Spell Saab

Domestic Dispute 4: Marriage And Money

August 15, 2016 6 Comments

SAAB: This is—

JIM: Move into the country…

Of course

…gonna eat a lot of peaches

Alright, welcome to the 4th episode of Domestic Dispute. It’s been a long time, I’m so sorry we haven’t updated but you know… Life happens. What a bad excuse. If we really want to do this we should keep making it.


Yeah? Alright. Okay, updates! What’s been happening with you, Jim?

I wrote some songs for Papa P


So we’re on our way, actually, to record Piolo’s album

Yeah I’m so excited for that

And Cheats is recording our second album


The songs are done na but we’re recording pa. And then Linya-Linya just opened another store!


This is in Glorietta

You guys are doing really well!

Yeah, we’re gonna open a new one in Gateway


And then Trinoma

Yaaay! So excited for you


Well, I have some stuff coming up but I can’t talk about it yet.

*Sarcastically* GREAT

YEAH. But I’m so excited to share with you guys. I’ve tweeted about it so it’s not a secret anymore but Jim and I are opening a cafe/library along White Plains and we’re really really happy. So excited for it. We’re doing it with our friends Paolo and Kristia. If you remember them from my blog from a loooong time ago. We’ve been friends for a long time and we’re finally doing this. So excited. We’re looking for baristas and actually even line cooks so if you guys are interested, you can just send your resumés to cupfictionph@gmail.com.


Sorry about that.

Okay, here—

Wait, I have a topic na!

Ah okay, I had something

Maybe later!

Yeah, mine’s gonna be bad

Okay haha but as promised 3 WEEKS AGO I said I would record this and finally we are! We are gonna be talking about a requested topic which is about handling money for married couples.


Are you excited?

Not really

Hahaha. Okay, I’ve got a few questions here but do you wanna do an intro about it?

I guess when we did a couple thing, a couple-orientation thing, what’s it called… Discovery Weekend!

Discovery Weekend! That’s a pre-cana seminar that’s required before a marriage, by the way.

I think for most of the couples there, the hardest part they had to deal with during the seminar was talking about money. I think what was different with me and Saab was we would talk about money. We were very open but I guess it’s a common problem among couples. So yeah


Pero for us, it was never a problem because hindi naman kami maarte, hindi rin kami maluho. Cos usually the problem is one partner is—

Or both!

Or both. Magastos, burara. Yung sa amin naman now, actually if there is any challenge it’s just really the system of how we will record it, how we will prepare for each month

Keeping track of it


And just to give you a backgrounder: we actually opened a joint account before we got married but that was after our engagement na

We did na pala!

Yeah, we did! I would recommend it for couples who are like a HUNDRED percent sure of each other

Boyfriend girlfriend pa tayo?

Engaged na tayo

That’s when we opened it?

Yeah cos the sole purpose was to make it our wedding fund

Yeah yeah

So it makes sense that we put money there just for the wedding muna. So I guess that’s safe? If I would recommend it, it’s safe because if – God forbid – your wedding doesn’t happen, at least the funds in your joint account (were) just supposed to be for your wedding.

Yeah actually I think, especially with the joint account I would suggest na if you ever do get a joint account with a girlfriend of bf na hindi pa kayo engaged, or kahit engaged: don’t have an ATM for that account. Everything has to be by check.

Ahh, that’s good. That’s not what we did but hahaha

Oh fuck I missed the exit


Paano to

Oh no we’re on the highway, about to exit to Sucat.. Hmm.. Bawal ba to?


Alright then, we’ll just go another way because we are law-abiding citizens. ANYWAY, umm..

Paano to?

Hold on, I’ll pause this? Yeah I’ll pause this. Cos we might say some bad words. Hehehee


Alright, we found our way. Kay. Alright, what were we talking about?

Don’t use an ATM because I’ve had friends na they were living together or boyfriend girlfriend they had a joint account they would spend spend spend and then when they’d break up syempre it would be such a hard paper trail na parang “hindi eh, ito yung ginastos mo, ito yung ginastos ko, dapat ganito” so no one wins. But if everything is done through checks, and you’re able to monitor it, then good.

