Thursday 13 October 2022

Do you give allowances to your parents | Why I give & is it really necessary?

After starting work, most of us would want to bring our parents out for a good meal and for some, maybe start giving them a monthly allowance. Of course, this differs as every family and individual is different, let’s talk about why Asian or maybe Singaporeans feel a need to give allowances to their parents.

Singapore VS around the world, proportion of children living with parents

In Singapore, I would say a good proportion of children do stay with their parents unless they have a significant other to apply for a BTO or have enough finances to buy a private property before age 35 to move out.

To get public housing as a single in Singapore, you have to be 35 years old and above unless there are some special conditions but for private property, there is no age criteria. For most individuals who are single in their 20s and 30s, the best solution to save more is to stay with their parents, Singapore is also a relatively small country where we work at most at Jurong where we stay at Pasir Ris which can still be covered by public transport unlike USA or China where people from the different cities can go to Beijing, Shanghai in China and New York or San Francisco for the USA. That will mean they have no choice but to rent a place to stay. However, we are seeing a rise in children staying with their parents especially after the pandemic that worsen a lot of people’s financial situation.

Why I give a monthly allowance

My mum has always told us that we are part of her retirement plan besides her savings and CPF payouts which she isn’t eligible yet cos she is younger than 65 years old. So we know that once we start working, we do have a contribute a portion to her. She isn’t demanding about the amount and she explains that she just wants us to know that we give an amount to her like showing appreciation and at the same time supplement her savings as well.

I don’t mind giving my mum an allowance because she doesn’t dictate the amount but leaves it up to us and whatever we are comfortable with, it’s okay especially when we first started.

I believe we are also giving allowances as we currently live “rent-free” with my mum and she cooks for us as well as doing our laundry which I have to say I am grateful for. Not all is rosy, she does nag and we understand as we all do things differently.

Is it necessary?

I think it really depends, some give allowance in a different way. Your parents might not need an allowance from you but spending time with them, having meals with them or just talking and checking in with them even after you have started working is as important or even more important than giving an allowance.

Saying that, some parents rely on their children as their retirement plan and I believe there are definitely situations where you might need to fork out money for them. The Woke Salaryman released an article on this before which is pretty comprehensive.

Each family is different as is with each individual, I would say only you know best what can help your parents. Giving an allowance can be our way of saying thanks but if you are not able to for example low pay or tight finances, you can give it in another way.

You can also find me on

► Where I Buy my Cryptocurrencies:
►FTX app: Use my referral code and get a free coin when you trade $10 worth. 
►Use my referral link or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
FSMone Referral: P0364886
Tiger Brokers (Free stock and commission free trades, check out more here
Interactive Brokers (Open an account today and start earning up to $1000 of IBKR Stock for free!*Terms and Conditions apply)
► Google Pay: v89ph61
►Syfe Trade Referral Code:
►Syfe Wealth Referral Link:


  1. Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on giving allowance to parents. As a parent to adult children, let me share my thoughts on the topic.

    As a parent, first and foremost, our concerns are that the children are in good jobs and that they are happy in their jobs. Then we are concerned whether they are eating well (healthy) and know how to take care of themselves. Thirdly we are concerned whether they earning enough to feed themselves and still save for their future (when they start their own families and their retirement).

    Having the children stay with us allows us to know their daily routine, the working hours they keep and the problems and joys that they encounter in their adult life journey.

    Those are important things to us. The money (allowance) part comes next.

    For adult children still staying with their parents and eating meals at home, I would advise that they separate allowances from their contributions to household expenses. Do not confuse the two.

    The contributions to household expenses are akin to you staying out by yourself and paying rent or home loan if you bought your own home, utilities and meals. If you are now staying with your parents and eating meals at home, you will need to help defray the cost for these expenses. These should not count as allowances.

    Allowances are monies for your parents to use as they please and are NOT part of the household expenses.

    Once you are clear about the separation of allowance and contribution to household expenses then it is flexible how much and in what form the allowance should take.

    You can give allowances to your parents by regularly topping up their CPF Medisave accounts, their Retirement Accounts, paying for their insurance premiums, taking them out and paying for their meals, or giving them cash to spend / save as they wish. The amount should be something that is both meaningful to them and comfortable to you.

    Good luck!

    1. Very good breakdown and nice to see it from a parent's perspective. Yes, the allowance and expenditure part should be segregated if possible. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We usually refer our private individual and institutional clients to CBICaribbeandotcom for guaranteed permanent residency or citizenship by investment opportunities. You may want to check out CBI Caribbean Blog for further details and correspondence.