Chinese http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9336/all en-US What Do the Chinese Spend Money On? http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-chinese-spend-money-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-do-the-chinese-spend-money-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5412481533_0297f6687c_z.jpg" alt="Chinese family" title="Chinese family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Four years ago I wrote about some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">money habits of Chinese people</a>. Most notably I said that Chinese people have a very high savings rate. Some readers have asked me what Chinese people are saving for. Recently I just made another trip to China, and I would like to share some of my observations on the subject of how Chinese people spend their money currently.</p> <p>First of all, I should clarify that I am writing from the point of view of a upper-middle-class urban Chinese family that makes around $1,000 to $2,000 a month. There are many extremely wealthy Chinese people, and there are countless Chinese people who are much poorer. Their spending habits may be vastly different. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-last-name-affects-your-spending-habits">How Your Last Name Affects&nbsp;Your&nbsp;Spending Habits</a>)</p> <h2>Housing</h2> <p>Housing prices have zoomed out of control in the last decade, and the government has made efforts to cool the market. Prices have come down since 2009, but most young people still are not able to afford a house without help. In my hometown of Yangzhou, apartments are selling for about 400 to 600 yuan per square foot. This means it would take an upper middle class family eight to ten years of savings to buy an 1,000 square foot apartment in cash in Yangzhou. In larger cities like Shanghai, apartments generally cost over 1,000 yuan per square foot, so it is much harder to pay cash.</p> <p>Those who take a mortgage in China are called &quot;fangnu,&quot; which means house slave. Another slang for mortgagees is &quot;woniu,&quot; which means snail, because they are weighed down by their shelter. These people generally are extremely frugal with everything in their lives, but they spend a large percentage of their income on their mortgages. Additionally, mortgages are all adjustable in China, and the government can raise or lower the rates at will. So when people can pay cash they will do it because they just don't like the uncertainty. Upper-middle-class families generally try to provide housing for their sons once they get married, and including a new condo as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas">wedding gift</a> pushes the cost of some weddings into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.</p> <h2>Education</h2> <p>Chinese public schools are not free through the 12th grade. Parents usually have to start paying for high school, or if they want to go out of their predefined district they can do so by paying. When it comes to college, many upper-middle-class parents prefer to send their children abroad because they believe foreign colleges provide a more solid education. Additionally, there are many college students without jobs now in China, so a foreign degree gives a person an extra edge in the job search. Some parents actually sell their houses to fund these international students, but others simply pony up decades of savings. There are student loans in China, but they are very rare, so most people pay for college with cash.</p> <h2>Cars</h2> <p>Cars are very expensive in China if you consider the initial cost and the cost of upkeep. First of all, all imported cars cost two to three times the list price in America due to taxes and other markups. So a car that is about $30,000 new in America can cost $60,000 to $90,000. That makes a car almost as expensive as an apartment. There are cheaper, China-manufactured alternatives to import cars, but Chinese people prefer to buy import Audis and BMWs because they say that the quality of the cars made in China isn't as good. Since they're spending such a big chunk of money, they would rather buy something nice. In addition to the initial cost of the car, there are steep costs for car registration in some cities to help curb congestion. In Shanghai it <a href="http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1103&amp;MainCatID=&amp;id=20120521000018">costs on average $10,000</a> to just register a new car, and registration is done by a monthly lottery. After you get the car and start driving, you will find that practically all the highways have a toll of around 10 cents per kilometer (16 cents per mile). Even with these costs, more and more cars are getting on the road.</p> <p>The common thread that I saw in China is that Chinese people are still <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-changes-you-can-make-today">very frugal in their daily lives</a>, but many people are saving up for that one big thing. Another notable thing is that Chinese parents pour everything they have into their children even after their children are adults. Ultimately, Chinese and Americans all want to live better lives, but the difference is that most Chinese people don't reach that higher standard of living on borrowed money. Sometimes I don't know if the Chinese method is smart or naive, because it seems that so many Americans get what they want without saving for years, and it is not that hard to get rid of debt through legal maneuvers.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Is it silly to save for purchases in your life when you can just finance everything?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-chinese-spend-money-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats">How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free">6 Ways Life is Wonderful When You&#039;re Debt-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-can-buy-with-5000">What You Can Buy With $5,000</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill">4 Ways to Win the War Against This Summer’s Electric Bill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Chinese housing savings spend less than you make Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:36:38 +0000 Xin Lu 934439 at http://www.wisebread.com Save a Bundle on Your Groceries: Consider Your Local Asian Market http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3449316239_ef870b57e1_m.jpg" alt="Asian Market" title="Asian Market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Despite the coupons and the special offers, the major supermarket chains are not cheap. You find a deal now and then, but on the whole they really don&rsquo;t give you great value for money. Farmer&rsquo;s markets are good for deals and fresh produce, but they only appear once a week in my area. But for great produce any day of the week, at silly prices, my local Asian market is unbeatable.