We save very little despite earning $3,700 a month

By Thu Tinh   February 21, 2024 | 11:17 pm PT
My husband’s and my combined monthly income after taxes is around VND90 million (US$3,668), but there are months when we cannot save a cent.

Both my husband and I are 29, married for seven years, and have two sons in kindergarten. As engineers, our jobs provide us with valuable family time and were not impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Every month, we allocate VND15 million to our parents, VND16 million for our children’s private school fees, and VND2 million for utilities and management fees, with the remainder for savings, other expenses, and loan repayments. As we had to pay our home loan, we normally save VND20-30 million a month, though sometimes unexpected expenses like visiting our hometowns or purchasing electronic devices depleted these savings.

Having recently paid off our VND1 billion home loan, becoming debt-free prompts me to consider better savings strategies, especially given our lack of financial expertise and our lifestyle. We enjoy dining out and leisure activities, employ a part-time maid, and are contemplating a car purchase and educational choices for our children amidst economic uncertainties.

Given our situation and the living costs in Hanoi, how can we best manage our finances for our family of four?

Advice on balancing savings, expenses, and investments in assets like a car, alongside choosing between private and public schooling, would be greatly appreciated.

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