updated 6 Jan 2012, 15:32
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Wed, Dec 01, 2010
The New Paper
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Making room for baby
by Kwok Kar Peng

AFEW months after Cavin Soh and his wife found out that their first child was on the way, she was fired from her sales job.

Now, the local actor has to pay two car loan instalments costing $1,300 a month.

On top of that, he is also saving for the arrival of their baby boy in March.

His wife, Ms Serena Yang, started her job in June and her last day of service is tomorrow.

The couple found out about the pregnancy in July.

Said Soh, 40: "Her employer told her to buy a car when she started the job. Ironically, she got the car but lost the job."

He has four more years of payments on his car and five years on his wife's.

The actor, who has appeared in Channel 8 dramas like Love Blossoms, Your Hand In Mine and Mrs PI, which is currently showing, said he earns a four-figure sum monthly. Most of that goes into household expenses and his parents' allowance.

Soh said he can still put 10 per cent of his salary into savings, although he would like to raise that to 25 per cent.

No second income

He admitted it is tough to increase his income: "I can't go knocking on my boss' door to ask for more dramas. It's also up to the clients whether they want me to appear at their events or endorse their products."

But, he added, he's working with a friend to set up a business and that may bear fruit next year.

For now, the couple have stopped taking short holidays, which they used to do twice a year.

Soh revealed he has set aside $15,000 for hospital charges when the baby arrives and has a five-figure sum saved for a rainy day.

The couple have also done some financial planning - they intend to invest in a $200 a month life policy plan for their son. When he reaches the age of 21, it will give him a payout of $50,400.

Soh added: "I will be 61 and have collected a six-figure sum from my savings policies by then.

"My wife and I will then travel the world."

Soh, who was once with local music group Dreamz FM,said he doesn't fret about money.

He described a video he saw on YouTube where an impoverished family shared a meagre meal of leftovers that the father had picked up from rubbish bins.

What could be harder than that, he asked.

His easy-going attitude towards money was a result of a particularly tough period in 1997.

He said he had just started out as a singer then and was performing at music lounges.

"I had only around $200 a month to spend. I ate my meals at home (to save money). Times were quite bad and it went on for two years,"Soh said.

Things improved when he signed on with his current management company as an actor.

"My finances are okay. I just won't be able to be as extravagant as before. Now, I have to think about my budget before I buy something," he said.

His most expensive purchase is a $7,000 IWC watch bought in 2004. He said it was to reward himself after his tough early showbiz days.

Soh, who loves golf, recently got himself new golf irons for $1,050.

He paid $2,400 for a six-year membership at the National Service Resort & Country Club. Subscription fees are $26 a month and each game of golf costs $36.

If he's not working, he plays up to three games a week.

He added: "My belief is, you come into this world empty-handed, you'll leave the world the same way. I can have fancy sushi today, but if I lose everything tomorrow and have to eat only bread, I'm okay with it too."


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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