Things You Should Know Marrying A Thai Bride
Marriage is a life-long commitment, and a big responsibility. Along with marriage come considerations like, starting a family, having kids, financing all of those, and future-planning – a perfect financial topic to be covered on the Asianwealth
I recently got married. I’m from Singapore, and she’s from Thailand – both from Asia. Thus, I’d like to give you an insight on some things you need to know especially if you’re considering to marry someone you recently met, who hails from Thailand. The purpose is not to prejudice anything, but to better prepare you for your possible union.
First and foremost, Thai women are loyal, great at taking care of you, know how to treat you and nurse your sense of masculinity. Unlike women from the major business cities, like Hong Kong, Singapore, or New York, Thai women have somehow nicked that intricate matrix of being street-smart, savvy of how to carry themselves in situations which require displays of authority, and yet in a relationship, are able be excellent soulmates and partners – not leaving their spouses feeling emasculated. Regardless if your Thai bride hails from the culturally-rich and relaxed cool altitudes of Chiangm Mai, or from the bustling city of Bangkok, Thai women are generally pious and know their place at the family table – even the sultry sexy vixen who makes a living from tips at the go-go bar.
However, it's the filial piety and close-knit ties among Thai family and friends that is a double-edged sword that you can’t allow to be wielded too freely as it could break the bank as a consequence. Thais, women especially, are highly emphatic, look out for one another, and would hold back nothing for the well-being of their kin – even if someone dear offended the law, and racked up a hefty bill or bail cost. Furthermore, illness and injury healthcare are ludicrously expensive services in a place where Botox and dental surgery cost a fraction of what most developed cities would charge. Unfortunately, most middle-aged and elderly in Thailand are rather ignorant of the benefits of buying health and life insurance. Consequently, you could be picking up quite hefty tabs – and sometimes unknowingly, should you entrust your spouse a supplementary credit card or cheque book. Owing to their charitable nature, they’d often not expect anything in return.
To a smaller extent of importance, you must also be aware that Thai women are largely penny-wise and pound foolish – careful to help you minimize your grocery bill and day-to-day expenditures, but if left in charge of household payments, would gleefully default the annual motor insurance premium, and leave you fretting in paying for repair of the broken windshield by the flying loose rock on the expressway plus a higher next-premium.
Then, elder Thai siblings also take it upon themselves to care and provide for their parents and younger siblings. If your prospective wife is the among the eldest in the family, and her parents are retired or semi-retired, she often has the highest expenditures, and the least in her bank account.
For the above reasons, many capable Thai women are still asset-poor. While that isn’t a major problem, you don’t want to same noble plight to rub off on you.
Below are a few tips that will help you form your reins on your relationship, and help you make the most of your life with the beautiful, lovely Thai women, without running an open tap on your finances.
* Keep a Secret Bank Account : As much as it is preached that wed couples should be thoroughly honest, it is much easier to keep a secret stash than to argue on what money can and cannot be touched.
* Put Stricter Daily Withdrawal Limits on Her Cards : You might need to call or visit the bank for this.
* Dual-Signatories for Joint-Account Cheque books (If you can’t avoid issuing her one, and having a joint-account in the first place) : So you can have the final say on every cheque book spend.
* Find More Ways to Invest (your salary, and even hers) : Thais can appreciate the importance of prudent investing. Seek the help of your private banker or wealth planner in diversifying your spare cash and monthly excesses into equities, land, and dollar-cost average schemes – or simply buy more property.
* Buy Gold : Many Thais are educated from young to buy gold whenever they have spare cash, and that it is better buy gold and pawn it, than to not buy it at all. The long-term uptrend in gold will more than cover your monthly interest to the pawnshop. They know very well of the losses made in liquidating gold, so they are unlikely to argue to do so.
* Keep Mum About Additional Income Streams : Self-explanatory.
Sometimes, as much as you would rather not pick up her friends’ or relatives’ tabs, but ultimately see the need to (and it’s within your financial ability to):
* Harp and Exaggerate – about every cost and how they have made it difficult for you to normally make ends meet. It serves to live and dine unusually frugally for a week or two just to further (act to) prove the point. They hate to see their spouses
suffer hardship and will feel bad.
* Firmly Say “It’s The Last Time!” – Express displeasure and finality in offering financial aid. They are intimidated by firm tones and like to preserve status quo.
While these tips may contravene your morals and ethics, do recognise the importance of continual wealth to ensure long-term happiness of you, your spouse, and future family.
With all that put into regular practice, your wife will pick up good financial habits, an understanding of what constitutes reasonable expenditure and what doesn’t, then you may decide to cut some slack on these recommendations, one at a time. Always remember principles of sustainable usage.
The idea of maintaining a secret stash is important, I reckon. Poorer Thais – who make up the bulk of Thai wives of Western men – are generally very bad with money and financial planning and I believe you're wise to keep gold of the purse strings. On top of that, I simply would not reveal how much gold is hidden under the bed. There is a real "got it, spend it today mentality" which is very hard to manage. It's easier just to make out that there is not enough in the kitty as a means of reigning her spending in…