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CNY 2020: Best Things to do with Ang Bao Money

​The standard g​reeting phrase most commonly heard during Chinese New Year (CNY) ​is "新年快樂, 恭禧發財". It literally translate to "Happy New Year, Wish you Happiness and to BECOME RICH!"

​We are a few days away from #CNY2020. Let's look at the things we can do with ang ​bao money ​you receive and what to do if you are distributing ang bao in this year of the rat.

What to do if you are ​RECEIVING Ang Bao Money in CNY 2020

You can receive ang bao money if you aren't married yet or if you have kids.

Here are some of the things we can do with the money:

1) Beat the Queue for Next Year!

You can keep all the crisp and straight notes to be used next year.

You can exchange them with your parents and have them transfer you the money.

This is one of the ways you can avoid having to go join the long queues to exchange "new" notes.

​2) Deposit ​Them ​into ​Banks ​on Li Chun

Unlike past few years where Li Chun occurs before CNY, in 2020, Li Chun takes place AFTER CNY this year.

CNY is 25/26 Jan. Li Chun is 04th Feb.

#savethedate

​Since you are going to deposit the money anyways, might as well do it and boost your financial luck.

Click here to read more if you are depositing for your kids. You'd see comparison on the various ideas of depositing and why choose their CDA account!
3) Donate some of it!

There is always a lot of virtue in giving/sharing/donating what you have to the less fortunate.

Apart from spending money on unwanted frivolous items, you can donate a small portion of it to charities for a good cause.

Accumulating some good karma along the way is never a bad thing.

I found that the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) is running a website called giving.sg where it has compiled a list of charity organisations for you to easily find and donate to. Quite self explanatory in their website.

As a disclaimer, ​TheAstuteParent is not affliated with giving.sg or NVPC.

We just think that it is always good to donate some money. Small amounts by you could make a huge difference to an individual.

​4) Invest the Money

Whoever is receiving the ang bao, be it yourself or your kids, it implies there is long time horizon.

This means you should look for ways to grow your money.

There is a suitable investment/savings product for all levels of risk tolerance.

Learning how to invest will change the way you see money. You can start by reading these 2 articles:

Silly Investment Mistakes | 5 Of The Worst You Must Know!

How To Start Investing: Financial Advisors Gives Their Best Advice!

What to do if you are GIVING Ang Bao in CNY 2020

​1) ​Know the Ang Bao Rates

​Ang bao rates is very contentious topic. It is a combination of giving good blessings with economics and "face". 

​Give too little and kids might be snobbish about it. Give too much and you "spoil market".

Nephew/niece must give more. ​Cousins who is your on mother's aunty's husband's sister's grand nephew from Sarawak don't need to give.

A good exercise is to ask your closer cousins who are married ​to  understand their rules of engagement and budget when it comes to ang bao.


2) If its your 1st Year, see if you can apply for exception

Sometimes, the situation is just out of your control and you need some time to regain yourself financially.

​Most couples in Singapore get married at the end of the year, go for honeymoon, and if you are a very careful planner, move into their new BTO flats all within the last 3 months of the year.

These 3 events are big ticket items and as young couples, it is only practical that you need some time to save up the money.

Building emergency funds is more important that giving them out as ang baos.


3) Have More Kids

​Having kids as a small "return on investment" is quite self-explantory.

If most of your relatives have one or two kids, having three kids means you could receive more than you give. 

Plus you are doing your national duty by growing the population. 

​That said, the cost of having kids way exceeds any ang bao budget one can have.

​5) Grow the Money Conservatively Beforehand

Typically annual ang bao budget starts from $1,000 and will keep going up as the family expands.

One of ways is to include this in your annual budget financial plan.

We have articulated some low-risk investments in this article: 

Low Risk Investment (Edition Oct2019)|3y Endowment, Portfolio or Bonds?


​Bonus Tip for Astute Parents:
CNY2020 is Perfect Time to Teach Kids About Money

A huge portion of chinese new year involves teaching chinese customs, celebrating the holiday, and it is also the best time to teach kids about money, if you haven't started earlier.

​After CNY, some kids will be flushed with cash.

​Without proper guidance, the money will most likely be squandered on useless things with instant gratification. This might lead kids to sub-consciously be greedy towards receiving ang baos only for the money aspect.


​Simple concepts of saving, budgeting, and delayed gratification can be taught in this period.

These small small lessons will shape the way they treat money and in their adulthood, when they receive their annual bonus, you will have a peace of mind knowing that they are managing their money wisely.

Talk about teaching a man kid to fish on personal finance.

Click here to join the Facebook Group Millionaire Kids by TheAstuteParent

You'd find ideas on how to teach your children ​about money the right way...

Last updated on January 23rd, 2020 at 01:37 pm

Alvin Teo

Practising financial planner with Promiseland Independent Pte Ltd. EXPERIENCE: More than 2years. Alvin is a young parent, founder of The Agent's Circle and also the manager at TheAstuteParent.

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