How much should I give my parents?

With rising costs and increased learning needs, financing our children's education is no longer a simple walk in the park. Discuss with other parents about how they are managing their finances to cope with their expenses.

How much should I give my parents?

Postby KZYPmum » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:57 pm

Hi everyone...

Just hope to get a sampling of views here... a bit unsure of what to do...

Situation is this. I am a FTWM with a 3 year old, and a baby on the way.

My parents (both retired and requiring partial financial support from me) have been helping with my 3 year old. Since I started work, I have been giving my dad $300 and my mum $400.

The disparity is because my dad has a small pension (below $1k) and he pays all the bills. my mum has been a sahm for a long time, and basically has little savings, but pays for nothing (i.e. none of the household bills).

Ever since they started helping to look after my 3 yr old, I started giving them $400 and $500 respectively. And I also give my mum extra to cover her lunch everyday (since if she weren't helping to look after my kid, my dad will cover her lunch expenses). And I pay for their dinners when we buy back.

So when my second kid comes next year, I intend to give them $500 and $600 respectively. first kid will go to school so they don't have to look after two the whole day. Is this too little?

I was trying to think of it this way. Most people give their parents a total of $500 monthly if they don't help with looking after any grandchildren? I guess that is assuming that their parents can support themselves and the money is mainly a token sum. Of course there are those model children who give their mothers like $1000 a month (usually the father is deceased or doesn't need the money).

So if I had to hire a maid / nanny / put my kid(s) in childcare, I would have to pay at least $500 - $1000+ more monthly, on top of the without-helping-with-grandchilden obligatory $700 I used to give them. So should I be giving my parents what I would otherwise give to a nanny to make it 'fair' to them? Or is it ok to give them only $100 more for each kid they help with since they started from a relatively high 'base'?

Although from my mum's perspective $500 + meals provided might seem meagre, from my perspective, giving $900 to my parents plus at least $300 in terms of meals = $1200 already. And increasing this to $1400 when number 2 comes out is quite a lot, not to mention the bills and mortgage payments that I'm already committed to at the same time.

What do folks here think? Should I really be giving them more or is this reasonable?

KZYPmum
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Postby cherrygal » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:33 am

It really depends on how much you earn actually. If that total amount is only say, 10% of your salary, then it is not much. You also need to measure the other commitments you have eg. car and housing loans.

Is your hubby paying for some items? Make him pay. Childcare expenses should be borne by him, or shared at least. You shouldn't be paying for everything.

In my household, my hubby pays for everything, including childcare and all enrichment expenses. He has to pay for my ds' childcare fees and also pay my parents for looking after my baby (a bit more than what you would pay a babysitter but still worth it coz you cannot compare the level of care). What I continue to give my parents is the monthly token sum before they looked after my baby. My hubby would also pay for all the groceries that go into preparing meals for the entire household since we now live with my parents most days. My parents would pay for utilities etc.

It's really give and take for now, esp when you need their help. Nothing beats having the grandparents looking after the kids. Infant-care centers are not cheap either (can go up to $1100 with subsidy) and you still can't trust them totally. You got to compare apple with apple and in this situation, you can't compare.

Just be appreciative that your parents are willing to take care of your kids. I have a friend who would willingly pay to have the grandparents watch her kid but sadly, both sides refused her.

cherrygal
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Postby KZYPmum » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:20 am

Thanks Cherrygal.

Nope, $1200 is not 10% of my salary... I definitely don't earn $12,000 a month...

well, we are paying the preschool expenses for the older child from CDA for now, and in future we'll probably split it. Hubby pays for the utilities and internet, I pay for all the groceries, including diapers and food for the kid - sometimes he chips in a bit for the groceries. we share the mortgage payments equally. Hubby earns slightly more than me.

you're right, nothing beats having family to take care of the kids, but then again sometimes that makes for conflict too, since it adds a layer of complications. but then again, at least their intentions will always be more or less good.

I guess I should continue footing what I used to give them, even though it's more than the token sum that most people give their parents, simply cos my parents need financial support and other people's parents might not.

