2023 Financial Review – Career Break, Family and Travels

2023 can be considered the year of change for our family. Apart from taking a career break, our family had a little surprise. Our little family of 2 grew to a family of 3. It was a bittersweet year as we were hit with a double whammy of increased expenses and reduced income, but we came out stronger and happier. During the chaos of parenting, we also managed to take a long overdue trip overseas with our little peanut. This no doubt, put a little dent on our finances.

This is what we did with our money, and how we end off the year.



We had a loss of income (dual income to single income), which resulted in a huge impact on our finances. It is not easy being a single-income household in Singapore, and we really salute those who managed to do so. A lot of budgeting and planning is required to ensure you do not blow up your bank account (and many of you probably know a grocery run is REALLY expensive).

Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) + Fixed Deposits (FD)

With the little one, we hardly had time to manage our finances. An easy way out we did was to lock in our money in Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) (check out our SSB guide here) and Fixed Deposits (FD). This way, it took a lot of brain work out as we focus on maneuvering parenthood, but still ensuring that our money is still generating some income.

It also helps that the yield for the SSB in 2023 was pretty great, with the Nov 2023 issue offering the 2nd highest returns in SSB history with 3.32% in average returns.

Fixed Deposits (FD) rates in 2023 were also pretty good, and we managed to score some FDs with returns as high as 4.08%. This allows our spare cash to generate more income than the miserable 0.05% returns if we were to keep them in the bank account untouched.


No loss no gain as we stayed out of it. Peace.


Birth of Little Peanut

We took a private gynae route for the birth and delivery of our little peanut. While we budgeted carefully based on many online resources, an unforeseen circumstance blew through our budget quickly. We also had to cater for a separate budget for expenses such as daily necessities, healthcare, toys, and more.

Furniture and Appliances

Seems like many furniture and appliances in Singapore are designed to last for 5 years. We had many of our appliances broken down right after the 5-year mark and we had to scramble to replace them. At the same time, we also brought a lot more furniture and appliances to make the household chores a lot more streamlined so we have more time for our little peanut.


While we envision adventurous outdoor hiking trips, impromptu getaways, and travels to the lesser known places, things changed quickly. We wanted to bring our little peanut wherever we went and we decided to splurge on a good family-friendly hotel on our family trip to make sure we were all comfortable during the overseas stay. Usually, if it’s the two of us, we tend to spend a lot less on hotels as we are usually out and about.

Increase in Home Loan Interest

Like many people, we managed to get a good fixed interest rate during the Covid period for our home loan. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. We were not spared from the high-interest environment and we decided to take a wait-it-out method as we did not want to be locked in on our loan. Our home loan interest almost doubled and we saw a substantial increase in our monthly payment.

How Did We Fare?

Unfortunately, this is the first year since graduation that we have not been able to save. Instead, we had a negative balance to end off the year.

We had a lot of unexpected expenses that blew up our emergency funds faster than we thought. We had to dig into our savings to cover the extra expenses and we are extremely lucky that we still have a bit of savings stashed. Though we probably have to think of ways to replace the funds used from our savings and do better budgeting for 2024.

Moving Forward

In 2024, we hope that we will have more time to research about dividend investing, learn about the new digital banks in Singapore, and explore robo advisors in Singapore. Hopefully, we will be able to create a better passive income stream so we can focus more on family.

All in all, 2023 was a pretty good year.

Last Updated: 12 Jan 2024

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