Okay, that’s a good tip. Also, kami ni Jim we have our separate accounts also for our allowance


Ay sorry i-off ko lang tong si Waze kasi ang ingay niya. Okay, game. so we have separate bank accounts for our allowance and we just allot what’s real, meaning we don’t deprive ourselves it’s really based on our spending it’s not exactly equal amounts kasi siyempre mas marami akong gastos as a girl like with grooming and stuff. Hehe. So let’s move on to the questions! Do you think it’s necessary to disclose all your purchases to each other?

Yes. I think aside from saying don’t get an atm, get a separate account, I think before that – I think the most inmportant thing is to have the alk. All decisions after the talk will be smooth na. For example your question is “should we talk about purchases?” that will depend on when you guys talk

And what does this talk…… talk about? LABO


Hahahaha I mean what do you tackle in this talk?

Well you guys talk about your values, what are your priorities

What are your plans, and tama, your priorities like are you saving up for a house or a car?

Yeah so once you’ve set your priorities straight and you agree na “okay ganito tayo” then it’s easier to say yes or no. Well, commercial break…

Sorry, Jim just paid the toll.

I have a question, we’re still in the finance thing pero… Do you think women will ever experience the pain – Ay hindi, talo ako agad – of having your balls hit? Or natapik? Diba? Sure talo ako?

You wanna talk about pain??

Nasan ba? (we’re lost in Alabang FYI)

You know our boobs are very tender?

Ito nanaman tayo

Ito nanaman tayo sa boobs. Tama na yung boobs, Diyos ko. Okay, can we go back?? Cos THAT WAS RANDOM. OH MY GOD ANG INGAY NG ROAD. We should get a studio haha. Once again, we were talking about disclosing purchases to your partner.

So after the talk

Talking about your priorities, setting the record straight about what you both are saving up for and then what you are individually saving up for aside from the big goal like a condo or whatever or your child’s tuition fee. You can have your smaller individual goals like “this month I want a pair of shoes” or…

Yeah cos once you set na your values, like “Okay, I’m only 25 and I wanna stock up on fashion chorva” tas ako kunwari, “Yeah, I’m 25 I wanna buy guitars and spend my money a lot.”

I think that’s fine!

So therefore whenever you guys talk, “okay ito ginastos ko – bumili akong guitar worth 100k” then at least walang rason na magagalit kasi “o, nagkausapan tayo eh na magiging gastador tayo in our 25-28 age.” Tapos when you hit 28-30 you talk again na parang “hey let’s save up na for a house” therefore once you have that talk, it’s easier to say “hey why did you buy a guitar worth 100k if we’re saving up for a car or a house?”

Yeah ok tama ka naman doon pero talking about priorities like kunwari di niyo naman talaga number one priority ang house, you’re just looking really far into the future I think it’s
fine to put aside at the very least 2k a month. That’ll go into your house fund when you’re ready to put a bigger amount when youre earning more na and putting aside money for that bigger goal.


I think it’s nice lang to have a big goal na kaagad even if you’re 25 or whatever para you’re setting aside for that. Yeah? Do you agree?


Also, realistically speaking I would recommend having a talk at least once a month kasi you can talk like “ano, kaya pa ba?” Haha

Yeah it’s more of an update. Like you have the talk, “okay, we’re gonna buy a house. Let’ be diligent let’s be disciplined.” Every week, yun yung sinasabi mo diba na every week, “kamusta how are we?” tapos sasabihin ko “babe, SHIT, I bought a 50k piano”

I would recommend, “well I don’t want you to take from the house fund so can you please not eat out for the rest of the month?” Right? Mga ganung compromise.

Oo, I think that’s the keyword. I think that weekly meeting will be for setting up the level of compromise for whatever decisions you guys will make. Okay, next question!

