Monetary gifts

Monetary gifts are pretty common in Singapore and certain parts of the world, where we would gift money to congratulatory parties, mainly celebratory occasions, such as weddings, baby showers, housewarmings, etc.

In fact, it is also an easy (and lazy) way to prepare a gift, as you do not need to think about what to get for them, nor spend the time to shop for it. Let’s face it, I am sure many of us have encountered numerous occasions where we are lost on the selection of a gift.  And also, consider the possibility that the gift you were thinking of getting might be something that they already have.

Monetary gifts on the contrary, is pragmatic. 

And personally, I prefer monetary gifts too.

The tricky part however, is the amount to gift.

In a previous post, I had discuss about wedding red packets and the general expected remuneration based on the venue that the event is hosted at. The thing about weddings is that they are considered one of the most expensive events to attend. More often than not, the gift value is about $100 (upwards in fact).

On the other hand, baby showers and housewarmings tend to be “cheaper” events to attend. That is, the gift value often doesn’t exceed those that we would gift for weddings. I have not quite come across any articles or surveys that discusses in-depth the trends of gifting for such events (in Singapore) but based on personal experience and discussions with friends, the value tends to hover around $50.

Which I think is a fair figure.

Of course, this would also vary across each gifter’s financial circumstance, as well as how close the relationship that you have with them, which would also determine the value of the gift itself.

A close friend of mine told me, during her daughter’s baby shower, she had received lots of monetary gifts. However, there were two that stood out. Both were ang paos that contained just a $10 note inside.

One of them was from an old auntie, who is quite elderly and not working. She receives pocket money from perhaps 2 out of her 5 adult children.

The other one was from a good friend of hers. Apparently, this friend of hers is a professional and although not particularly well-to-do, is pretty financially healthy.

Which kind of surprises her.

She wasn’t expecting $100 from this friend but she thought that $10 did seem a bit demeaning.

I don’t exactly agree with her, nor disagree with her.

Although we would also like to think of gifting as “it’s thought that counts” rather than harp on the actual numerics, there is also an underlying baseline on what amount or value might be considered “appropriate”.

As my friend was saying, even though the old auntie gave her $10, she could totally understand because she doesn’t have much money herself. That $10 meant a lot to her.

She was however, perplexed by the value that she received from her good friend. They have been really good friends for almost two decades and although frugal by nature, she has never thought of her friend as being a miser.

This episode though, did make her wonder a little.

I can’t exactly fault her for thinking that way for in most gifting occasions, those that have a higher monetary value, are often gifted by close friends and relatives.

However, perhaps there is also be a corresponding value that makes one feel comfortable.

But if her friend had gifted her $20 instead, would that have made her feel better?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

What if that friend had gifted her a something else with an equivalent monetary value, would that have mitigate the disparaging feeling?

Maybe.

It is harder to judge the value of physical object although sometimes we can make an educated guess (based on the brand, quality, etc.)

And that’s also a reason why we tend to remove the price tag when we intend to gift an object.

And when we do not know the value of the gift that we receive, there is a wider spectrum of guess on the value of the gift and I think that makes us feel better since it could potentially fall on the higher side of the spectrum.

But when we receive an ang pao, the numerics are there and flat. No second guesses.

What about you? Curious to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to share in the comment section below.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Go Curry Cracker!

Retire Early. Travel the World.

Four Pillar Freedom

Finding Freedom Through Financial Independence

Millennial Revolution

Random thoughts and journey towards a minimalist lifestyle

Mr. Tako Escapes

Just another WordPress.com site

My Money and Me

I want to live a free life meaningfully.

Root of Good

Retired in 2013 at age 33. Life is Good.

My 15 Hour Work Week

Semi-Retirement Made Earlier and Easier

Raising Smart Savers

Family finances, parenting, and raising money-smart kids.

Dad is Cheap

Fatherhood, Money, and Everything in Between

Our Next Life

Early Retirement // Financial Independence // Adventure // Happiness

Mr. Money Mustache

Early Retirement through Badassity

Be More with Less

simplicity is love

Afford Anything

You Can Afford Anything ... Just Not Everything. What's It Gonna Be?

Frugalwoods

Financial independence and simple living

No Sidebar

Design a Simple Life

Cait Flanders

Author of The Year of Less

Rockstar Finance

- The Best of Personal Finance -

zen habits

Random thoughts and journey towards a minimalist lifestyle

Becoming Minimalist

Own less. Live more. Finding minimalism in a world of consumerism.

%d bloggers like this: