What's a good allowance for gf/wife in HCM?

What's a good allowance per week to give to live in girlfriend/wife?  The allowance needs to cover groceries(three adults and one baby), some money for her to sock away and miscellaneous/whatever money.  Rent and home expenses covered by me.  We're staying in one of the expensive expat areas so I believe the local grocery store is charging much more than the average.

I'm guessing 200 usd per week should be more than enough?

why are you asking?  It is your money, up to you.  You will get very different responses here, but you need to decide what you are comfortable with.  You need to understand the economics of vietnam before you start giving out cash.  If you let her and her family dictate it, you most likely will become an ATM.  You need to think really hard about what your getting yourself into mate.

FYI - do you realize that the average monthly income of a Vietnamese citizen is approx. $275 to $300 USD?

why are you asking?  It is your money, up to you.  You will get very different responses here, but you need to decide what you are comfortable with.  You need to understand the economics of vietnam before you start giving out cash.  If you let her and her family dictate it, you most likely will become an ATM.  You need to think really hard about what your getting yourself into mate.

FYI - do you realize that the average monthly income of a Vietnamese citizen is approx. $275 to $300 USD?

Would it not be feasible for 'you' to work out what the living costs are there along with other costs first as Vndreamer has clearly mentioned ?
This would give you some idea of expenditure and you can work out from that .. some simple calculations can give you a rough estimate...

Good Luck and hope you come to a sensible decision..  :top:

:cool:

We don't live in Saigon so it's cheaper expenses. My wife and 2 babies we spend about $17 million dongs/mth. She owns her own house so no rent paid. $3 million dongs we give her mom monthly.
My wife and I we rarely go shopping for clothes or dine out. We don't even take vacations. I think it's because I eat lots of meat and beef. My standard of living is a bit hiigh compared to local Vietnamese.

$0 allowance.

Tell her to find a job for her fun and socking away money.

Sheesh....

Zepo :

$0 allowance.

Tell her to find a job for her fun and socking away money.

Sheesh....

Chinh Xac!!!!!!

Doing the research is why I'm asking.  I wish it was easy as googling annual income divide by 12.

jazzy851 :

why are you asking?  It is your money, up to you.  You will get very different responses here, but you need to decide what you are comfortable with.  You need to understand the economics of vietnam before you start giving out cash.  If you let her and her family dictate it, you most likely will become an ATM.  You need to think really hard about what your getting yourself into mate.

FYI - do you realize that the average monthly income of a Vietnamese citizen is approx. $275 to $300 USD?

Would it not be feasible for 'you' to work out what the living costs are there along with other costs first as Vndreamer has clearly mentioned ?
This would give you some idea of expenditure and you can work out from that .. some simple calculations can give you a rough estimate...

Good Luck and hope you come to a sensible decision..  :top:

:cool:

Thanks mate. Yeah, I put a budget together based on our current spending habits. Was curious to see what some others might be doing.

Zepo :

$0 allowance.

Tell her to find a job for her fun and socking away money.

Sheesh....

I don't think the OP actually meant allowance as spending money. Based on his original post, he was talking about housekeeping money. The $200 is to cover weekly grocery and household supply for 3 adults and one child, plus a bit of a mad money for his wife to keep (which is a universally understanding that every woman should have, just in case.)

Ciambella :
Zepo :

$0 allowance.

Tell her to find a job for her fun and socking away money.

Sheesh....

I don't think the OP actually meant allowance as personal pocket money. Based on his original post, he was talking about housekeeping money. The $200 is to cover weekly grocery for 3 adults and one child, plus incidentals, and a bit of a mad money for his wife (which every woman should have, just in case.)

some money for her to sock away and miscellaneous/whatever money.

Read it again...

I read and understood it the first time:

"The allowance needs to cover groceries (three adults and one baby), some money for her to sock away and miscellaneous/whatever money.

I understood exactly what the OP meant to say: $200 for groceries for 3 adults and one child, household supply, and incidentals that come up in the course of daily living ("miscellaneous/whatever money"). The "some money for her to sock away" is only one part of the sentence.

khanh44 :

We don't live in Saigon so it's cheaper expenses. My wife and 2 babies we spend about $17 million dongs/mth. She owns her own house so no rent paid. $3 million dongs we give her mom monthly.
My wife and I we rarely go shopping for clothes or dine out. We don't even take vacations. I think it's because I eat lots of meat and beef. My standard of living is a bit hiigh compared to local Vietnamese.

Thank you 👍👍👍👍👍👍

We've been spending somewhere around the same.

