Image: tomwang / 123RF Stock Photo
Many Singaporeans, especially men, think being in a relationship is a huge drain on their resources. Gotta work hard to earn the moolah to buy handbags for your beloved or fund all those cafe hopping sessions, right?
But seriously, whether your relationship is going to be good or bad for you financially really depends on what kind of person your partner is. In some ways, being in a relationship can actually be a good thing, financially speaking.
You can better afford to take risks in a DINK household
If both you and your partner are working, make a conscious effort not to increase your financial obligations and you’ve got a safety net right there.
For young couples without kids (DINK households – Dual Income, No Kids), having a partner means that you can afford to take more risks at work and in business, because having someone who can keep you afloat if you go under is infinitely better than having noone.
I don’t mean you should plonk down your life savings at Singapore Pools and expect your partner to bail you out if you lose it all.
But if you are thinking of quitting your job and starting a business or taking a pay cut to work in different field, it is very helpful to know there’s another income supporting your household or repaying your home loans if the worst happens.
Unfortunately, in practice, the reverse seems to happen to many Singaporeans when they get into a relationship, even if there are no kids on the horizon just yet. They take on debt to pay for lavish weddings, or feel like they need to always have lots of cash on hand to pander to their partners’ expensive tastes.
You get to split expenses and halve the time taken to do chores
Being part of a couple is also an advantage in that you get to split certain expenses, as well as halve the time you spend on certain things in order to run a household.
One of the most obvious factors is accommodation. Buying a home in Singapore is expensive, but it becomes considerably less so when you are in a couple.
Not only do you not have to wait till you’re 35 to buy subsidised housing, you are also eligible for heftier subsidies and can divide the cost of home loan repayments by two.
You can also split cooking and household duties between you, assuming both are willing to play an equal role. Those who have always lived at home with parents might have no idea how much of a time sink cooking and cleaning for one can be—just ask your long-suffering mother who’s been preparing dinner for the entire household every day for the last 30 years.
Happiness in your personal life can lead you to be more motivated at work
Now, nobody’s saying you can’t be happy without a partner. Of course you can. If you are single and loving it, more power to you.
It just seems that many Singaporeans aren’t doing such a good job at enjoying singlehood. Because our conservative society still puts pressure on people to get married and pop out kids by a certain age, some people who do not manage to abide by these social norms often grow bitter and depressed. We’ve all worked in that office with the extremely overbearing unmarried lady boss.
And while your parents may have forbade you from getting into “BGRs” when you were at school for fear that it would distract you from your studies, there is evidence to show that married men make more money at work, because they are more motivated to earn money for their families.
There are large numbers of Singaporeans who blame work on the fact that they have no time to date. The fact that they are working so hard means that they must be at least making lots of money, right?
Well, long hours at work and motivation aren’t the same thing. The fact that so many people are burning out at work and that so many Singaporeans hate their jobs speaks volumes about the levels of motivation people display here.
Maybe, just maybe, we need to learn to be happier in order to find jobs we like and be motivated in them. And for many Singaporeans, it seems that being in a relationship is a big factor influencing their happiness. Maybe that’s what they need to start being more engaged at work and in life.
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