An unemployed couple living in Shanghai claiming to have only spent 20,000 yuan total in 2014 have left many netizens wondering if their described frugal lifestyle is worth not working.
A 43-year-old netizen said in a post to Tianya, an online chat platform, that he and his 39-year-old wife dipped into less than 20,000 yuan of their life savings while living in the famously expensive city last year (the average Shanghainese spent 30,520 yuan in 2014). The netizen said that neither he nor his girlfriend work, they live in their own house and have no kids or car to worry about.
Of course, they also sacrificed a good deal of things that most of us enjoy on a daily basis, including social interactions.
They allocated their budget for only the most necessary daily costs, meaning no new clothes, no make-up, no outside dining and no loans.
The netizen said they stopped working because it was just another cost for them. “If we go to work we need to buy new clothes, we need to pay for transportation, we need to eat outside and we’d have to socialize with colleagues.” (We can only assume this backwards reasoning is meant to justify their desire to live like hermits.)
The netizen made a list breaking down how all of their budget is spent.
1. Meals costs 250 yuan per week, amounting to 1,000 yuan per month.
2. No snacks, fruits or yogurt, JUST tea, which costs about 50 yuan per month. In summer, they “splurge” on watermelon. In total, it costs around 300 yuan per month
3. Water, electricity, and cable TV costs 340 yuan. Property fees cost 40 yuan, phone bills are 20 yuan and transportation fees are 50 yuan. They prefer bicycle for transportation.
4. The wife has no need for makeup because she doesn’t work or go out.
5. They jog for exercise.
6. They spend 200 yuan for basic medicine.
7. Each month, they spend 120 yuan per person at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The Grand total for all costs of living comes to 19,580 yuan.
The couple later revealed to reporters that all their money comes from their savings. In the 90s, they both worked at a foreign company that was expanding in China and made around 9,500 yuan per month until the company went bankrupt in 2008.
With all their assets, including a house worth 5 million yuan, 1.5 million yuan in cash, stock worth 500,000 yuan and another 100,000 yuan in savings, the couple agreed that if they lived simply enough, they had no need to work again.
By Tanto Chen
[Image via: The Times]