Considering that we are staying in an expat area it's not hard to do. The mall nearby sells goods with pricing seemingly in line with what would be seen in USA or U.K.  Hence higher living expenses.

Ciambella :

I read and understood it the first time:

"The allowance needs to cover groceries (three adults and one baby), some money for her to sock away and miscellaneous/whatever money.

I understood exactly what the OP meant to say: $200 for groceries for 3 adults and one child, household supply, and incidentals that come up in the course of daily living ("miscellaneous/whatever money"). The "some money for her to sock away" is only one part of the sentence.

That's correct ciambella.

I guess I could have worded the op better.

I interpreted it fine. He's got a baby ffs.

I used to make 4 big square on a big whiteboard. Can't remember exactly what they were something like household, food, healthcare and miscellaneous.

Everyday me and my wife wrote how much we spent. Just the numbers in the appropriate general category. Don't get specific. Easy to argue and lay blame.

We tried it for a few months to see where we're spending a lot. Turns out health care and food were the most. The bulk of healthcare was on transportation about $600k dong each time from Bien Hoa to Saigon for our babies shots and when they get sick.

NCollins -- Everyone's idea on household expenses is different from everyone else's. All that matters is that you don't have any problem spending $200/wk on housekeeping expenses on top of the rent and other household cost. It's a healthy budget if home cooking is the norm in your household.

I could do (and have done) for a lot less for two adults living in Q7, but I'm much older than you and your wife/gf. It's different for younger people, especially ones with a baby to dote on.

Ciambella :

NCollins -- Everyone's idea on household expenses is different from everyone else's. All that matters is that you don't have any problem spending $200/wk on housekeeping expenses on top of the rent and other household cost. It's a healthy budget if home cooking is the norm in your household.

I could do (and have done) for a lot less for two adults living in Q7, but I'm much older than you and your wife/gf. It's different for younger people, especially ones with a baby to dote on.

Totally understand that we all have different ideas of what's a lot of money and what's not.

But there's probably some dollar amount that we could probably agree on that would provide for a comfortable(not extravagant) lifestyle. 

You state 200/wk is a healthy budget.  Helpful piece of information.  Thanks.

Also, we often look at per capita income.  The idea that the per capita is 300/month doesn't really mean much.  Is it not the case that the average person living off of 300/month is probably living in poverty? 

From the responses I've seen, it seems a gf/wife on a budget of 100/wk could very well cover groceries, baby needs(diapers, etc), small savings, incidental costs, etc...

I could start looking at receipts and logging all spends but was hoping to avoid this approach....quite tedious.  But it may turn out that that's exactly what I'll need to do. 

I'm wondering if that small savings is not so small.  Grandma back in the province building up a nice stash I bet :-D

Unless your wife/gf is a spendthrift, her mad money should be a pretty good sum eventually with that weekly housekeeping budget. However, $100 for THREE adults and one baby might be tight (not severely tight, but would need careful planning). Is she a good planner when it comes to spending? Most Vietnamese women are.

It makes a huge difference where your wife shops and how she cooks.
You said D7. If she goes to Cho Tan My outdoor market and cooks Vietnamese, food costs should be less than $300/month based on my in-laws family.
If only shopping at Giant, the Hong Kong supermarket for expats in the basement of Crescent Mall, and cooking American food, double it at least.

Surely it would be easier to give her a credit card linked to your bank by direct debit so she can buy things as she needs them.
Problem solved. :D

Very true, Gobot.

I spent ≈$150/m on food (cooking at home -- Vietnamese and Italian food) for two adults without feeling constrained, but I've always thought my low budget was due to my frugality.

Who's the third adult?

girlfriend/wife

Haha...took me a minute..but I got it. :)

Zepo :

Who's the third adult?

Nanny

Fred :

Surely it would be easier to give her a credit card linked to your bank by direct debit so she can buy things as she needs them.
Problem solved. :D

I like it.

Ciambella :

Is she a good planner when it comes to spending? Most Vietnamese women are.

Doesn't seem to be the case in my situation.

Fred :

Surely it would be easier to give her a credit card linked to your bank by direct debit so she can buy things as she needs them.
Problem solved. :D

that's what I do sort of for my wife. I do a direct visa transfer from my Canadian bank account to my wife's Vietnamese bank account. She takes what she needs.

ncollins10021 :
Zepo :

Who's the third adult?

Nanny

What the hell? Doesn't work for her own money and needs a nanny?

Quit thinking with the little head dude, use the big one.