And I'll get my hubby to share in paying the 'extra' above that... difficulty for me is in determining what that extra should be.

Maybe I should start a poll on how much people give their parents who help look after 1-2 kids below 7, and their breakdown of what they would have to give anyway if their parents were not caregivers...

KZYPmum
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Postby hquek » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:28 am

hi KZYPmum,

I agree it should be what you can afford. And if you need to peg, try to match what you would be paying for maid (including salary and levy). In my case, I hired a maid to help them with the chores and give them some money every month for parental allowance and topped it up somemore for taking care of my kids. I would also get groceries for them whenever I have the chance.

On their part, my parents also want to make sure I'm not milked dry and do have some left becos maintaining a family with school going kids not cheap.

I'm lucky that my parents are not depending on me financially and they are willing and happy to look out for me also.

hquek
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Postby MMM » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:37 am

My mum took care of my kids when they were younger. She was a SAHM. Now that the 2 older ones are in primary school and the youngest in K1, her responsibility only lies with ferrying my K1 around for lessons.

In their case, my father has stopped working and has a very small pension after the sale of their flat. I am the only child so I am their only source of income. My parents had some savings when they sold off their flat but it's not alot type. They have been the hand to mouth type of family so don't have much savings.

I currently give them a combined of $1350 each month. My father was more like pocket money of $250 when he stopped working full time this year. My mum very much runs the family with the money. But it's mainly for both of them. I pay for their utilities and property maintanence when we bought a apartment together with them 3 yrs back. I also pay for the loan for their existing apartment. So due to that, my parents understand my financial load and hence don't expect too much from me on a monthly basis. During CNY, birthday or bonus, I would give them extras for ang pow preparation. I also pay for their annual holidays.

I feel that very much depends on your income and your parents. Eg. if they know your financial situation of having to support kids,etc... they probably don't expect much. But on the other hand, as they depend on your financially, it's difficult to stop the allowances or reduce. When the kids were younger and our income is not that high then, my mum didn't expect much. I heard some mums will compare the allowance against the childcare fees. :roll:

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Postby Muffins » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:49 pm

parents are the people who have taken care of, and have brought us up into the people we are today, so i think the amoutn of money we would be able to give them is not enough to repay them back....

Muffins
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Postby chatelaine » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:35 am

Just give what you can afford. I'm sure your parents will understand if they know how much you are earning and your commitments for your own family.

I gave 20% of my pay to my parents when they look after my kid. After less all the commitments, I practically left nothing much money for savings.

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Postby sleepy » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:40 pm

True, we should give what we can afford.
I think we shouldn't measure parents' allowance by how much 'work' they are doing for us now



Muffins wrote:parents are the people who have taken care of, and have brought us up into the people we are today, so i think the amoutn of money we would be able to give them is not enough to repay them back....


:goodpost:

sleepy
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Postby KZYPmum » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:01 pm

hquek wrote:hi KZYPmum,

I agree it should be what you can afford. And if you need to peg, try to match what you would be paying for maid (including salary and levy). In my case, I hired a maid to help them with the chores and give them some money every month for parental allowance and topped it up somemore for taking care of my kids. I would also get groceries for them whenever I have the chance.

On their part, my parents also want to make sure I'm not milked dry and do have some left becos maintaining a family with school going kids not cheap.

I'm lucky that my parents are not depending on me financially and they are willing and happy to look out for me also.


Yup, I think the crux is that they are financially secure, so are not too bothered with how much you give... and they're happy to help so you're really blessed!

KZYPmum
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Postby KZYPmum » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:03 pm

Muffins wrote:parents are the people who have taken care of, and have brought us up into the people we are today, so i think the amoutn of money we would be able to give them is not enough to repay them back....


nice of you to think this way, muffins. your parents are lucky / have brought u up to think the 'right' way...

however, sometimes it's not about repaying them per se, but more in terms of striking a balance between what you can afford, and what they might perceive as necesssary or fair...

KZYPmum
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