If you ever had a chance to ask my BF about how it’s like to date me, I’m pretty sure that the first thing he’ll comment on would be my spending habits. Dating me also means having to consider the price of almost everything – from trivial items like food, dating activities to bigger ticket items like household equipment… Well, you get the gist.
He doesn’t mention it very often but I think he gets ticked off sometimes. I mean honestly, I would to if I were to be in his shoes. But he knows the story behind my spending habits and is able to be empathizing enough to understand why I am the way I am. I am lucky that he does.
Of course, there are times when I am not that frugal because I am human and I like to enjoy life once in a while. A partner comes in perfectly during this point of time. It’s better to be able to spend money with people you love, like travelling for example. We also get to experience parts of each other that we don’t in different scenarios. The moments are unforgettable as we spend each day of our lives understanding each other more and more. That’s the beauty of being in a relationship and learning how to compromise for one another (although it’s hard to admit that there might be some really hair-pulling, nerve wrecking moments too. :p)
We haven’t been together for a very long time (we’re only almost reaching the 8th month mark!) but I’ve noticed that I have been quite influential on his spending habits. I realized that I’ve imposed many changes (unintentionally, not by force) and he has changed quite a bit since the beginning of the year. I should give him some credit and show immense gratitude for this change – whether if it’s purely because of his love for me or if he finds what I’m doing beneficial to himself.
Here’s a compilation of the changes he went through which I’ve quietly taken note of:
1) Premium memberships
He has existing memberships for all the little stuff that gets lost in the middle of your credit card statements every month. He pays for Spotify at $9.99 every month and he is currently a Starbucks Gold member! For the benefit of all the non-coffee drinkers (me, included), you have to spend at least $300 every year to maintain the membership. After dating me (sadly), he has only accumulated 60+ Star points at this very moment and would have trouble renewing it back to the Gold membership. He’ll drop back down to Green membership instead :p.
I have to say though, these premiums don’t come without benefits as his partner. We are currently sharing his Spotify account and I’m able to enjoy the convenience of any music I want anywhere, anytime. Also, Starbucks has given him an additional Welcome card when he was reinstated as a Gold member earlier this year, which was of course, passed on to me as a gift. Totally using it for the freebies. :p
2) Game expenditure
If you’ve been following my blog, you should know that BF is a gamer. A hardcore one. But I wasn’t one. So the idea of having to buy games through Steam or Blizzard didn’t seem very appealing to me. He explained it to me in a way now that I can kind of understand.
BF: Why do you go shopping? Or buy make-up? So that you can feel good about yourself, right? It’s a form of entertainment to you. Same reason why I buy games lor. It’s like online shopping, just different things only.
Okay, I’ll give it to him. And to be honest, the amount of time he has spent on those games really makes his bucks worthwhile. Even more so than my “shopping” and “make-up”.
But something recently happened with him which made me jump for joy secretly in my heart.
He was having a conversation with one of his alliance members in War and Order (which of course, he pays like $30 a month for an in-game purchase of some bundle pack) and discussing about how people spend thousands of dollars just to build castles.
BF: “Wa!!! That’s insane. If my GF finds out I even spend $1 additionally on this game, she will go crazy.”
That’s how I know that he has been reducing his game expenditures, and I am the reason why. Lol.
3) Food, and less food!
BF is a buffet person. He loves to eat, and his motto in life is that he “eats to live”, and not “live to eat”. Before we dated, he used to go for buffets at least once every month.
I am a small eater, and eating buffets to me is like throwing money down the drain. So we don’t go for buffets as often as he used to. That kinda lessens the load on the money aspect. Lesser bubble tea, Starbucks frappes and supper (I’m an early sleeper)!
His portions are also reduced slightly and has lost some weight as commented by the aunties around us. :p Another check on the health aspect!
Nope, cab rides are virtually non-existent when you’re dating me.
5) Financial planning (in general)
Having someone close to you to assist in monitoring your finances can be easier than paying a financial adviser to do it with a hefty fee attached to her services. We’ve dug out all his insurance premiums, CPF and bank statements to breakdown his yearly cash flow.
In the event of doing so, he has recently opened the UOB One account, applied for the One card and changed his salary crediting to that account to gain better interest. He has also moved some CPF money from his OA to his SA to get 60% more interest.
Counting the pennies do matter, especially when they start to compound.
BF also started investing this year with me, and received some dividends too! The level of trust is appreciated.
In my opinion, there is really no right or wrong way about how someone chooses to spend his/her money. However, in my case, it is clear and undoubted that a partner can and will affect your financial decisions. Coming to a conclusion together and deciding what you are comfortable with is essential to building a stronger relationship. And I believe that these decision do not just impact your partner, but other people who also matter to you the most, e.g. your parents, kids, siblings, etc.
Now more than ever, I feel lucky to have him compromise so much on this. :p Sometimes, we all need that subtle reminder about our S.O.
Before I end, here’s an interesting speech by Alain de Botton which explains why you’ll marry the wrong person:
Share with me about how your spending habits have affected the people around you in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
Miss Niao xoxo