Wednesday 10 November 2021

Is being too frugal bad? | Being frugal got her 2 properties at the age of 32

Saw an article recently from South China Morning Post on how a lady saved her way up to having 2 properties however Chinese netizens are criticising her due to the way she is living. I think it is really harsh to be giving negative comments about how one is living their life if they are happy with it although her way of living does affect her husband.

Summary of the article, you can read the full article here

The article is titled, "Money-saving tips from a Chinese millennial who owns two properties". It's a great title and I would say that it attracts a certain audience particularly the millennials especially so in a time when properties are so high. We all struggle with property rising but wages staying and even fresh graduates are having a tough time finding a job. The article focuses on Wang Shenai whose is frugal to the point of being stingy. She is 32 years old and owns 2 properties in Nanjing.

Over the past 9 years, she has saved 90% of her salary to buy 2 flats in Nanjing, she is married with 1 kid. It has received large number of views, about 500 million times on Weibo but of course, many are debating whether her extreme lifestyle is worth it. She feels anxious and nervous when she spends money and her husband uses a mobile phone that is so outdated, it only has enough memory for 1 app.

Some said that there is no meaning to life living like that and that the media should not be promoting this kind of lifestyle, others supported her for being wise in saving and getting 2 properties at a rather young age. She said property gives her a sense of security hence she don't mind spending all her money on it.

The money tips which she provided are:

  • Do not buy new clothes; try to borrow old clothes from friends
  • Only use public transport, and try to find discounts if possible
  • Never join feasts
  • Stay away from luxury products

My thoughts

I think the tips that she provided are really useful as a guideline, not saying that you have to abide by all of it but if you can just choose 1 or 2, I am sure it will help in saving a portion of money. Of course, some would say that the lifestyle she is living is very extreme where spending causes nervousness and anxiety but it's really on an individual level. She feels more secure with having properties at the expense of not enjoying luxuries or experiences but if she likes it, that's good. I think there is always something to learn from everyone. Having 2 properties is a dream to most and she has achieved it however she had to sacrificed some things as well. Her frugality has moved to the point of being stingy and I think that is something that might need some adjustments (?) since she already has 2 properties on hand. Definitely, I am in no position to talk about how she is living her life but a lot of sacrifices has been made. I find myself frugal but stingy is not for me to evaluate but for others to say, haha. How would you live your life?

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  1. O.o I'm all 4 pts as well. Though I dun take old clothes. I buy "fos" clothes, no brand. Outside clothes, poloc t can be11 yrs old and still ok to me. But some ppl can noticed it's very old. Haha

    1. Wow, that's great! There will always be people who will say things but you be you! Great job!

  2. All her 4 points make sense. It's not as if she is starving herself or her family in order to achieve her wealth.

    1. Yup, to be honest, her 4 tips are things that we can easily follow but difficult to be consistent as temptations might be there. It's a journey, not a one off action.

  3. It is really up to each individual how one chooses to live his/her life. But things can get a little complicated when one is married and has a family. There is now the consideration for your spouse and children.

    For me I always believe in having a balance between living frugally and living a life rich in experiences. The most important of all is to remember and be clear about what we are working so hard for, saving so hard for and sacrificing our time for!

    It is meaningless to me to save millions and miss out all the things in life that one should experience and enjoy. I work hard, save hard and invest with a clear objective of growing my wealth so that my family and I can live comfortably.

    Living comfortably to me means living in a decent home, eat well, having a car, have holiday travels abroad yearly or twice yearly, have my children funded thru university and enjoy little luxuries in life.

    And so how did we do with this "balanced" approach? My assessment is that we did quite ok.

    We lived in a condo with another one rented out.
    My wife is enjoying her well deserved retirement
    We have good CPF savings
    and we have good passive income (6 figure annual passive income)

    1. You really have it all figured out and do seem to be on the comfortable side. That is great, I think what you mentioned about how it is really up to each individual how one chooses to live his/her life and striking a balance between living frugally and living a life rich in experiences. Amazing passive income and property accumulation on your end! Cheers:)