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Atas Sunday breakfast and some nagging.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Too early. What? Woke up at 7am today, a Sunday morning. Too early. Yawn.

I tried to go back to sleep but it is a state of "I am tired and want to sleep but not tired enough to really fall asleep now". I don't know if you know what I am talking about but it is frustrating.

Anyway, I woke up early to have breakfast with my family. We went to town for breakfast and to celebrate Father's Day.

Here are a few photos of my breakfast today:

Broccoli, cauliflower, waffle, hashbrown, soon kueh, carrot cake and baked beans.

Porridge with peanuts, spring onion and shallots.

Fruit yogurt from Germany.

A bit different from the usual stuff you would expect me to blog about, I guess. Atas or not? Surprise!

I gave my dad a big red packet, the second one this year. First one was for his birthday earlier in the year. I gave my mom a big red packet for Mother's Day too. However, no matter how big the red packets are, they will never be enough for all that they have given me.

I also gave my dad a bit (or it could have felt like a lot to him) of nagging about being prudent with money. Personal finance is not one of his strengths. Well, I like to think that I nag because I care. That was what my mom used to tell me when I was a boy. Mom's fault. LOL.

OK, I am going to try going back to sleep. Yawn.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Related post:
Passive income: A higher purpose.


pf said...

I also care for my parents' personal finance. That's why I don't give them a lot of money. ; D

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

I don't give my dad any monthly allowance at all. I give my mom $350 a month which she doesn't use. So, the money just accumulates in a POSB Savings Account. I tell her it can be her war chest for the next time Singapore has a recession and a stock market crash. LOL.

I give each of them 2 red packets a year. No prizes for guessing why. The amount of money I put in these red packets have been growing over time. It is now $5K per red packet. Why?

1. I make more money over time and can afford to do so.

2. They are growing older each year and are almost 70 now.

I might nag at my dad but he is not in the best of health. He also has to financially support my grandma who needs long term healthcare. My mom has to financially support some elderly relatives too.

I am lucky that both of them are still here for me and I want them to know that their son is doing well and that they don't have to worry about me. I want to give them more money which they can do anything they want with.

I don't want to regret not doing this for them when they leave me one day or when they no longer have any use for money. :(

Valkyrie said...

Thats a lot of money. I wish i can give more but i haveto pay myself first... I give them monthly allowance but i never feel i giveenough. Thats why i read yourblog...

AK71 said...

Hi Valkyrie,

To be fair, all of us have different circumstances. I have very little expenses. As a single person, it is easier to control expenses. So, please do only what you are comfortable with.

I also see the money I put in the red packets as money from Mr. Market. So, it could be a case of 借花献佛. (Offering borrowed flowers to Buddha.) LOL. :)

If you believe in investing for income, if you do what is right and necessary, you will see that income grow over time. It is not rocket science. :)

"You don't have to be a genius to invest well." Warren Buffett.

Gambatte! :)

flyingchicken said...

Why nobody ask the usual qns for food postings???

Where is it?
What is the damage?
Nice or not?


AK71 said...

Hi flying chicken,

I won't recommend it. Ellenborough Market Café. 1 for 1 buffet deal and still had to pay about $20 per head. For that kind of food and that kind of standard, not value for money! LOL.

Should have gone to Tiong Bahru market instead and used the savings to give a bigger red packet to my dad! ;p

EY said...

Hi AK,

Personally, I feel that the best gift that parents can give to their children, besides a good education and inculcating the right values, is to be financially independent when they grow old. Otherwise, the next generation will have a hard time achieving financial freedom if they are average salary earners without alternative sources of income and investment returns.

Good for you that your parents don't have to depend on you. If your dad spends money on hobbies or socialising with his friends and if it isn't excessive, don't nag at him lah. If money can buy happiness, cut him some slack lor. :)

In my case, for most part of my working life, I have been giving away 30% to 40% of my take home pay as allowance to my parents + mum-in-law. When I started work, my basic pay was $800 + $300 transport allowance. Commission was about $200 plus a month. I gave my mum $300 then. Whenever I got a pay rise, I would increase her allowance. Until about 1 year plus ago, I was giving my mum $800, dad $300, and mum-in-law $250. There were moments when I felt quite resentful. My mum and late dad gambled away the allowance that I gave them. They smoked a lot too. At one point, my mum would go to the casino a few times a week and she chalked up losses in excess of $50,000. When I nagged at her, she retorted that I had also lost a big sum of money in the stock market. -.-"

Since her gambling losses came to light, we have confiscated her passport so she can't go on the casino ship and my sis applied for the personal restraint order to keep her away from MBS and RWS casinos. I also decided that $800 was the maximum allowance that I would give since she wouldn't need that much money to get by. My bro gave her $1200 and my sis $500. Since my dad passed on, I have reduced her allowance to $500 a month as she no longer needs to give part of her allowance to support him.

