, and sometime I tell my wife, I felt unestablished, or underachieving when compared to my peers.

But when I see my son, take a step back and look at my family, if I have to work till the day I die, because I cannot achieve financial independence with my small investment amount, I will gladly work till the day I die(hopefully not thou.. hahaha)

BUt if one can have the best of both world with some financial discipline, one defintely should go for that. I am still persuading my wife to scrap the car when the COE expires. Hopefully I succeded hahah

SnOOpy168 said...

not forgetting that the kids, you will need to finance all the way until he/she is married. To think of those kids facing a million $ 3 room HDB flat in 15-20 years time..... No eyes see. By then, still have enough for retirement ? Hey, they will face bills and mortgages that might leave little for their parents' pocket $.

If kids are not in the equations, forget about marriage lah. The HDB subsidy aren't worth the real price to pay.

AK71 said...

Hi silly investor,

Ah, I see. It is about striking a balance which, in itself, is not an easy thing to do. :)

Thank you so much for being so candid and sharing with us your experience and the emotional times you went through.

For sure, there will always be opportunity costs. If we do not have a good thing but have another good thing in its place, life isn't that bad, is it? :)

If I care enough about something, I would not like to leave things to chance. I always like to think a few steps ahead.

I have the feeling that if you were able to turn back the clock, with the knowledge you have now about financial planning and investing, you might have done things a little differently, perhaps?

Anyway, the outcome of your marriage is a happy one. So, let us not dwell on the past. :)

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

I think your comment is scarier than my blog post! ;p

SGYI said...

Hi AK71,

It may be quite hard to save on marriage as it involves 2 parties. I have always wondered how good would it be if both the husband and wife are financially educated and will just be married in a simple wedding. Isn't a simple wedding just as blissful as an expensive wedding? On buying a house, I think it is still affordable for a couple to buy a hdb flat and take a loan if both are graduates and should earn a combined income of at least $5000. A 300K flat with loan is about $1k monthly instalment. I have seen couples who sit down together to set their financial goals early before marriage and in the end, they end up being more financially well off then those who don't plan. You're right in saying if we do not have enough money then we do not have enough to get married. If financial troubles results because of the marriage, in the end its the children who suffer. We need more people to come out to educate young people on proper family financial planning. Our lives can just be better if we have the knowledge on this.

grove said...

Allow me to share my experience.

Back in the 1970's, my pay was just $255
( starting ) a month. A levels and nothing else.

In about 15 years I found my true love, and we applied for an HDB flat before registering the marriage. I debated if we could afford anything larger than 3 rooms. My brother advised: "Buy the biggest... your family will grow into it"

I thought it was prudent to do what most young people did then: slow progression to larger flats.. 4 room, 5 room etc. So, the biggest flat was "executive" and my pay in 1980 was $1,200 ( including allowances) How could I afford it? The flat was sold by HDB at $150,000!!...worry, worry, worry.

Today, I am still living in the same flat. My 2 sons are adults and earning their own keep but still living with me and my wife.

Sometimes it is good to have committed to a project particularly if the project for your own good. In this case its a home. Of course it needs to be within your means, but push it a little, push the envelope. It forces you to commit to success.

Its not borrowing to gamble or to buy a car. Its borrowing to build your home. My parents did not help me with the purchase and I never asked either.
I had to work, work, work to make good a promise to my partner and my kids.

You cannot plan everything in your life to perfection but things which are basic should be committed to success, and a heavy housing debt will force you to plan your savings and expenses to the last cent.

Key words: Commitment

all other things will fall into place.

AK71 said...

Hi SG Young Investment,

We are most fortunate if we are able to find a partner who is financially prudent. If we don't, then, what do we do? Break up? I really don't know.

AK71 said...

Hi grove,

Thank you for sharing with us your story. It is very heart warming. :)

However, we have to remember that it was in the 80s that you bought your flat and started a family.

That same flat now would easily cost $750,000 is my guess but I do not think anyone with only "A" levels would be able to make a proportionally higher pay which means about $6,000 a month now? Even a graduate with a few years of working experience might not make that much. Affordability has come down a lot.

I sense a huge dose of faith and optimism when you say "a heavy housing debt will force you to plan your savings and expenses to the last cent.