And in all fairness to Jim, and I would recommend this to other couples: if one of you is more of an expert when it comes to money don’t put down your partner na parang alam mo na lahat alam mo na kung ano yung stocks, mga investment kasi ako wala akong alam sa ganyan. Si Jim may alam sa mga ganyan but he didn’t tell me like, “wala kang alam dito so wag ka nalang makialam” he explained it to me he made me a part of it because he wanted me to understand where our money is going

Actually yung struggle nga dun was that you grew up na your mom had that role, diba? So you kept trying to emulate that role like being the monmmy pia of our family tapos ako naman I was trying to be like how my dad was and so nagbabangga yung expectations natin until we finally talked, that’s when the constant bickering and struggle ended.


Tama yung point mo na you shouldn’t put down your partner. Aside from that, if your partner says “ok i wanna try being the finance head or whatever…”

The budget master!

Even though you’re more experienced like kunwari ako, I did have more experience regarding those things but parang i guess it’s just like anything else in a relationship, you let your partner try it out. You don’t close the door on his or her potential growth as a person

Wooooow tarayyyyyyyyyy

Tarayyyyyyyy. *quotes Clueless I DON’T KNOW WHY HAHAHA* “You could be farmer in those clooooothes”

Hahaha labo! Let’s be honest, I think money is really a subject that couples tiptoe around and I will admit that jim and I would fight when we’d have budget meetings.



You should always eat before the budget meeting

Yeah don’t be gutom

Make it a date. Get wine, get food. Wag kayong gutom, wag niyo isingit sa schedule niyo. Make it a—

Make it a fun thing!

Actually yung sa calendar nga namin—WHERE ARE WE?


Bat tayo nasa Alabang Hills??

*minutes later*

Okay, we’ve found our way again. We were talking about our budget meetings. So yeah we would fight but THANK THE LORD we weren’t fighting about like “OH MY GOD GINASTOS MO YUNG PERA NA PARA SA GAMOT!!” mga ganon. Thank God. Ang pinag-aawayan namin was honestly my insecurity na parang “ohmygosh are you saying I don’t know what I’m doing??” You know, it’s very hard for me as an independent woman na honestly wala naman talaga akong alam sa budgeting I would just earn money and then just use that money.

The fuck? Saan tayo dapat?


So I’ll just check my bank account tapos “uy may pera pa ako!” and then go. Thankfully hindi naman ako nagka-problem so that was my thinking with money which was not the best. So when Jim came into the picture and siya yung may mas alam on how to handle medyo nangarag ako na parang “why are you telling me what to do?” ganun. So we would argue especially pag gutom hahaha


And in fairness we would resolve it and finally after all these trials and errors I’ve learned to not see everything as an attack, I’m no longer psycho mode.. Hehehehe.




I just embrace learning what to do and I must say an app saved my life. Hahaha. Para akong nagbebenta

Oh noooo kasi ako Microsoft Excel ako eh

Yeah Excel si Jim and I’m just like I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS FUCKING WORKS you know??? So I looked for an app. I’ve tried them all, mga Expense Manager, mga ganyan. And the best app I think is You Need A budget. It’s on your phone but it also has a desktop version where you actually conrrol your budget and I’ve learned to put aside money. To put them in metaphorical envelopes (pronounced uhnvelopes)

UHN-velopes o envelopes?

It’s uhnvelopes

Ganon ba talaga?

Well yun yung turo sakin ng teacher ko. Hahahaa. It is!!


It’s *speaking with a French accent* UNGVEHLOWP charot hahaha

Never mo kaya sinasabi yun! Like, “babe paabot naman ng uhnvelope”

No that’s cos we’re not recording that but we’re recording THIS. So…. ANYHOO


What are the other questions? WE’RE NEAR PIOLO. We’re near Piolo na. Okay, how do you divide your bills and savings? From what we earn, we pool all our savings into our joint account and then get our allowance from that.

But the most important thing that we’ve been trying to follow is whenever you have income, the first thing you do is you deduct savings. Uunahin mo siya. As opposed to: you earn money and then you spend on food and gas or whatever tapos the end will be your savings. No. What we’ve been doing is we earn money and then the first thing we do is we set aside a certain percentage – that’ll depend on you. Kumbaga the money minus the investment tapos pwede na natin gastusin yun cos we were able to save na.

That’s your NET spending money. Uyyy gusto mo yun? Alam ko na yung net.