I absolutely agree that we should be filial to our parents when they are still around. And giving money is a practical way of expressing our filial piety. Give what we can afford but no need to be excessive. We need to save for our future too. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the emotional support. :)

There are things that I feel that my dad spends money on for nothing. Really. The problem is that some of these are recurring expenses and large too. Definitely unnecessary stuff.

I tell him if he saves on these things, he would have more money to spend every month. I estimate the savings to be about $400 a month. It is about using money wisely.

My grandma's bills are a big burden. There are bills which are recurring as well as extraordinary. To be fair to my dad, he foots all the bills. No help from his siblings. In some months, it could be as much as $5K, he told me.

I won't nag at him for money he spends if it is unavoidable. I won't even nag at him for money he spends at the casino because he is happy hearing the slot machines' mesmerising music. OK, I do nag at him because he lacks self control. Once, he lost $4K in one evening! Ouch! Should give himself an upper limit. $200, maybe? If it is gone, leave.

What I feel strongly about is spending money on stuff that he does not utilise. That is plainly dumb. Problem, he likes to buy stuff. He must spend money or else he feels uncomfortable. The examples I can think of would fill tens of pages. Lots of money wasted.

I always worry about how I could ever give him enough spending money in future when he stops working. A real concern.

Aiyoh. I better stop. Anyway, you get the idea lah. -.-"

pf said...

I think the best advice I get is not to let my parents know my income. Seriously, many Asian parents treat their kids as their money tree.

My parents are not very educated and they dont make much money. My mother doesn't spend much but she will give away money to my brother who spends money like flowing water. Easily and readily. My father would gamble his money away.

The advice I got is not to let my parents know how much I am earning, so they will not think about how to get money from me.

And not to give them increasing amounts of money as my salary increases. There is no need to. And I better set money aside to take care of their medical expenses because they won't be able to afford.

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

Hey, thanks for sharing in more detail. All of us have different circumstances at home and you have a strategy that makes sense for yours. :)

Actually, by setting aside money for their medical/hospitalisation expenses, you are already giving them more money. They just don't see the money now. ;)

It is almost like how different people express love differently. You are like the silent but caring type. Stealth mode. ;p

I hope they have H&S insurance. That would lighten your burden.

As for your brother, you might want to talk to him about his spending habits. It might be a case of not being able to teach old dogs new tricks with our parents but with our siblings, I think chances are better. :)

Anonymous said...

Hearing from the comments, I realise I have the most frugal parents. They all retired, surviving on me and my 2 sibling allowance, which work out to be around 1k each. All three of us gave equal money to father and mother. I did ask my dad, how enough? He says on certain months when he goes see doctor, he need to dips on savings, but most months he will be able to save from that 1k. I am the only son married with kid and drive a car. There are many times he turn around and ask me, money enough a not, can give lesser for a few months if really tight. Of course I told him not to worry, I say if I can't give you the allowance, I am in deep shit, and I won't let that happen.

Really have to count my blessing. Even now, wheni treated them to a farher's day dinner, he will say wa143 dollars so expensive. Aiyo, a nice dinner for 5 ok Liao. I have seen set meal per pax that is 200 dollars. Of course, I never touched that. It's a recommendation from a friend when I ask where got nice place to bring my wife for nice anniversary dinner. He have me 4-5 options. I took the cheapest.. Hehee but the steak still cost $70 a piece. The best part is, my wife didn't like it, say:"no need to bring me to atas place to eat, not nice also, we go Jack's place next time"

I smile at her and say:" jack's place? Anytime u feel like it.

Heng life. Cool!

AK63 said...

Gambling.... The root of all evil.... :(

Seems like many have similar problems where one or more members in the family have gambling addiction.... Sad.... :(

My mum is not a heavy gambler, fortunately. She just loves the bells, whistles, flashing lights and the kar-chings from the jackpot machines. My dad hates gambling and anyone who gambles especially after my soft-hearted mum lent a huge sum of money without telling him to help a relative who lost it all in genting. My dad has threatened to divorce my mum if she ever steps into any casino in genting, MBS or RWS.

