Monday, 6 February 2017

Telling the difference between wants and needs to children

The financial journey for Claudia Tan, five, and her brother Brian, three, began when their parents set up savings accounts for both of them - on top of their Child Development Accounts - when they were born.

"However, it's important that children first know the difference between needs and wants. Needs are things they truly cannot live without, such as food or a house to live in. Wants are things we would like to have but without them, we would be fine. These include the latest smartphone, toy or designer clothes," says Mr Francis Tan, their father.

He also believes that it is important to teach children the concept of opportunity cost.

"I'll allow her to make the decision on whether she prefers to visit the zoo or indoor playground Cool De Sac at Suntec City, and ask her to articulate her reasons," he says.

He believes the decision-making process will go a long way in moulding her thoughts on opportunity cost and in the future, it will be easier to teach her about money management.


Exceptional people: Bringing a little joy to the old, lonely and infirm

Volunteers from Helping Joy cleaning a house

These are just a few things Dianne Loh has grown accustomed to seeing as a volunteer with Helping Joy, a Singapore-based non-profit group founded by Mr Steven Goh. Growing up with helpers at home, the 36-year-old didn’t even know how to change her own bedsheets.

But these days, she spends her weekends scrubbing toilets and repainting walls for strangers.

Every other Sunday, early in the morning, the cleaning brigade from Helping Joy arms itself with scrubs, bleach and cans of paint - all donated - and visits old folks whose homes are in desperate need of a makeover.

All household items are removed, sorted and thoroughly cleaned. Then, the entire flat gets hosed down, disinfected and repainted.

What sets Helping Joy apart is their follow-up visits and the more holistic approach to things. The monthly maintenance team makes sure each beneficiary's home stays clean and clutter-free long after the big clean-up.