TL;DR – It’s NOT all about the money, money, money!
How it all started?
Meet Josh Tan – the man behind The Astute Parent – a site he started a few years ago because he felt there was a gap in the market for finance-related content geared towards parents.
“It’s funny, I was actually a super late technology adopter. But when I became a parent, I realised my son will live in a digital age and for me to help him navigate being a digital native, I would first have to understand it.
So I built a website and carved out a niche I was familiar with, combining my in-depth knowledge on various financial products and instruments along with the natural inclination towards parenting related concerns.”
Josh constantly uploads videos on The Astute Parent’s Youtube channel so there is new content weekly.His videos touch on a range of topics such as how to become a more savvy investor, property advice, parenting and even current affairs. His motivation – to help families with their finances across a broad spectrum of concerns.
I let Josh in on the fact that I watched a good 20 of his videos and scribbled down investment tips so I could become more savvy. We both laughed and I immediately knew he understood the kind of financial change one has to get used to when having kids.
“Ya! Parents go through a lot of changes in their life. When they start a family, suddenly they have various financial constraints and start having to be more savvy and tighten the purse strings.”
Teaching kids the right “money values”
His latest endeavour Millionaire Kids! – TheAstuteParent is another interesting initiative. Beyond teaching parents how to impart financial literacy, Millionaire Kids! hopes parents can more importantly, impart money values and financial responsibility.
“Children should not only learn how to gain wealth but to have the “right money mindsets”. With wealth, there is a lot one can do to make a real change in the world.”
Much ado about Budget 2020
With the upcoming Budget 2020 to be released, I thought it was also timely to get his perspective on it.
“Honestly, I don’t really go and research much about the Budget. And every year, it’s typical to look at what’s in it for ourselves. Thankfully, a lot of the subsidies that are applicable to parents are systemised – schooling subsidies, Baby Bonus, personal income tax relief etc.
And what strikes me every year is the sheer amount of social transfer spending that the Government does. I was always under the impression that our biggest spending was on healthcare.”
We delved a bit deeper into some of the misconceptions that people have about the Budget.
I built on his earlier point that people tended to only look at what is in it for them and feel disgruntled should they not have as much “handouts” compared to previous Budgets.
But each Budget should not actually be looked at in isolation but rather, the series of Budgets across a term of Government would provide a more accurate and holistic picture of the initiatives and subsidies rolled out that benefit various segments of the population.
For instance, for people of the same demographic profile as Josh, the previous few Budgets have rolled out initiatives to support young couples and parents – ranging from enhanced Baby Bonus, housing subsidies, childcare subsidies, U-Save rebates, GST vouchers, subsidies for older school-going children etc.
Josh shared his closing thoughts.
“I don’t think the Budget is talked about enough. Maybe I get a meme here and there but not many in my circle are aware of the Budget. I guess parents should try to pay a bit more attention to the Budget so you have an idea of what the Government is spending on and what packages you qualify for. Might help in some areas of family finance planning.”
Will we see a video from Josh once the Budget 2020 is out – you can bet on it! 😉