Zep--

I brought a nanny from my homeland once; 60 years old, missing few teeths and rest black ugly. It was 2 weeks before my wife was about to give birth. Her mom is 70 years old and can barely cook or do the house cleaning.

On the first day her mom goes crazy. Interrogates the nanny where she's been. Insinuates she's sleeping with my wife's dad. Than noon my wife's mom slaps her husband. My wife comes home from pregnancy check up doesn't know what's going on. Her mom blames my wife for improperly child rearing our 1 year old daughter. My wife loses it and her mom kicks her out of the house.

Come evening her mom is at it again. This time more physical and knocks her husband to the ground. My daughter is screaming. Her husband was about to punch his wife back. I go to the front of the house to see what the commotion is about. Take my wife and daughter to the back of the house. Her mom follows us and grabs a knife in front of my daughter. Brother-in-law grabs it out of her hand. She grabs 2 plastic red chair in each hand. I take my wife over to brother-in-laws house. Next day we moved out.

Lesson learned. Vietnamese women get jealous easily. I thought I had to worry about my wife getting jealous didn't think about her mom.

sorry getting off topic but when I think back to nanny that incident makes me laugh.

Nanny?  Not even in the realm of even a thought in our household.  Good luck to you because as Khanh said, Vietnamese women are very jealous, even if it is not true, the possibilities are enough so my advice, get rid of the nanny for your sanity.  :)

Gobot "It makes a huge difference where your wife shops and how she cooks.
You said D7. If she goes to Cho Tan My outdoor market and cooks Vietnamese, food costs should be less than $300/month based on my in-laws family.
If only shopping at Giant, the Hong Kong supermarket for expats in the basement of Crescent Mall, and cooking American food, double it at least."

That is my exact point.  The OP should at least have this information in knowing that he does not have to spend $100 a week on food.  Lucky for me, my wife is the former, not the other.  Based on my experiences, there is no need to spend money on food or clothing at USD comparative prices unless you have money to burn.  Besides, my wife would kill me if I did that.  She keeps me in line like a good wife. :)

vndreamer :

Vietnamese women are very jealous, even if it is not true, the possibilities are enough so my advice, get rid of the nanny for your sanity.  :)

Heh...so true.

Fred :

Surely it would be easier to give her a credit card linked to your bank by direct debit so she can buy things as she needs them.

ncollins10021 :

I like it.

Local markets do not take credit cards. And if you transfer money to her bank (as Khanh does with his household budget) so she can withdraw cash as needed, you're still faced with the problem of knowing how much is enough.

yeah this Visa Direct program is new I think. You need a visa/debit card from Vietcombank. Don't know if other banks are in this program.  Flat fee I think $4.95 if under $1000 transfered and $9.95 for between $1001 to $2500. They hit you on the exchange rate as they convert all transfers to Dong but it's still cheaper than having someone deliver your money or a bank wire transfer.

And it's fast. You get the money in half an hour.

Fred :

Surely it would be easier to give her a credit card linked to your bank by direct debit so she can buy things as she needs them.
Problem solved. :D

😆😆😆 Great idea Fred,

Yogi nearly choked on his Muesli when he read that......

The last time I checked......women buy things they LIKE , but don't need.

I agree, if he follows Fred's advice, the poor man will be broke before he even realizes it.  What I did.  I did all the grocery shopping, paid the bills etc. so  I know what the average is per month, then based on that, i permitted that amount each month.  It is up to her to determine if she spends more or less.  If she spends more, she gets less next month.  If she spends less, she can spend more the next month or do whatever she wants with the excess.  :)

Yogi007 :
Fred :

Surely it would be easier to give her a credit card linked to your bank by direct debit

Yogi nearly choked on his Muesli when he read that......
.

My work here is done. :D

Good idea VN dreamer,

You've done a "recon" mission to assess the potential damage and implemented an action plan to keep the carnage to a manageable level.

But I do think Fred would have a few more ladies approve of his method.
The collateral benefits are probably coming his way.😆😆

khanh44 :

...
...
long crazy story, can't keep track of all the females and weapons ...
...
...

An expat can make a lot of trouble when he throws a wrench in the works.  :o
If you could only hire some actors and make a video about that story, it would viral.

Yogi007 :

The collateral benefits are probably coming his way.😆😆

My wife would serve me sausage for dinner if I took any external benefits.

Fred :
Yogi007 :

The collateral benefits are probably coming his way.😆😆

My wife would serve me sausage for dinner if I took any external benefits.

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I cannot stop laughing, I hope someday we can get coffee.  You in VN?

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