Another question is who does the budgeting? I DO! Cos I learned

And she does it well

Thanks, honey

With her uhnvelopes

With my UNG-VEHLOPWZ charot “How do you save with your kind of lifestyle? How do you budget and still have the capacity to buy your wants? Lelz.” Ako kasi I’ve always had this thinking na—


Okay, we’re recording a podcast so maybe…

Ito ba yun?? Hindi noh?



ANYWAY — What I’ve always believed is that God will provide. But of course hindi pwedeng wala ka nang gagawin. Kunwari ako I bought a condo in 2013. I was thinking ALRIGHT LET’S DO THIS LET’S GO. I was 25 or something. I bought the condo so I have a home loan and in fairness what that loan has done to me is that it motivates me to keep working and to keep earning because for me to be able to keep doing stuff that I like and same with Jim diba we will have to pay off our debts first.

I think aside from “God will provide” kasi if you’re not religious or whatever I think what Saab means is like, sometimes you’ve gotta push yourself into a commitment that will force you to work harder. There are people who say “don’t have an installment plan because if you don’t have the money now then you don’t have the money.” In contrast to that, I think that’s what Saab is trying to say is…

Make that money.

Yeah, if you really do believe that it’s something worth investing in then you could make that call.

Another thing I will not scrimp on is travel fund. Diba. Kasi… YOLO. And FYI we’re here and we’re gonna meet P-YOLO. See ya later!


Supplementary reading for couples who want to figure out how to budget together:

When you’re budgeting by yourself, the idea that a budget is simply a representation of your priorities is fairly simple; there’s only one set of priorities – your own.

In your relationship, though, there are three sets of priorities. Yes, three.

Yours. Mine. Ours.

Read more here: Join Forces by YNAB




  1. Reply


    August 16, 2016

    Wow! Just in time! 😊 My fiancé and I just finished our “wedding budget meeting” before I went to your blog and found this new post. So I had to replay it for him and we listened together.

    We can relate to your joint savings as we also started ours when we decided to get married. (Joint savings on my current account because of our expat situation here in Dubai but yes, we are 100% that we want to marry each other 😉)

    Just to share our own situation.. I do like the idea of Income=Savings-Expenses. But as an OFW, I, personally, have to secure that all my fixed expenses here are covered, as well as remittance to my family. So, only after taking those expenditures from our salaries that we allocate funds for our wedding budget. Between us two, I’m the one who records and keeps track of our “goal calculator”. Like Jim, I record everything in excel and to simplify it for him, I made this Goal Calculator which is basically: Total Wedding Costs – Total Payments Made = Balance Payable / No. of Months prior to wedding month = Target Savings per Month (makes sense?)

    I’m pretty sure that after our wedding, I’d be coming back to this episode for our next budget-and-savings goal. Thank you for sharing your views and practice about this money matters. Can’t wait for the next episode! 😊

    Novela comment, omg! Sorry! ✌🏻️✌🏻✌🏻

    • Reply


      August 23, 2016

      Thanks so much! Great insight! Good luck on your wedding plans and make sure to budget a little over your actual costs for emergencies on the day itself ;)

  2. Reply


    August 16, 2016

    Loved reading this! Ang funny nyo as usual! I’m actually afraid of budgeting for me and my partner (in the future) ‘cos I can’t even be diligent with my own spending. An important thing I learned though is to always save for Emergency Funds, I keep trying (and failing) cos I always get tempted when I see how it’s growing. Somehow I begin justifying my late night cravings as an emergency cos I’ll go crazy if I don’t eat this or that hehe. I love how you’re both really involved in this, some guys would just leave it all to the girls haha. XD

    • Reply


      August 23, 2016

      Girl, I feel ya. WALA AKONG ALAM SA BUDGETING DATI. But look at me now, I’m in charge of our home budget!! Hehehe. I like feeling responsible :p

  3. Reply


    August 16, 2016

    Ooops! I meant “Income – Savings = Expenses”

  4. Reply

    Pearly Jane

    August 16, 2016

    I really learn a lot of things listen to you two, even though I’m not married. Hihi still have to adopt this formula: Earnings – Savings = Expenses. Need. to. discipline. self. ASAP. Haha