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As part of Chinese New Year celebrations, laisee – little red envelopes containing money – are often given to children by elders and married adults. This can be a timely opportunity to teach your kids about the wisdom of managing money properly and to cultivate good saving habits.

Parental oversight

Some parents choose to take charge of their children's laisee money or may even use it to defray some of the costs of the festive season. Your children may feel disappointed if you do this. Therefore, it is important to explain to them the reason and, if necessary, share with them your family's financial situation. If the laisee money is being saved on your children's behalf, it is always best to explain why and the benefits of saving. Explaining to your children why you are doing something can help reduce any feeling of hurt they may have about not getting to spend all their laisee money. It is also an important step in helping them understand money management.

Talk to your kids about laisee money management.

Allocate laisee money

Whenever possible, it is best to let your children have part or even all of the laisee money they were given. At the same time, show them how they should manage this annual bonus.

  • Savings: Children need to understand the importance of building up their savings. Encourage them to put aside some of their pocket money for a future project or goal.
  • Spending: After taking away the money needed for essential expenses and savings, the rest of the pocket money can be spent more freely. It is still important though that your children understand that their pocket money is not for spending on just anything. You should explain to them how to prioritise spending on what they need first, before spending on things they desire, but don't have to have.
  • Giving to others: Encourage your kids to understand the situation of those less fortunate than themselves. Let them know that they can help by volunteering or donating second-hand toys. They can also be encouraged to donate some of their pocket money to worthy causes.

Financial management is best learnt through experience with real money.

In order to teach your children about money management, they must first be given the chance to practise. This means giving them a certain level of independence, while being on hand to observe and offer guidance. Any inappropriate or careless spending should be gently corrected, ensuring they learn from their own mistakes.

Laisee money budget planner


Use this calculator to teach your children how to properly use and manage their laisee money. You can record laisee received, planned savings and likely expenses.

As well as laisee, it is traditional to give gifts during many festive seasons. Typically, these could be sweets or biscuits. This provides an opportunity to teach children the importance of appreciating such gifts, rather than taking them for granted or letting them go to waste. If there are too many gifts, you can encourage your children to donate them to charity. Your children will learn to appreciate the importance of sharing their good fortune with those in need. It might also be a chance to teach your children about wasteful spending.