"Key words: Commitment

"all other things will fall into place."

Personally, I cannot see myself agreeing that a heavy housing debt is good for anyone. Especially not in a world which has changed so much compared to the 1980s.

I always tell people that it is harder to make money now compared to 10 or 15 years ago. My dad tells me that it is even harder when compared to 30 or 40 years ago. Of course, these statements are poignant because they are made in relation to the cost of living which has gone up so much in Singapore.

I think, the need to be financially prudent has become increasingly important because Singapore has become a much more expensive place to live in while most of our earned incomes fail to keep in step with costs.

This is why I hope to share the message of financial freedom with as many people as possible through my blog.

You have made it your way and I feel that the younger generation might have to find their own way. :)

The Sun said...

Well said, AK.

IMHO, apart from paying for home renovations, financially preparing for marraige also means being prudent about financial outlays in relation to other common wedding items such as going for a homeymoon overseas, wedding costs, choice of home, etc.

In addition, having sufficient financial buffers to meet unexpected expenses will need to be set aside for. Mind you, I have not talked about setting aside monies for investment...

The Sun said...

IMHO, apart from renovation costs, finacially preparing for marriage encompasses being financially prudent about all related common marraige expenses including choice of home to be purchased, wedding expenses, honeymoon expenses.

In addition and not even taking into account for the need to set aside monies for investment, there is also a need to set aside monies to meet unexpected expenses should they arise as well...

AK71 said...

Hi Sun,

You are right. There are 1001 cost items to take care of.

However, it is not insurmountable as long as we are well prepared.

Apart from the matrimonial home which I think should not have a LTV of more than 70%, I do not think we should borrow money for anything else. :)

EY said...

Hi AK,

I have a feeling that you feel marriage is not necessary because of the associated cost in making it happen. :P

Personally, I think it is important to legitimise the relationship. If I'm not a 'Mrs', then the guy shall just be happy with only holding my hand forever lor! Haha.

I recalled that my aunt chided me for marrying off 'cheaply'. No banquet, no elaborate wedding ceremony, no diamond ring. Wedding photos? Got the cheapest package! Some relatives even speculated that I must be forced by circumstances to get married. Quite an insult for someone with as much pride as I. Tougher still was for my folks to explain my refusal to hold a wedding banquet. Can't say their daughter was cheapskate, wanting to save money for her husband, right? :P

But to me, marriage is not gala show. When things can't pass my logic, I will stubbornly refuse. With the money we saved, we managed to jump at the opportunity to by our home at a really cheap price during the GFC. Renovations? We did the interior design ourselves and got the carpenter to piece it together. Simple, no frills. We re-renovated the place only after 10 years, using the profit from investments. Delay gratification? Sure. :D


AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

Nope. I really do think that marriage is an outmoded social institution. It has (almost) nothing to do with the associated costs.

I don't want to have children and since I believe that marriage is to give children legitimacy, there is really no reason for me to consider marriage. ;)

You and your hubby are a financially prudent pair!

coconut said...

if i have only 2 alternatives, one to get married and have children or getting "financial freedom" and be single, i choose the former without question.

i rather be poor and have my own family rather than rich but single.

and if you ask me, you don't need much to get married, may be a taxi fare to the ROM will do!

coconut said...

remember this always, money can't buy (me) loves.

EY said...

Hi AK,

Marriage is arbituary and outdated? Depends on which lens we wear, we'll each have a case. But age/stage of life does make it a difference. :)

Well, being prudent has two sides to it. While one might be able to save an awful amount of money not indulging in the whims and fancies of the bride, groom or the parents, one has to weigh the sacrifices involved. If somebody were to ask me whether I have regrets, I’d honestly say, I do. While the fanfare meant nothing to me, it made up part of the happiness of my in-laws who had been waiting for a long time for their son to settle down. They had wanted to invite their friends to share the joy. Looking back at our circumstances then, it wasn’t beyond us to go along with their wishes. If I could turn back the clock, I would have done it, just for them. They are really nice folks.

But of course, tying the knot on a shoestring budget gave us some kick for not fattening the bottomline of hotels, bridal shops, etc. Perhaps, it will be helpful for those settling down to consider which items are non negotiable and which are only good to have. For non negotiable items, what would be the most economical option within the acceptable range (i.e. not lose too much face, if that's important)?

