Beijing, Oct 17: A couple who spend a little over 10 percent of their monthly wage have become a hot topic among young Chinese netizens.
In an online post, Guo Hao said he and his wife, both in their 20s save the majority of their income, reported Xinhua.
“My wife and I earn 9,000 yuan ($1,428) a month together. We only spend 1,000 yuan monthly and save about 90,000 yuan in a year,” wrote Guo, who lives in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu province.
The post drew a huge response among netizens and they asked how he managed it. Guo published a detailed report of his family expenses to show how it was done.
Guo, a state-owned enterprise employee, and his wife, a nurse, have lunch provided by their employers, buy discounted food when the supermarkets are about to close and go to their parents at weekends.
They have bought a small apartment with a loan that can be covered by their housing provident fund. They live near work, which saves on transport costs, and buy clothes from street vendors and online shops.
The Chinese are known for their preference for saving rather than spending. However, driven by soaring rents and other living expenses, many young city-dwellers in China find it hard to save money.
A nickname “Moonlight Tribe” has been created for such people whose pockets are empty at the end of every month. The shortening of “empty pockets every month” bears the same pronunciation as moonlight in Chinese.
Guo’s saving strategy has been the source for discussion. At Sina Weibo alone there are more than 480,000 entries about this topic.
Although many appreciated their lifestyle and have tried to use their ideas, some argued that their strategy is too extreme and at the cost of quality of life.
“What’s the point of making money, if you cannot enjoy a better life?” wrote a netizen named BeipiaoEzu in a microblog. “It is so exhausting to plan every expense meticulously just to save some money.”
Xu Bin, 30, working at a state-owned enterprise in Beijing, told Xinhua that he spends about half of his 10,000-yuan monthly salary in sponsoring three horses and goes riding almost every weekend.
Although his hobby leaves him short of money and makes him a member of the “Moonlight Tribe”, Xu does not plan to change.
“I am living a life I enjoy and don’t want to sacrifice what I like for a number in a bank account,” he said.
Others also question whether it is appropriate to rely on parents as Guo and his wife do.
“Dinners at the parents’ house every weekend?” remarked micro-blogger Heideshanliang.
“It is a bit shameful for adults, who are supposed to support their parents, to still depend on them financially.”
However, Guo’s story has inspired many young people, including Wei Yuan, a secretary at a private firm.
Wei is proud of telling people how little her clothes cost.
She buys them from group-purchasing websites and in the off season. She bought a coat, originally priced at 1,599 yuan, for 289 yuan.
Group purchasing websites, similar to Groupon.com in the West, are very popular in China.
“Good group-purchasing websites are cheaper and more credible than shops on Taobao (an e-Bay like online shopping platform),” said Wei who frequents the websites selling clothes of famous brands with discounts.