My wife and I stick to 10 years of simple life so we can be financially comfortable later

By An Nhien    July 2, 2023 | 07:34 pm PT
We could afford to spend more money, but my wife and I agreed to only send our children to public schools, not to travel much, and only eat at a big restaurant once a year.

We got married when we were 25 years old.

Let me tell you about how we have kept a simple lifestyle over the past 10 years in order to be financially stable now.

We live with my parents, so we did not have to buy a house and could afford to spend more on other things, but we quickly made a financial plan after marriage and tried to stick with it.

My children attended a public kindergarten and a public elementary school near our home. I sent them to extra classes at an English center. I tutored them myself in the evening. My children are not as good at English as many friends at private schools, but I did not set too much expectation. I just encouraged them to be confident, self-reliant and supported them anytime I could.

We mainly ate at home. My children had fresh milk of Vietnamese brands. We went out to eat at small restaurants once a month, and to a big restaurant once a year. Both my wife and I are good cooks, so we could cook special dishes for the weekends on our own.

When my children were young, we didn't travel because it would be inconvenient. When they were older, we traveled occasionally. We bought a cheap car for that and also for work and visiting relatives. We use standard furniture, nothing fancy, and our clothes cost only a few dollars.

Our family of six spent about VND25 million (US$1,000) a month, not to mention medical care and home repairs. After more than 10 years maintaining this lifestyle, we have managed to acquire two real estate assets worth about VND6 billion (at the time of purchase), and some cash in savings.

We plan to raise the standard of living a bit and reduce the savings in the future. We can afford that now, and the whole family can enjoy a more comfortable life, spending more money on travel, clothes and eating out.

I have no regrets for living frugally over my means all this time. I think when we have stable finances, we will have a lot of time to enjoy life later. That's better than having fun first and then having a hard time. Of course, talented people can get to enjoy more. But we're a basic family, so I chose to play safe.

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