I also agree that a house is an ‘expense’ item if we live it in. The opportunity cost of getting tied down with a hefty housing loan is manifold. Nothing wrong with going for a 2-room or 3-room flat if it means having a healthy portion of disposable income for savings and deployment elsewhere.

Everything has become so expensive. Getting into debt to ‘buy’ happiness is almost the sure way to have our future sold.


JJ said...

Dear AK,

Wow... very simple? complicated? topic wor!

Single, Married, with/without kids, Divorce

All about commitment + investment of $$$sss & timesss

I love you, you love me so.... Sweet, Oops... Love can turn very sour too.

Any everlasting love?

Whatever the answer? I love you AK & friends('@')

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

I am familiar with the usual sayings which are fine in an ideal world. However, this is not an ideal world and if we are too idealistic, we might fall into a hole.

Of course, we can say that if we should fall into a hole, we could try to climb out of it. However, if I could avoid falling into a hole in the first instance, why not?

Unknown said...

Lots of people I know held their wedding dinner in hotel.
For us, we done ours in Chinese restaurant. Simple few tables should be enough. I have no idea why make the marriage so big? I would prefer the dinner to be even much more simple, if not for my parents who want much more nicely done. Clear photograph is important as we have the super big photo frame hanging up.
I feel that renting house is not good idea too. Pay so much rent but house will not become in one possession, is a no no for me.
Renovation should be within one means. No money then do not reno to the whole house. I have seen people reno the whole house and spent much money. If my children ask me to lend money next time, I probably tell them to spend their own money. Not enough money for retirement still need to lend money interest free?

Matt said...


Marriage may be an outmoded social institution to you but we are still an Asian society and for the Chinese, we still hold dear to Confucian values, whichever way you may want to look at it.

Most of us conform to social norms more for our parents than for ourselves. A non-conformist would have to look for another non-conformist to not care about societal norms.

With a legal marriage, anyone can still walk out but it makes it more difficult and you need to seriously think about breaking up. In the case of cohabitation, you just need to pack your bags and go your separate ways although in California, they still do recognize cohabitation as an agreement to live as a couple and on separation, the division of assets is still the same as for married couples.

Ultimately, if you love your partner enough, why should a piece of paper make so much difference to you?

AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

You are right, of course. We have our own beliefs and comfort zones.

I am more a pragmatist and the way I look at things is conditioned by my attitude towards life.

I do not doubt that our view of things could change over time. It is like developing presbyopia and, unfortunately, we will always have regrets.

Many times, we do things for other people and not for ourselves. Many times, it is true that our lives are not our own.

However, if it is something that is going to affect me for the rest of my life, I feel that I have to be fair to myself and my interests will have to come first.

Like you say, everything has become so very expensive in Singapore now. Even buying my little hut in the sky costs $550k and when I hear myself saying it is a good buy, there is a little corner of my mind that cannot believe it.

We should all live well within our means and if we aspire to a life with much higher expenses, then, as good investors, we have to ensure that we are able to well afford that with a bigger margin of safety.

coconut said...

ok ok you win, you are right (in a way), love is blind. many fall into the hole and have difficulty climbing out.

AK71 said...

Hi JJ,

Good questions!

Whenever a subject involves emotional elements, it becomes complicated because there will be a tug of war between the heart and the mind.

Rare are the instances when the heart and the mind agree. ;)

AK71 said...

Hi C Chu,

I think you are a pragmatist too. :)

In summary:

1. If we have the money to do something, it does not mean that we have to do it unless we do not have a choice.

2. If we do not have the money to do something and we have a choice not to do it, don't do it. Don't borrow.

Don't ever rent our home and neither a borrower nor a lender be.


AK71 said...

Hi Matt,

Marriage is a construct of our society. It is part of societal norms. I agree.

If two people are truly in love, I do not see how having a marriage certificate will enhance their relationship emotionally. Do we need a piece of paper in order to love with confidence?

I was right that this blog post might put my head on the chopping board. LOL.

I must remind myself that the blog post is about being financially prepared for marriage and not whether people should get married.

