Hi, I'm a fresh grad and just started my traineeship. Am gonna give my parents some money at the end of the month. But uh… my pay is capped at $2.5k... How much do people usually give? - Seedly
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Anonymous

Asked on 11 Sep 2020

Hi, I'm a fresh grad and just started my traineeship. Am gonna give my parents some money at the end of the month. But uh… my pay is capped at $2.5k... How much do people usually give?

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Hey Anon!

Glad that you’re excited to give your parents their monthly allowance!

💰 Based on what I’ve heard, most people usually give their parents between 10% to 20% of their take-home pay. But of course there is no hard and fast rule to this!!

There are a few ways you can do this:

1. 💵 Cash - for the ultra traditional parents “Cash is king!”

2. 💳 Bank Account Transfer - for the more tech-savvy parents

3. 💰CPF Top Ups - for the pro-CPF parents

Benefits of topping up your parents’ CPF:

  • They can earn up to 5% p.a in interest

  • You get to enjoy tax relief for every dollar you top-up. (Up to $7,000 per calendar year)

💸 But of course there are other ways to help your parents out with expenses as well!

1. 🚰 Utility Bills

  • Take over the monthly water and electricity bills

2. 📱 TV + Wifi Subscriptions & Phone bills

  • Take over the payment for your home television and wifi subscriptions

  • Take over the payment for your home phone bill, your own phone bill (if you haven’t already been paying) or their phone bills

3. ✍️ Insurance Premiums

  • Assuming your parents have been paying this for you, you could liaise with your insurance agent to arrange for ‘change in payee’.

  • You could start paying for theirs instead as well

4. 🛒 Groceries

  • Take over the monthly grocery expenses - You could even hand them a credit card optimised for grocery shopping for this to earn cashbacks and rebates

In short, there are many ways to help your parents out with expenses. The best would be to have an open conversation with them, to see what they prefer or what works best for them.

💟 If not (cues awkward traditional Asian families where there are no HTHTs), as long as your heart is in the right place (which it clearly is), I’m sure they will appreciate it!

As filial as you are, do remember to keep some for yourself! 😂 You can try out the 50-30-20 rule for a start to see how that works for you!

Congrats on your job and all the best! 👍

If anyone else has any other suggestions, please do share as well! 😌

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5 more comments

Rachelle
Rachelle

15 Sep 2020

@HC Thanks for the affirmation 👍
Question Poster

15 Sep 2020

Hi Rachelle, thanks for sharing this, will definitely consider the various options before deciding, really appreciate it! 👍
Thank You!
Can you clarify
I wonder if
This is so helpful 👍
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Hi Anon,

Congratulations on your first paycheck!

When I had my first paycheck, I remember I had that same question in my head too. How much is the right amount? What's the market rate ah? Pun intended.

Back then, I had a chat with my parents to discuss what would be a good proportion to give them. And no one's stopping you to give your parents more than what was the agreed amount when you feel like it.

Like what the rest of the SeedlyCommunity mentioned in their answers, there is no fixed answer and it depends on your own circumstances, as well as that of your parents.​​​

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Question Poster

15 Sep 2020

Hey Clara! Really appreciate you sharing your experience, will definitely take it into account before having a discussion with my parents! 👍
Thank You!
Can you clarify
I wonder if
This is so helpful 👍
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Diana

Diana

Level 4. Prodigy

Answered on 11 Sep 2020

I think it really depends on your situation and theirs. If they are comfortable and have a solid retirement plan in place, then the amount won't matter because it will be just be a gesture of love and appreciation of their efforts in raising you all these years. Secondly, you can look at your current situation, after covering essential costs such as food, transport, insurance, how much are you left with. You also have to save about 30% of your take-home to build up your savings (good to have at least 6 months of expenses in your high-interest bank), more so in times of a pandemic. After all that, if you are still left with some spare cash, then you can think about giving them to your parents. I think a general guide is 10% but really, how much you give your parents should not be a comparison game with your peers. everyone is at a different juncture of their lives.

If, on the other hand, your parents' retirement plan is not comprehensive, then perhaps, give them what they need and also help them to chart out their plan (with a trusted financial advisor) in order to let them spend their silver and golden years in relative ease.

Hope this helps! :)

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Question Poster

15 Sep 2020

Hey Diana, really appreciate you sharing your thoughts, will definitely take it into account 👍
Thank You!
Can you clarify
I wonder if
This is so helpful 👍
What about
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SW

Shaun WQ Lim

Level 8. Wizard

Answered on 11 Sep 2020

Have a discussion with your parents on this.

Let them know your situation and tell them your breakdown on how you intend to allocate your income.

Ask for their views if the allocation for their allowance is sufficient.

There is no fixed amount that you should give. Depends on situation.

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Question Poster

15 Sep 2020

Hey Shaun, thanks for this, will definitely consider speaking with them about this 👍
Thank You!
Can you clarify
I wonder if
This is so helpful 👍
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Personally I started with 20% of take home pay (got it from the poly friends I met from work).

