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Parents monthly allowance

Here’s How Much Monthly Allowance Singaporeans Give Their Parents

profileXue Miao

“How much do you give your parents every month ah?”

This was a question a couple of my friends and I had when we first graduated and got our full-time pay.

Yet it was a question that has always been answered sheepishly, as if the amount that is mentioned is directly correlated to our level of filial piety.

With many of us being brought up with the mindset of giving back to our parents once we start earning our own keep, giving parents an ‘allowance’ is a common form of gratitude for raising us.

Source: Adam Simpson | AARP

Something that is probably deeply entrenched in our Asian roots as well.

However, as money is sometimes a touchy topic to be discussed among our peers, some of us might be curious about the ‘market rate’ for the monthly allowance to be given to our parents in Singapore.

Besides being able to seek answers from our community, there’s now a survey for us to refer to as well!

TL;DR: Here’s How Much On Average Singaporeans Give Their Parents for Monthly Allowance

Answers.sg has previously dished out a popular survey that indicated the median salary across different age groups.

Similarly, they’ve released a survey on parent allowance.

Here’s an overview of the median percentage and sum of salary that is given as an allowance to parents in Singapore.

Age GroupMedian % Salary GivenMedian Amount Given Number of People Surveyed
18 to 2010%$16074
21 to 2511%$4001,210
26 to 3010%$5002,725
31 to 3510%$6001,727
36 to 4010%$700923

The survey also gathered that:

  • The median % salary given across all Singaporeans is 10%
  • The median amount given across all Singaporeans is $500

A total of 6,659 individuals were surveyed during the time of writing.

Benchmarks Are Useful but Only to a Certain Extent

The survey results above offer a broad overview of parent allowances.

And they could be useful for individuals who are looking for a guide to get started.

However, as with all other aspects of personal finance, how much we should give our parents is a personal decision determined by personal reasons.

For instance, such salary allocations might be useful when it comes to families where both you and your parents are financially stable, with this allowance being a token of appreciation towards your parents.

But maybe not for a family with a different financial situation.

What works well for a family might not work well for another.

There are so many factors at play, and some would include:

  • Financial situations of both the individual and parents
  • Perspectives towards ‘giving back’
  • Relationship between the individual and parents
  • Preferred methods of contribution

Ultimately, what is crucial is the need for communication between both the parents and the child.

Communicating these expectations and needs might not be the easiest thing to do, but is absolutely essential when it comes to mitigating potential future disagreements or resentment.

And while it’s good that we are generous towards our parents, parents also have to be reasonable and do away with the mindset that children are obligated to fund for their retirement needs.

I have seen how children have struggled when they placed their parents’ financial needs before theirs.

It can be a tricky situation especially when you feel obligated to give your parents a comfortable retirement life, along with the idea that a bigger sum might seem like a greater level of gratitude.

However, my stand is this: You gotta be able to take care of yourself first before taking care of others. 

This means that you should be able to meet your basic financial needs before thinking of financially supporting others.

Overstretching yourself can be unsustainable and incredibly stressful if you’re unable to pay yourself first.

Source: Tenor

This topic has also become a source for comparison amongst the parents, which has unfortunately translated into a source of stress to the children.

Everything has different circumstances and what’s correct to others might not be the best for you.

Know how to discern what’s right or wrong, and not give in to societal pressure.

Ways We Can Give Back to Our Parents

Giving our parents a portion of our salary would be one of the most direct forms of expressing our gratitude.

And given that they’ve spent most of their lives providing for us financially, it seemed natural for us to return the favour in this manner as well.

However, there are different methods in showing our gratitude as well.

If our parents are not in need of cash, we can also provide financial support in other ways.

This includes paying for household bills and necessities, footing bills for family meals, or paying for family trips.

Topping up their CPF is also another useful method that could help meet our parents’ retirement needs.

But beyond money, there are other things that I personally find more meaning in.

As a working adult, I find that giving them my time feels a lot more fulfilling and meaningful, and that’s something my parents value a lot more than money as well.

The time we spend together feels incredibly precious especially with our hectic schedules, and so that extra hour of late-night chat or trip to the supermarket fills our hearts in ways money would not.

Just me creeping behind my parents on a random day out…

What’s most important is that we do what we think is right, so that there isn’t any room for regret.

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About Xue Miao
A millennial who is learning to adult. She doesn't believe in the rat race and hopes to live on a farm someday.
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