SINGAPORE: A 30-year-old man with over S$10,000 in take-home pay turned to social media to ask how much he should allot for “parental allowance.” For the past few years, he has given his parents enormous sums: $40k in 2022, $45k in 2023, and $7k alone in 2024.

“It feels like a lot. I was googling through, and it feels like even ppl in their 40s only give a few hundred bucks,”  user 1percentbetterdaily wrote on r/singaporefi on Sunday (Jan 28).

He stated that he used to live with his parents in a five-room HDB in Boon Lay; however, his parents have now migrated to another country. In terms of finances, he said that his parents haven’t been that supportive since they didn’t help him pay for his university fees, which cost around S$90,000.

“The only tangible financial help they did was give me 25k when I was 27. Which i used to repay back my uni loan,” he said.

Despite this, he still gave them allowances once he became financially stable. 

However, the problem started when his parents became dependent on the money he gave them. He got upset with this since they could have made income from renting out their current house and their ancestral property.

“Whilst this would mean i would have to find another house to rent, i doubt i would spend 40k on rent. I don’t think I need an entire house, probably just one room,” he said.

He’s hoping to get married soon and is therefore aggressively saving to support his marriage and other expenses, such as purchasing a house, refurbishing it, and possibly purchasing a car.

“Negotiate with your parents how much do they need vs how you are comfortable to give”

One user, who gave his parents $900 monthly, stated: “While I’m jealous of the fact that others had little to no burden from parents, the reality is that not everything is fair in life. Take a step back and look. We are still better off than a lot of people already. It’s more of how to be satisfied with our current status.

The thirst for money never ends. It’s made worse when you compare with others. Learn to be satisfied with what you have. Just my suggestion here, negotiate with your parents how much do they need vs. how you are comfortable to give.”

Another user said, “You’re trying to find the point where it’s socially acceptable. But that shouldn’t be the case. Have a talk with them, share your concerns and negotiate a drop in that allowance you’re giving because you want to kickstart your life.

Meanwhile, one user sympathized with the post author: “I can understand your frustration. I would suggest talking to your parents maturely about this. Perhaps sitting them down and explaining to them since you are going to start a family of your own soon, you need to buy a new house and reno etc. so you would like to give them lesser money.”

While some children are more than happy to provide for their parents financially, others have started to question the necessity of this custom in light of the dire economic conditions. 

One man in particular took to social media earlier this month to ask if children were “simply bred to become their parents’ retirement plan.”

Read related: “We are bred to be their retirement plan” — Man says it’s unfair for children to pay for parent’s cost of living