Over the past 10+ years, I have expanded to

A) monthly allowance to my parents, + set aside a few hundred (family emergency fund + replace furniture and appliances)

B) covering the hp, star hub and cable bills

C) angpow money for CNY, Xmas, birthdays

D) their medical insurance.

Frankly, don't feel pressure. I had colleagues told me that they give 300 monthly and that is enough (frankly what I have given is many times 300, and I find my parents are like just... OK)

I would however suggest something... Within three years, you should aim an equivalent amount that you could rent out your room for (internal rent allocation). If you parents find that is too much, ask them save for your wedding or hdb down payment lol.

I suggest the equivalent rent method because you should gradually adjust to either having to pay rent or your mortgage when you eventually get married / move out. This sets a good foundation to manage your budget, and not get used to spending much more otherwise. it is very difficult to downgrade your standard of living once you get used to somethings

If you feel OK, you can look through what I have listed for myself. Personally I find the medical insurance policy part most important - you should find out if they have any, or if it needs upgrade - because you want to secure some cover before they develop some conditions after they turn 60++. Don't try to skimp on medical / hospitalization policy - if it bites, it bites damn hard.

You could discuss with them if they feel your contribution is OK. As parents, I think they would want you to still have a comfortable amount to spend / save for marriage and hdb / clear off your education loans or debts.

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Pat

Pat

Level 6. Master

Updated on 11 Sep 2020

Was in a similar pay position and what I did was take over the groceries since I still lived with them. Purchase everything online and got groceries delivered to the house. My parents won in all aspects - one less expenditure and no need to carry groceries anymore :p

but it would depend on your parents! if they like the experience of grocery shopping then I would suggest asking them whether they prefer a) cash b) card optimised for grocery cashback.

ofc this can apply to utilities bill, phone bill etc... whichever you are more comfortable with paying for it (especially if you are trying to save for a house or something) I'm sure your parents will still appreciate it :')​​​

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Question Poster

15 Sep 2020

Hey Pat, thanks so much for sharing your experience, really appreciate it! Will definitely look into these options! 👍
Thank You!
Can you clarify
I wonder if
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Hey!! I just wanna hop on this even though I'm a little late cause I think I do things a little differently from the others. My parents don't really need or want me to be giving them money, so instead of giving an "allowance" when my dad is earning way more, I just start taking initiative to treat for dinners, buy them stuff etc. I actually bought my parents air tickets to go europe this year (but covid...)

Unless your parents are strapped for money, I think this method is a lot less transactional, especially since you are only earning $2.5k. Save it up for your house or wedding! haha

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That is such a great thing that in Asia the children feel they have to support their parents, different in th U.S. and Europe mostly. Maybe You would like to discuss with your siblings or colleagues, or even discuss with your parents what they feel could be O.K. (if your country's culture allows to ask then directly).

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I think the general rule of thumb is 10%! tho it really depends on you and your parents haha

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Aik Keong Koh

Aik Keong Koh

Level 4. Prodigy

Answered on 15 Sep 2020

My past experience is as follows...

I spoke to my Mum as she's the head of the household and she handles all the bills, grocery shopping and finances of the family. She told me to give her any amount but not too much that I don't have any left to spend on my own activities. My take home then was about 2.2k. So I gave her $200 each month. As my income grew later on, I increased my share.

Later on I figured out that I can buy NTUC vouchers using credit card and still enjoy rebates and/or bonus interest in my savings account. I asked if she is OK with NTUC vouchers. So I started to give her $100 cash and $150 NTUC vouchers. :D

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Question Poster

17 Sep 2020

Hey Aik Keong, thanks so much for sharing your story :") really appreciate it! Wow I didn't know about the NTUC vouchers, will look into seeing which credit cards allow for this... Thanks again! :)
Thank You!
Can you clarify
I wonder if
This is so helpful 👍
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Welcome to adulting and congrats on your new traineeship! :)

It’s great that you have a heart to give to your parents. The feeling of being able to give part of your first pay cheque to them is unforgettable!

It depends on your parent’s situation as well. Do they have enough, are you living with them and how are you contributing to the household expenses? And how much do you currently save and spend for yourself? There is no hard and fast rule but most people give a certain percentage or a fixed amount based on their answers to these questions.

I’m sure you would be able to earn more about your traineeship so you could give more in future too.

All the best!

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Question Poster

15 Sep 2020

Hey Cindi, thanks for sharing your thoughts, will definitely look into those qns 👍
Thank You!
Can you clarify
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Daniel Kok

Daniel Kok

Level 6. Master

Answered on 11 Sep 2020

I think 10% of your take own salary is a good benchmark!

there are definitely people who give less and people who give more. Ultimately, be comfortable with what you are giving! ;)

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Question Poster

15 Sep 2020

Hey Daniel, thanks for sharing! Will definitely take your suggestion into account 👍
Thank You!
Can you clarify
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This is so helpful 👍
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Wilson Wilson

Wilson Wilson

Level 3. Wonderkid

Answered on 11 Sep 2020

Pump up their CPF and get ready for RA.

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Question Poster

15 Sep 2020

Hey Wilson, thanks for sharing, will definitely consider it 👍
Thank You!
Can you clarify
I wonder if
This is so helpful 👍
What about
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