CNY is just round the corner and here are some ways you can make full use of the ang bao money that your child will be receiving.
Time flies, especially after the pandemic year in 2020. In just less than a month, the much-awaited Chinese New Year (CNY) will be upon us.
Besides feasting on new year snacks and the chance to meet your relatives, the next big highlight of CNY is the chance to receive ang bao money for your children.
Depending on how big your family is and how generous your relatives are, this year’s ang bao money haul might be in the hundreds or even thousands range.
Where Do Most Ang Bao Money Go?
As ang bao money is bestowed upon yourself or your child, it tends to end up wherever your child’s interest lies. From their perspective, it’s either the next interesting toy or the upcoming gaming device or game.
While there’s nothing wrong with spending it on toys or games, the question is whether your child’s ang bao money can be put to better use such as investing for his/her future.
In essence, it’s a deliberate choice between instant or delayed gratification. And we think that it helps kids better if we use this opportunity to teach them about financial literacy.
You can also take an active approach to invest their ang bao money in areas that will be useful in the long run.
4 Things To Do With Your Children’s Ang Bao Money
|Enrichment class||Improve your child’s cognitive abilityExpose your child to different types of learning||$100 to $1,000++ per year|
|Savings account||Teach your child the art of saving||Free|
|Investment||Take advantage of the time factor in investing||$1|
|Insurance premium||Build your child’s next education, marriage fund||$100 to $1,000++ per year|
Enrichment classes come with plenty of benefits for your child’s development. From promoting critical thinking and problem solving skills to making learning meaningful for them, the curriculum can enhance your child’s soft and hard skills for his/her future.
Some enrichment programs that you can consider for your child include:
- Coding lessons
- Sports classes: karate, gymnastics, fencing
The above examples are just a part of a long list of classes that can help in your child’s cognitive development. In fact, some of them such as coding and music lessons might even give your child an early head start in their education.
But bear in mind that we are not referring to excessive enrichment class to make him/her the next Mozart. Be mindful of giving them enough to let them explore a different kind of learning opportunity and experience.
Above all, manage the costs properly so that it does not wipe out your child’s ang bao stash.
Potential Cost: $100 to $1,000++ per year
Remember, your child might be able to earn a monthly five-figure sum in the near future, but if they can’t save up for a rainy day, it will be for naught. Thus, It is important to give them an early start in cultivating a saving habit if you want them to achieve financial freedom.
Consider using the ang bao they receive as an opportunity to inculcate the importance of saving in their mind. Start him/her with a basic savings account to save his/her ang bao money. Make it a point to show your child the balance in his/her saving account as a visual reminder of how far he/she over the years.
From here on, slowly transit your child to start saving their daily allowance. Over time, your child will pick up the habit of saving and be better prepared for his/her financial future.
Potential Cost: Free (It doesn’t cost anything to start a savings account!)
When it comes to investing, the maxim is that you need a sizeable capital and good investment knowledge to come up on top of the investment game. But one key factor that is often overlooked is the essence of time.
The fact is, the longer you stay invested, the more time your money is given to grow. For your child, starting his/her investment journey at a young age gives them a head start on their journey to be a millionaire upon their retirement age of 65.
In fact, if you have $64,350 contributed to their CPF Special Account at birth and leave it to compound at 4-5% for 65 years (i.e. till he/she retires), that sum will compound to $1 million in his/her CPF account.
While few of us will get $64,350 worth of ang bao money (ever), every dollar you can contribute towards investing will create a compounding effect that your child will enjoy in the future.
Teach them the concept of investing a portion of their ang bao money for potential growth. Once they understand the reason behind this, help them invest the agreed sum in a low-risk asset, and update them periodically on how their investment is performing.
Balance this out though, leave a small amount for your child to spend and pamper themselves for Chinese New Year
Potential Cost: $1 (There’s really no minimum cost to starting your child’s investment journey)
Here are some brokerage accounts you can consider if you want to start an investment account under your name and help your child invest.
Don’t think that you are investment-savvy enough to do-it-yourself? Perhaps you might want to consider getting some professional help from insurance companies.
Options such as endowment saving plans are loaded with saving elements that can help to grow your child’s ang bao money.
Some endowment plans even come with a clause that lets your child withdraw it only when he/she enters a different life stage (e.g. university graduation, marriage or child birth).
Potential Cost: $100 to $1,000++ per year
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By Si Jie Lim
Most people think personal finance is dry, boring and full of confusing jargon. But the fact is it can be simple and interesting. That’s why Si Jie is passionate about turning personal finance into an easy and fun topic that everyone can relate to.