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What Is The Appropriate Amount To Pack In An Ang Pow?

The festivity of Chinese New Year (CNY) is fast approaching and those celebrating will be welcoming this joyous celebration with open arms as they indulge in glorious food spread and the company of their loved ones.

But, there is one small problem at the back of the mind of all adults: how much should I give in an Ang pow? This is especially true for newlyweds who have no prior experience and would not like to be seen as a cheapskate. Deciding on the appropriate amount can be tricky when one has always been on the receiving end.

To ease your burden, here are a few factors to take into consideration when packing the little red packets this coming festive season. Follow Venuescape‘s guide for an idea of how to have a better estimation.

chinese-new-year-appropriate-ang-pow-amountRe-evaluate your financial situation

It is inauspicious to start the new year by being in debt. Set aside a budget on how much you intend to spend and can afford to give out. This is to give you a rough guide to work with and prevent yourself from overspending and being in debt! Have a quick reflection of your current financial situation to get a rough idea of how much you’ll be able to spare.

Identify the ranks

A general rule of thumb, immediate family members should receive a bigger amount compared to those who are not blood tied. The amount might vary depending on your relationship with the individual. However, it is important to note that a standard amount should be given to family members of the same ranking (eg: siblings, parents & in-laws) to prevent biasedness and unnecessary dispute.

Do a headcount
Make a rough estimated number of Ang Pows you’ll have to give out prior to packing them. Break down your budget into group budgets. For example, if your overall budget is RM1000, you can allocate RM700 for family and immediate relatives, RM200 for distant relatives and RM100 for miscellaneous and outside guest.


Consider an auspicious amount for ‘special people’
Chinese generally believe that even numbers represent that all things will be well rounded. The number 8 is a highly auspicious number because it is regarded as a lucky number which symbolizes prosperity. This would indicate that the amount given to immediate family members should start or end with 8, for instance, RM8, RM88 or RM188. Another favorable number is 9 as is sounds like longevity when said in Mandarin.

It is entirely up to you
At the end of the day, it should be based around your own opinion and level of comfort. The best way to decide is to base it on your own budget and decide what is best for your funds instead of following the benchmark set by others. Decide the amount base on affordability and not your neighbors.

No matter how much or little you can afford to give, it should be the thought that matters not the quantity in the red packet. This applies to those receiving it as well.

True family and friends are more concerned with getting together to celebrate the lunar new year than to judge how much you put in your Ang pows. As long as you bestow each with sincerity and an open mind and heart, the monetary part is just a bonus.

If you would like us to plan your CNY party, do get in touch with us at +6012- 727 3984. To those who are celebrating, we wish you a prosperous and Happy Chinese New Year from all of us at Venuescape! For the rest, have a good holiday!

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