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

I win? Really? You are such a nice person to let me win. ;)

Well, you know what they say sometimes: one person likes to hit the other and the other enjoys being hit.

So, who am I to say that being in a hole is not happiness for some? ;p

coconut said...

ask me, i'm in a big hole before! no big deal haha.

coconut said...

hows the feeling of being chopped? that's why i offer a bit of comfort for you, still i feel like chopping you some more..

Matt said...


"If two people are truly in love, I do not see how having a marriage certificate will enhance their relationship emotionally. Do we need a piece of paper in order to love with confidence?"

It shows you are confident enough to put your money where your mouth is by signing on the dotted line :).

It shows commitment. There must be a big difference to not sign on the dotted line, otherwise, why the reticence ? Perhaps a better way of putting it is, what have you got to lose by signing ?

Cohabitation is like a verbal contract. Would you as a BDM accept and confirm an order verbally?

Don't mean to put you in a spot but just trying to show you that there is a big difference between cohabitation and legal marriage. I have no quarrels with people who decide to cohabitate. It is their decision as long as they go in with their eyes open.

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

You gave me a pillow for a while and now replaced it with the chopping board. -.-"

AK71 said...

Hi Matt,

In business, I want everything in black and white if possible.

I do not think of a relationship with someone I love as a business.

OK, sometimes saying less is more. So, I will stop here before I put a foot in my mouth. ;p

coconut said...

i'm just following the trend! man they really say it in a very nice way...

so you bail out? haha

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

You are only doing what any good trader would do. Don't fight the trend. ;)

I bought into a good investment and I am holding on no matter what people say. ;p

coconut said...

before i go, i share this which is most regretful in my life.

we (me and my wife) stop producing after our second was born, 2 is enough, we say.

after a few years we started to regret it and flantically trying our best (haha) to restart the production but fail, no more coming out! what a lost opportunity gone forever!

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

We all have a list of "should haves", unfortunately. :(

Unknown said...

At least is stopped at 2 for you, for us, we stop at 1.

Expensive education ahead is fearful.

So far, no regret so far. One child no fighting between siblings, although a little lonely for my child.

SnOOpy168 said...


Scary ? You mean the million $ HDB 3 room ? That's reality.

A levels and drawing good pay ? Those where the days and things catch up. Remember our "senior" officers in NS days 20 years ago. They got O levels and can be a Major. Today, I seriously don't think that is going to happen easily.

Gone are the days where a BSc will be sufficient for a good paying job. Or that civil service jobs are iron rice bowl.

Once told someone that garment should stop wasting their time blasting us singles for not getting married. It is our choice lah. BUT go after those who got married, took the new (and subsidized heavily) HDB flats. They now have the financial advantage of a cheaper roof over their head. Can afford to finance, making a few babies right ? It will help to reduce our imported-FT immigrations and to increase the birth rates.

Anyway, my opinion about "not wanting kids and therefore no needing to get married" is also echoed by my lawyer friend who does family practices. I agree with her.

Partners who are thrifty and plans their pocket money well. Important. But then not everyone is as smart as AK or EY, nor can the partners be educated overnight. Had seen my friends' wives with expensive branded stuff, while he wears a Casio watch (NS type). Whats the point ? All his savings and thrift, spent by the other half ?

ok. enuf of marriage thingy thinking cap. Time for my late lunch.

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

I hear you. All valid points.

Things have changed a lot in the last 30 to 40 years. For sure, costs have shot through the roof.

Once, someone told me that ignorance of the law is a misfortune. I think not being financially prudent is a bigger misfortune.

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

Time for my turn to speak :)

I married not because I wanted to have a kid. It's mainly to give respect to my in-laws and my own parents. It's really for their sake that I have the wedding dinner.

I don't treat the piece of paper as sacred. My own vows to her is more sacred than any official ones.

More practically, the marriage is also to satisfy the silly rule for HDB.

I saved intensively for 3 yrs by working extra hard. Got a pretty expensive resale, spent a bomb on renovation, spent negligible amt on photos and more than recovered for my wedding dinner at a hotel. No regrets for me. Probably will do it again :)

I guess my stance is neutral. If you want to spend a lot, go ahead. Just be aware of the consequences that follow. After all, it's your life and nobody should know it better than you.

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

Spoken like a true Ranger!

