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As 2018 is coming to an end, it is time for a roundup of the best posts of Frugal Asian Finance in 2018.
The metric I use here is the number of page views.
Each of the post below brings back memories and add to the Frugal Asian Finance brand I have been trying to build since March 21, 2016.
Without further ado, below are the top 10 posts in 2018:
This post went rival on Pinterest for days.
In this article, I discuss all the house rules and etiquette I came up with and try to implement for our safety, money saving, and sanity.
Some of those rules are not wearing dirty clothes to bed, double-checking the door and all windows on the first floor before we go to bed, and doing the dishes right after we eat.
I wanted to put monetary value on those activities to show that even a little daily habit can save us lots of headache and expenses down the road.
As a frugal person, I usually don’t buy expensive things. Saving money is the way to go for me. However, throughout my life, I’ve realized that sometimes you indeed get what you pay for.
Many expensive purchases turn out to be beneficial for a long time and can save you lots of trouble. Some of those purchases are electronic toothbrush, a house, a good education, and plane tickets to visit family.
If you haven’t noticed already, those are the things you can’t (and maybe don’t want to) buy used. It is, therefore, important to prioritize what we think is important and cut expenses in unnecessary categories.
I wrote the post about how my in-laws helped us with the down payment for our first home a while back.
And some readers were really surprised to learn that in Asian culture that a man is expected to have a house and a job in order to get married.
Realizing that a lot of the cultural expectations I take for granted as an Asian don’t seem common to people from other cultures, I decided to write this post.
I wrote this post very early on in my blogging endeavor (probably 1.5 years ago). However, I kept putting off publishing it since I didn’t want to offend anyone.
I’ve been in the US fora little more than 13 years. But there are a lot of things Americans do such as taking a shower in the morning instead of at night and taking out debt to go on vacation that I simply don’t get.
It’s just so puzzling to me that at one point I decided to just put it out there. I ended up getting a lot positive feedback from both Americans and non-Americans. And the post went viral on Pinterest.
My in-laws have been super helpful in helping Mr. FAF and me build our family life and take care of our kids. They came all the way to the US from China to take care of Baby F1 and Baby F2. We are forever grateful to them for all of their help.
However, living with the in-laws does come with challenges that not every daughter-in-law and/or son can overcome. You can read more about how our lives have changed since my MIL left DC here.
One of the main problems is that parents always think they are right since they are older and have more experience (even more so in Asian culture). They expect you to do as they say with no questions asked and get upset when you don’t.
They also overlook your authority as your kids’ parents and want you to adopt their parenting style instead, which poses problems due to the cultural and generational differences.
Saving money and building wealth doesn’t always have to start with maxing out your 401(k) or buying a house to rent out.
It can be as simple as packing your lunch to work every day and wearing those free promotion T-shirts you got instead of dropping $10 on one at the store.
Hubby and I are simple people. We find beauty and fun in simple things. I think it has a lot to do with our modest upbringing. We are used to being happy with not much.
This post was difficult and emotional for me to write. Everyone wants to extol the beauty of simplicity and minimalism. However, for those who know what it’s like to be poor and to be looked at by others as a poor person, you might beg to differ one way or another.
I grew up in a poor family. I heard and saw all sorts of things directed at me as a poor kid. But I’ve come a long way. And now I’m proud of coming out ahead and learning important lessons from my upbringing.
We didn’t have much, Mr. FAF and I did all sorts of things to save money. Mr. FAF used to live in a garage-turned bedroom. We didn’t buy any holiday decorations.
But now that both of us have a job, we’ve loosened up a little bit and no longer go too extreme in saving money.
Our secret has been revealed. Mr. FAF and I don’t sleep together in the same bed or even in the same room. The reason? Mr. FAF’s snoring is unbearable to me.
I cannot sleep next to him, period. We tried to think of different ways to make it work like using earplugs and shopping for a big mattress. However, at the end of the day, we decided to just sleep in different rooms for our own sanity.
This is one of the most controversial posts on the blog so far. Some readers sympathized with us for having to sending our son to China for my in-laws to raise him while we were in school.
However, some also criticized us for not being able to provide for our child and not quitting our job to stay at home with him.
I read all the comments and understand where everyone is coming from. I am just happy our son is back in DC with us and will not send our kids anywhere from now on.
That wraps up the 10 most popular posts on Frugal Asian Finance in 2018. I still can’t believe this is the second time I’ve written this roundup. The blog is almost two years old now. Onwards!