In Chinese tradition, the giving of Red Packet (Ang Pao) during Chinese New Year from the married to the unmarried (mainly children), is a meaningful one.
The actual significance of this tradition is mainly on the red packet, and the money in it is secondary.
The meaning behind giving of red packets during Chinese New Year is a way for married working adults to share their wealth and blessings with the young ones.
On top of that, red colour in Chinese tradition signifies:
- Good luck
While the money in the red packet signifies luck.
How much should you be giving in your Ang Bao this CNY?
Giving of Ang Bao has a really great meaning behind it, but when money is involved, things get a little complicated, and at times, tradition loses its meaning.
A commonly asked question, especially amongst newlywed couples, will be the amount to put in their red packet this Chinese New Year.
Well, here’s a few ways to look at it.
If we determine “Ang Bao rate” 2018 by what is circulating online
We did a quick search on the rates online, and here are some of our findings for “Ang Bao rate 2018”.
|Parents||As much as you can afford||You would give your parents the most, as a token of appreciation for raising you.|
|Siblings||$20 and up||This depends whether your family usually gives ang baos to unmarried siblings.|
|Children||$20 - $100||The amount you would give your children really varies depending on how old they are and the attitude you want them to cultivate towards money. If you have more than one child, each one should receive the same amount.|
|Cousins/ Nieces/ Nephews||$6 - $20||Depends on how close you are and their age|
|Other children/ acquaintances||$2 - $8||This really depends on your financial situation, as you have no ties to this category of people.|
|Parents/ In-laws/ Grandparents||$250 - $800||Out of everyone, parents should get the most as a sign of respect.|
|Husband to Wife||$200 - $500||Husbands can opt to give their wives ang pows and vice versa. But this isn't a common practise in modern households.|
|Siblings||$50 - $200||Depending on how old your siblings are and whether they are working, this is a safe and reasonable amount to give.|
|Own Children||$50 - $200||Some parents choose to give more, but this is a general amount that most parents give.|
|Cousins/ Nieces/ Nephews||$10 - $20||They are not immediate family members, therefore can be given lower ang pow amounts.|
|Friends/ Children of friends||$2 - $8||As these are people who you would give the most out to (assuming you have a small family), you might want to keep the budget lower for this.|
|Parents and in-laws||$200 - $500|
|Own Children and grandchildren||$50 - $200|
|Siblings||$30 - $100|
|Extended family||$18 - $38|
|Other children who visit||$2 - $8|
|Public workers||$5 - $10|
If we determine Ang Bao rate by pegging it to inflation rate
For those who are a little more into finance, inflation rate may play a key role in determining the Ang Bao rate this Chinese New Year.
I remember vividly that about 15 years ago in the year 2003, $2 was the minimum for Ang Bao rate. With this, if we were to factor in the consumer prices inflation rate since then
|Year||Consumer prices inflation rate||Minimum Ang Bao rate|
Well, definitely not the rate which we are looking at currently.
Ang Bao rate according to Seedly Personal Finance Community
We open up the questions to Seedly Personal Finance Community and here are some of the interesting replies (just for laugh!):
- Ivan Lim on the other hand, recommends booking a flight overseas over the weekend to escape from giving Ang Bao. Whereas Huijuns feels the need to fly overseas too.
- Edna Chew states that while it used to be $2, now it is higher due to inflation.
- Damien Png has a formula to determine the rate based on relationship and income bracket:
Income Bracket Formula for Ang Bao Below $2,000 $2(X) Up to $3,500 $5(X) Up to $5,000 $10(X) Up to $10,000 $20(X) More than $10,000 $25(X) to $50(X) What is X? Parents/ Grandparents 30X Siblings and cousins 10X other relatives 5X Friends 3X others X
- Fitri Khamis on the other hand will only give if they have BTC wallets.
Further Reading: Ang Bao – What Matters The Most?
While it is convenient to come out with a guide for everyone to follow, maybe it is time to take a step back and reflect on the values that will be translated down to the next generation.
Some of the Ang Bao guides we see circulating online can lead to unhealthy values being passed down.
Judging your relative based on income bracket is definitely something to avoid, and the meaning behind this meaningful tradition should not be lost in translation due to money.
Here are what some of the community have to say:
- Justine Carys: No fixed amount. See what you are comfortable with.
- Alan Kor: No fixed rate. See heart and thought, not see money.
If relationships are based on monetary value, “good game” to your relationships.
- William Seah: Give what your heart is willing. If you give according to market rate, and if you are unwilling, then the gift is meaningless.
- Guillaume Low: It is the thought that counts.