"I don't treat the piece of paper as sacred. My own vows to her is more sacred than any official ones."

I am going to put this on my wall!

Kim said...

Actually ah...that piece of paper is for u to stand high up infront of 小三, if unfortunately, throw it into her face, give a slap or kick, before u turn to walk away lo. Without this paper like no authority to do anything lei:)

AK71 said...

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the comment which I would have liked to publish. ;)

ozxinvest said...

LOL...put them in scientific terms, investment is physics, love is chemistry, we can't really mix both and expect to have answers by discussion.

所谓谈钱伤感情. We shouldn't be too calculative in true relationship and we shouldn't put in too much love in investing.

If we need to deal with the cost of living, we spend less, save more and invest if we could. Learn to manage your cashflow.

If we need to love and be loved, to marry or cohabit, we have to make those sacrifices necessary no matter what price we have to pay for them.

Sacrifice is the key word in relationship. Prudence is the key word in investing.

The only common word is Patience.

For me, the joy of having your own child and finding your right life partner, whether we are struggling to live or living comfortably, cannot be compared to the joy of having a lot of money.

I think no parents would disagree with me when they had their first bundle of joy!

I read in one local paper not long ago, where a young investor said something like your spouse and friends may leave you but not money. That article really send out a seriously flawed mentality to readers.

生不带来 死不带走 留下的...只是亲人的回忆。

AK71 said...

Hi ozxinvest,

This reminds me of an advertisement for Sovil and Titus:

bu zai hu tian chang di jiu, zhi zai hu cheng jing yong you

LOL. :)

I do agree that one matter is about the mind and one is about the heart. This is why I say that I will not ask for anything in black and white in love. So, why the need for a marriage certificate (or a pre-nuptial agreement for that matter)? ;p

ozxinvest said...

Marriage cert is a formality, to abide the country's law as a prove to relationship, liken to a citizen having an identity card, a declaration that we are serious ( and responsible) about working out to be (faithful) together for the rest of our life, nothing to do with true love.

You can have a cert without true love for other reasons.

You can have true love without a cert, but your true love will bear a different meaning to it.

You can flood your true love (easier) to anybody and anybody can give their true love to anybody. :P

Chaotic, isn't it? Ever watch "tian long ba bu" and "lu ding ji"? So many wifes and so much true love, imagine one wife to many husbands for fairness since we are in the modern age.

Cert or no cert, I think it's all about self control and responsibility, not everyone possess such qualities.

Without marriage cert, the society will become one word - "乱". More single mothers and fathers and not knowing who's who's cousins. OMG...

AK71 said...

Hi ozxinvest,

I am not convinced. ;p

I did say that if we want to have children, please get married. Marriage is a must for people who want to have kids. Don't want things to be "乱". ;)

If we do not want to have kids (and if we do not want to buy a HDB flat), that certificate to me is just a piece of paper. Symbolic piece of paper but still a piece of paper.

Obviously, I am amongst the minority for thinking the way I do but true love without marriage is still true love. It doesn't change. I do not see why it would bear a different meaning.

Do we need to institutionalise true love because a marriage certificate is the product of an institution?

Matt said...


You don't need to be convinced but on the other hand, the only one you would need to convince is the one whom you are going to give your true love.

The rest of us are only onlookers.

ozxinvest said...

LOL AK...I'm not trying to convince you. Just answering your question on the cert in my view.

As I said, I think true love got nothing to do with the cert and does not need to have one. It's how you define true love and how to "execute" it.

Our love for parents and children are all true which doesn't require a cert.

BTW, are your parents pestering you on getting marry (resulting in why you are so bothered by the cert? :P)

AK71 said...

Hi Matt,

Convincing someone sounds like a lot of work. I am too lazy to do this.

If I find someone who thinks like me, good. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother trying to convince anyone. ;p

Matt said...

Alamak, Cupid has not been doing her work. Wait until you are struck by one of the arrows, you MAY see stars and not be so logical or coherent, LOL.

When we are not emotionally involved, we think with the head. When Cupid does her work, logic goes out the window. So do not pooh pooh the saying "Love is Blind". Do it at your own peril. Never say never. :))

All said and done, I only wish the best for you.

AK71 said...