She's scared but she can't help herself. So I bought an iPad and downloaded a jackpot app and a mahjong app for her entertainment when she has the urge. No worries, both apps do not have in-app purchases and there's no real gains or losses but the realistic sounds and effects are there.

Of course she would like to play the real thing sometimes. So whenever she suggested to go for a vacation, we know where she wants to go. It's either Macau or one of the cruises. I always go with her cos she listens to me and I can control her spending. My siblings will each come up with their share for her gaming expenses according to the number of days of the trip. It's US$100 per day budget and she's happy enough so that's fine. If she loses all that day, that's it, she can't play anymore. If she wins or has left over balance, will add to her next day's budget and she can play more. This is the best way for her cos she's our mum and she's very old already, we'd do anything to make her life more pleasant but within budget. She knows it's for her own good and she gets to play so she's contended.

In case you wonder, I don't gamble at all, not even toto, 4d, big sweep or those charity tickets. I got better use for the money then just throw it away.... :)

AK63 said...

I guess everyone has their strength and weakness with money one way or another....

My dad doesn't buy any unnecessary stuff and he will stinge on parking charges and refused to take cabs, and he has been wearing the same watch for 55 years, but he can't live without his average $100 lunches. My mum loves jackpot machines, doesn't like expensive food, but will not hesitate to buy anything anyone can convince her that it's good for her regardless how expensive and unnecessary they are....

I have stopped giving my mum monthly allowances since I stopped work two years ago. Fortunately, they don't need our contributions cos they have more than enough to last the rest of their remaining years, as long as mum controls her gaming spending. I have never given them more than $80 in each red packet four times a year all my life....

Btw, I have a friend who applied for some sort of special gaming permit in order to buy one jackpot machine and installed it in his house. His mother loves jackpots too and has squandered a fortune through the years, so my friend somehow got this machine for her and their problem solved. His mother has stopped going to casinos and clubs since and only play at home. All her losses he keeps as her capital. He will pay her all her winnings too. Both are happy and he knows she's safe at home rather than mingling with bad company in casinos. I think it's a great idea.... :)

pf said...

Ak71, parents do not have adequate medical coverage. That's why I need to buy a hdb flat that can generate income if the need arises. Not too afraid of a 1 time op kind of expense. Rather its the 2 to 3k per month care for long term illness that I need to manage.

No need to talk to my brother. My mother has been nagging him his whole life. Just limit where he can get money. If he wanna spend, he should go and earn that money. I don't really mind if he spends his own money. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

You are very fortunate indeed to have frugal parents. Frugality is definitely a virtue and a rather underrated one. Very often, people mistake frugality for something else... :(

Your dad is very considerate. He sees what you have to pay for and worries that you don't have enough for yourself. That brought a tear to my eye. Lucky you. :)

AK71 said...

Hi AK63,

Thanks for sharing. :)

Coincidentally, my mom is like your mom. She likes the flashing lights and music the slot machines have. She is a lot more controlled compared to my dad. She usually gives herself $100 or maybe $200 per visit. It is just for fun, really.

She will scold my dad for not having self-control but will ask him when he is going to the casino again because she wants to follow. -.-"

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

Ah, that is a worry but Medishield Life is on the way! I am waiting for that too for my dad. He only has basic Medishield now and everytime he had to be hospitalised in the last few years, it would cost him a bomb.

Now, I am praying that nothing serious happens to his health from now until Medishield Life is launched. -.-"

For sure, I do not have a problem with people spending the money they make. And for people who were spending more than they made before, spending only what they make now and not more would be an improvement. However, I would still view this as a problem because if we spend as much as we make, we would still be left with no money.

Not scaring you but this might be a long lasting problem for you in future. I see how my mom has to financially support some of her elderly siblings now and it is just terrible. :(

Lucky is the family where every member is financially prudent. There is a good reason why I plan for having enough passive income to take care of not only my needs but my family's. So, I know where you are coming from.

pf said...

Actually my brother is much better ever since he got married. At least his wife make sure he would give my mother monthly allowance. It used to be that my brother would give as and when he likes to and sometimes takes money from my mother instead.

Yeah...everybody has their own set of circumstances. So, while I believe in taking care of my family, I also don't let them have the impression that they can get money from me. :))

Yes, I hope medishield life come soon.

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

Having the right life partner is important. Your brother found his. I am happy for him and for your family. :)

Yes, please don't make us wait till Dec 2015 for Medishield Life. -.-"

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