Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Are Singaporeans Financially Ready For Marriage?


(Click to enlarge image)

Data from the Social and Family Development Ministry show that Singaporeans value families and want to get married. So why did the number of single 20-something Singaporeans increase over the last 5 years? Personal finance comparison site SingSaver.com.sg and local dating app Paktor ran a survey to find out what’s keeping Singaporeans from tying the knot, and how they plan to spend for their big day. The survey reached out to 544 Singaporeans aged 18 years and older, with a near even split between genders (45% women and 55% men). Their answers revealed that couples who are emotionally ready for marriage are not always financially prepared for the next big step. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of Singaporeans who aren’t looking to tie the knot say it’s because they cannot afford to get married at the moment. It’s not surprising that costs are a big deterrent, with Singaporeans anticipating to spend at least 10 months’ worth of income, or S$35,000, for their wedding and honeymoon. They hope to get financial assistance through their parents or through bank loans to fund their big day.


Of the 544 respondents, 38% said they were ready for marriage, while 62% say they were “unsure” or not ready at all. Nearly half of those who want to get married say they have found the love of their lives. Despite this, 63% think they are financially unprepared to marry their life partners. Meanwhile, 65% of respondents who were not ready for marriage say it is because they haven’t found the right partner. Another 20% said it was because they cannot afford to get married at the moment. In terms of describing their ideal spouses, Singaporean men and women place similar importance on good looks and a great personality. However, both groups have gendered expectations regarding income and property ownership. In general, Singaporeans think beauty is only skin deep. Good looks were rated as just “somewhat important” by 70% of the respondents, while 86% think it’s “very important” for their ideal spouse to have a great personality. When it comes to financial stability, Singaporean men expect little from women. Only 27% of men think their partner should be financially stable, as compared to 58% of women who think financial stability is “very important”. Similarly, 78% of men think property ownership is not essential for their future wives, versus 49% of women who think it’s “very important” for potential husbands to own property. Both genders agree that they can live with a spouse who doesn’t own a car, with 73% of respondents declaring car ownership as “not important”. 


On average, Singaporeans expect to spend 10 months’ worth of income, or approximately S$35,000, on their wedding. In terms of allocating their budget, they think spending on their honeymoon and wedding jewellery is more important than spending for the banquet or wedding outfits. When asked which wedding expenses they would like to prioritise, 70% of respondents considered their honeymoon “very important”, while 66% added that the wedding or engagement ring was just as important. Other wedding garb is not considered a priority, with only 55.6% rating the wedding dress or suit as “very important”. Singaporeans don’t seem keen on spending much for the wedding festivities itself, either. An overwhelming 70% thought spending for the banquet was “not important”, while only 52% thought it was important to pay top dollar on wedding photography and videography. If they cannot fund their wedding costs up-front, 30% of Singaporeans will be seeking financial assistance for the wedding (or honeymoon) of their dreams. Of these, 75% will turn to their parents for help, while 40% may consider using personal loans for wedding expenses. 


Currently, banks in Singapore do not have wedding-themed loans, and 48% of those surveyed think they should offer this option. Yet Singaporeans seem to have mixed feelings about taking a loan to nance their wedding. 86% of the respondents also stated that they’d rather not get married if it meant being in debt. 

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