Hi Matt,

Thank you for the blessing (I think). -.-"

P.S. I thought Cupid was a boy. ;p

Matt said...


Paiseh, Cupid is not a chabor.

Best wishes is for a happy life, with or without a partner, so no need to sweat :))

AK71 said...

Hi Matt,

Yup, I remember Cupid had a little dick. ;p

Certainly, the most important thing is to be happy. Happiness is often in short supply. :)

AK71 said...

My approach would be as follows:

1) "It is OK to rent (a flat) when you get married."

--- Never ever do that unless you are in States or Germany

2) "If you are going to borrow to pay that renovation, try to borrow from your own parents first (hopefully they can lend you interest free!)."

--- Laying the thoughts on parents money after living of them for the past 20 years, how interesting. Every interest free loan you gain from your parents, they lose the value. Use your own money.
Utilize credit cards on big ticket items to gain credit for freebie but never get yourself into debt. The freebie will help in easing some spending in future.

3) "You may wish to postpone investments until you have fully satisfied that you have set aside sufficient budget for your marriage."

--- A person do not need to invest in an extreme manner, setting aside 200 to 500 a month is sufficient while saving up for wedding budget. There is no need to sprinkle gold dust along the walkway in the church for ceremony.
****At this point people always think wedding is a once in a lifetime, so spend on it. My thoughts are, if it is a once in a life time, couple can re-do a photo-shot when they are old. What is the hurry to spend everything now. If the couple divorce, the couple get to do it again with different spouse****

4) "Finally, do spend some amount of money engaging a good professional wedding photographer. Years later, the only way your kids can know about your wedding is through photographs. Make sure you have both hard and softcopies of these photographs."

--- Do you foresee your kid spending time with you at home flipping through your wedding photos in 15 years time or do you foresee them mixing around with their friends? Instead of using photos, could the couple portray a live image to the kids instead? Couples need to be realistic in terms of kids upbringing and marriage.

Edwin Ng ZA (on Facebook)

apex property investment said...

Fancy marriages are designed to elicit higher fees from consumers. A grand wedding sets the couple back by 20-30k? Oh ya, whats the wedding for? for some to show to parents and for some to prove their love...

Once a lifetime they say; and a lifetime of debt fell upon the new couple. I pity them.

Have a fancy house, nicely renovated. That cost anywhere between 30k for a simple reno to > 100k for luxurious reno. Wait... the reno is for HDB??? Those things where adding renovations can only increase the paper value? Wait... you mean you were thinking of selling it after renovating over 100k?

Do not be tempted by honey moons in maldives and the luxury holidays.

It is certainly not less sweet to spend more time together and worry less about repaying the debts.

AK71 said...

Laurence said...
... unaffordable lavish spending. Love (and I mean all kinds of love) blinds people to logic. We keep reading of couples who insist on spending lavishly on fairytale weddings...

AK said...
Often, family conflicts come about because of money problems.
Often, money problems can be avoided.
Sadly, not often enough are people financially prudent.
See what an IFA dished out as wedding advice?
I find it unbelievable. :(

laurence said...

I find Tip No. 10 to be the most ludicrous:

"10. Finally, do spend some amount of money engaging a good professional wedding photographer. Years later, the only way your kids can know about your wedding is through photographs. Make sure you have both hard and softcopies of these photographs."

Is the intention to teach their kids to also have a lavish wedding and overpriced photography package?
I'm sure the kids will appreciate the life lessons and experiential activities with their parents much much more than wowing over the lavish wedding photographs of their parents.

AK71 said...

Hi Laurence,

We have to wonder if being financially trained and licensed to give advice means good advice will be given.

WTK said...

My take is that there is no need to overstretch oneself for the sake of memory. Being debt-free is the best circumstances for the couple.


AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Unfortunately, financially trained or not, many are more romantic than pragmatic.

AK71 said...

Comments from my FB wall:

Zhikai Goh:
Everyone knows the importance of saving and investing for our future.
However, humans are like water. They will flow to the path with least resistance. Which is instant gratification in this case.
I spoke and tried to convince many of my peers before coming to this conclusion. 😎
September 2 at 5:52pm

Jiahao Teo:
The point on postponing investments sums it all up...
September 2 at 7:41pm

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