</p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I&rsquo;m a huge fan of cuisines from all over the world, and I usually pop into my local Asian market for rice (20lbs for just $12.99), Aloe drinks, Kim Chee, dumplings, good soy sauce and some fresh pork buns; but this time my wife and I did a full shop there. And wow, what a difference.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Frugal Produce</strong><br /> For a start, the produce was outstanding. We found over six different types of plums, including Dragon Plums and a delicious mango/nectarine plum combination. We found so many fruits and vegetables we had never seen before, with wonderful smells and textures. And then, we saw the prices. A pound of Dragon Plums was just 79 cents! Regular black plums were $1.29/pound. And in Safeway, the same plums were over $3/pound. Big, big difference. We also found fresh ripe blueberries for 99 cents/pound, over four times less than in Safeway. Onions, potatoes, carrots, leeks, melons, broccoli, cabbage, they were all at least a third cheaper than Albertsons or Safeway. We were shocked. We filled up the cart.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Cheap Meat Treats</strong><br /> When we went onto the meat section, it was vast. Asian cooking is the ultimate in frugal food; no part of the animal is left behind, and as such, the variety on offer was mind-blowing (vegetarians, you may want to skip this next part).</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> I grew up on liver, steak and kidney pie and black pudding, so I&rsquo;m all for different tastes (I&rsquo;m a big fan of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twinkie-sushi-chopsticks-optional">Bizarre Foods</a>). A look around the meat and fish section left me wide-eyed. There were the usual cuts of meat, but there were also things I&rsquo;d never seen in a regular grocery store, including duck heads and feet, fish roe, octopus, sea cucumber and so much more it would take a book to jot it all down. Again, the prices were way less than in our local Safeway and King Soopers, and all of this meat was freshly butchered and packaged in front of us.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Although not quite adventurous enough to cook duck&rsquo;s heads, yet, we did appreciate the massive variety. And the freezer section was just as prolific. There were so many different types of frozen dumplings and buns that we didn&rsquo;t know where to start. And there were a host of Asian ice-creams, alongside the usual Dreyer&rsquo;s and Breyers.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>More Savings</strong><br /> In the canned food aisles, we explored a host of amazing foods from around the world. We bagged authentic Ramen noodles and some great sauces and condiments. And we also grabbed some great drinks, including Mango Ramune.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">When it came time to check out, our rickety old cart was straining under the weight. And the final tally for all of our 12 bags of groceries and fresh produce was just $120. We will of course be going there again. On the way out, I said that I was surprised more people don&rsquo;t shop at their Asian markets. Luckily, this blog gives me the chance to get the word out. So go, check out what&rsquo;s on offer at your local asian (or any <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ethnic-markets-feel-worldly-for-cheap">ethnic market</a> generally) and pick up some great food and supplies for much less than you&rsquo;d pay at a chain supermarket.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-you-can-cut-grocery-expenses-today">13 Ways You Can Cut Grocery Expenses Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-supermarket-insider-reveals-5-ways-your-grocer-is-trying-to-upsell-you">A Supermarket Insider Reveals 5 Ways Your Grocer Is Trying to Upsell You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Asian Chinese groceries japanese Korean market Oriental shopping Thu, 16 Jul 2009 20:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 3393 at http://www.wisebread.com Chinese Proverbs About Money and Personal Finance http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-proverbs-about-money-and-personal-finance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chinese-proverbs-about-money-and-personal-finance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guilin.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A commenter on Wise Bread <a href="/why-buy-one-get-one-free-is-usually-a-bad-deal#comments">wrote a Chinese proverb about marketing</a> that reminded me that there are many Chinese proverbs about money and personal finance. Here are a few of the ones I hear quite often.</p> <p><strong>An inch of time is worth an inch of gold, but it is hard to buy one inch of time with one inch of gold</strong> - I was taught this proverb at a young age. It can be interpreted as &quot;time is more precious than money&quot; and in many ways I find that to be true. I trade my time for money at work, but I cannot buy the time I spend at work back. It is sometimes used as a lament by older people who are well off financially when they mean that they can never buy back their youth.<br /><strong><br />Money could make demons turn grind stones </strong>- This proverb has two sides in its meaning. In one sense it means that if you have money you have the power to hire anyone you want to do your bidding. In the more negative usage, it is said when people commit crimes for money. For example, whenever there is some corrupt official being executed in China for embezzling, people would say this phrase to mean that money can lead people to do bad things.</p> <p><strong>Giving your child a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold</strong> - This is is akin to the proverb &quot;give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.&quot; However, the difference is that the Chinese version is more concerned about inheritances. I agree that teaching a child a marketable skill that he or she can use to generate income is much better than giving a child a set amount of money to spend.</p> <p><strong>If you save the green mountain, you will not worry about having no firewood to burn</strong> - On its surface this could be a statement about conservation and environmentalism, but it also means that as long as you are alive and producing something in the world, you do not have to worry about not being able to survive. I often hear this proverb in TV shows where heroes failed spectacularly in life and lost everything, but they still have their life and skills left so they can rebuild.</p> <p>There are many more Chinese proverbs about money and life, but I will stop here for today. What are some of the proverbs you grew up with? How do they apply to your life today?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-proverbs-about-money-and-personal-finance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance General Tips Chinese money proverbs sayings tips Wed, 18 Jun 2008 22:17:54 +0000 Xin Lu 2184 at http://www.wisebread.com