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Giving Your Parents Monthly Allowance? Here's How You Can Make Full Use Of It!

Recommended Ways To Give Your Parents Monthly Allowance

profileMing Feng


Giving your parents monthly allowance is one way Asian demonstrate their values of being filial piety. It is every child’s responsibility to ensure that their parents are taken care of when they retire.

In fact, failure to do so can get one involved in a lawsuit under the Maintenance of Parents Act, and an increased chance of getting kissed by lightning.

81% Of Us Give Our Parents Monthly Allowance

We conducted a survey with the Seedly Community to explore how much Singaporeans are giving their parents.

Out of the 85 responds we received,

  • 51 allocated less than 20% of their take-home pay as their parents’ allowance,
  • While 18 responds state that they will do the same with 20-30% of their salary.

How Should You Give Your Parents Allowance?

  • Are they dependant on you for monthly allowance?
  • If they are, are they spending the smarter way? How can you assist?

There are usually two scenarios: 

  1. My parents depend on me for monthly allowances
  2. My parents do not depend on me for monthly allowances

1. My Parents Depend On My Monthly Allowance

If your parents are no longer working and your monthly allowance is what they depend on to survive,

  • Cash allowance or transferring their allowance into their bank account will be the best option.

You can, however, ensure that they spend smarter.

  • One of such will be to get them the best credit card according to their needs. It is always good to do up a quick comparison for all the cards.

Assuming most of our retired parents’ main bulk of expense comes from groceries, we list down some of the best credit cards for groceries.

 Citi Cash Back CardCiti SMRT CardPOSB Everyday Card
Benefits• 8% cash back on supermarkets and grocery stores worldwide
(RedMart and honestbee included)
• 8% cash back capped at S$25 per category
• Min. S$888 spent per month
• Default cash back: 0.25%
• 5% cash back on groceries
• 4.7% for spending > S$50
• 2.7% for spending < S$50
• Additional 0.3% for at least S$300 monthly card spend
• 5% cash rebate with Sheng Siong
• S$50 cash rebate capped per month
• Cash rebate awarded in Daily$

Some considerations when getting the right credit card for your parents:

  • Which category the main bulk of their expense fall under?
  • Where do they frequently shop at?
  • How much do they spend on these shops on average?

Previously Discussed: What are some good ways to give allowance to your parents?… Read More

2. My Parents Do Not Depend On My Monthly Allowance

Some of our parents have savings from their years in the workforce and the little reliant on your monthly income will mean that you can put the money to better use.

Two alternatives available to earn high interest for your parents with relatively lower risk:

  • CPF Top-ups
  • Singapore Savings Bonds

First Alternative – CPF Top-ups

CPF Top-ups is one of the alternatives that is gaining a lot of popularity amongst Singaporeans these days.

By helping your parents’ meet their retirement sum (refer to the table below), they will enjoy a monthly payout under CPF Life of at least $700 age 65 throughout the rest of their lives. Technically, you are providing for their monthly allowance but with the help of CPF Life.

Amount in Your Retirement Account (RA) at age 55Your Estimated Monthly Payout
Basic Retirement Sum
S$720 - S$770
Full Retirement Sum
S$1,320 - S$1,410
Enhanced Retirement Sum
S$1,910 - S$2,060

According to the Seedly Community, this is one of the better alternatives.

Here are the benefits of topping up your parents’ CPF:

  1. They can earn up to 5% p.a in interest
  2. You get to enjoy tax relief for every dollar you top-up. (Up to $7,000 per calendar year)

How to do a CPF Top-Up?

  • Login to your CPF with your SingPass
  • Under “My Requests” option.

Second Alternative – Singapore Savings Bond

If your parents are very against the idea of CPF (we understand some Singaporeans are), you can always look at helping them buy into the Singapore Savings Bond which is relatively risk-free and definitely better than putting it in the bank.

Recommended Read: When Should You Choose Fixed Deposits over Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB)?

The Asian Mentality

The greatest hurdle most of our users has is to convince our parents that a CPF top-up is the best method.

Given the traditional way of thinking, most parents prefer seeing physical cash more than anything else, despite that not being the most optimal option.

If your parents are open to ideas, having a talk with them to get your point across definitely helps!

Previously Discussed: How do one portion out savings and giving your parents allowance money monthly if one earns 1.9K before CPF?… Read More

About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
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