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It just dawned on me this morning that Frugal Asian Finance is now four years old!
For me, it feels like I just started this blog a couple of months ago. I still remember how nervous and excited I was when I purchased the domain and started this blog at 11:30 PM on March 21, 2017.
I thought no one would read my blog, but I decided to give it a try anyway.
Out of curiosity, I checked the stats to see what posts have been viewed the most over these past four years and was pleasantly surprised. The topics are not always about how to make and save money.
1. The Pros & Cons Of Living With In-laws
My in-laws are originally from China, and they have lived in China their whole life. They came to the US and lived with us to help our with our kids for two years.
I am grateful for their help. Without them, Mr. FAF and I wouldn’t be here today.
But as with any parents and their children, we have experienced some challenges that stem from our generational, cultural, and language differences.
It hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. But at the end of the day, we are still a family.
This post is by far the most popular on the blog. In this article, I talk openly and honestly about the benefits and challenges of living with my in-laws which many readers can relate to.
My in-laws planned to come to the US in February 2020 but couldn’t because of the travel ban on China.
When Covid is over, they are coming to the US to stay with us. Our kids go to school full-time now. But we think it would be nice for them to stay with us and watch our children grow.
2. 6 Financial Expectations In Asian Families
When I started blogging, I found that many readers were suprised by some expectations in Asian families.
For example, grown children, especially sons, are expected to take care of their parents. The husband is expected to have or buy a house when he starts a family. And his parents are expected to help out financially. Not every family is the same. But many readers found the post informational.
As for Mr. FAF and I, sometimes we joke that we want our son to stay with us when he starts a family.
But we both agreed that we do not expect much from him. We just want our children to grow up happy and be good people.
We are trying our best to take care of ourselves financially when we retire, and if possible, provide a better financial future for them as well.
3. 10 Expensive Things Worth Buying
Mr. FAF and I are super frugal people. I wear free T-shirts at home. Mr. FAF’s jeans are faded and have been mended a couple of times by me. Most of our kids’ clothes and toys are hand-me-downs from neighbors.
When Mr. FAF got a job about four years ago, we decided to purchase electronic toothbrushes and were estatic about the quality.
In this post, I detail the ten expensive things I think are worth the money. When the money is tight, of course we need to buy things that fit into our budget.
But when we have a bit of wiggle room, buying some expensive items can help us improve our life quality and save us money in the long term.
Our first Oral-B electric toothbrushes
4. How We Manage Our Rental Property Out of State
This is a guest post by J at MillennialBoss.com. J shares the story of how she and her husband have successfully managed their rental property out of state.
I personally was looking to purchase a property in a less expensive area as a rental property, so this post was informational. And I think many readers did as well.
5. 7 House Rules That Can Save Us $7,000/Year
One nice thing about owning a home is that we can set our own rules on how to operate the house. And in many cases, our family members and even guests will likely need to follow those rules as well.
When I sat down and analyzed the benefits of our house rules, I realized that they saved us on average $7,000/year. T
hat’s the money we can easily save by setting good habits for ourselves and our family.
6. What To Bring To A Potluck
With Covid happening this past year and a half, get-togethers are few and far between. But normally potlucks are a great opportunity for us to hang out and eat good food with friends and family.
One question some might ask is what to bring to a potluck. If you are frugal, you might not want to buy expensive delicacies to bring to a big event.
But if you think something too small or cheap, you might face some judgmental looks from other people. In this post, I document my experience preparing for a potluck with suggestions on what we should bring to those events to have fun and stay on a buget.
I made tuna wraps for a potluck.
7. When You Are Ashamed Of Being Poor
I grew up poor. And there were moments in my life when I felt ashamed of that.
But now that I have built a life, a career, and a family for myself, I feel happy with who I am and what I have.
I want to focus my energy on raising my family and pursuing my career rather than paying too much attention on what people think of my possessions and socioeconomic status.
In a way, growing up poor has taught me to be content with the material that I have and helped me realize who are the good people in my life.
And for that, I am grateful.
8. The Pros & Cons Of Our Dual-Income Family
Both Mr. FAF and I work full-time. We don’t have immediate plans for either of us to become a stay-at-home parent, but that might change in the future.
We want to maximize our earning and growth potential to build a secure future for ourselves, our children, and our parents before leaving the workforce.
When you have two parents working, the income is good, and the finances are more secure. If one of us loses our job, the other can still bring in an income and have the family’s healthcare covered by their employer. That is not to mention all the work-related benefits like 401(k).
However, with the benefits also come challenges of juggling two full-time jobs, managing housework, and raising children.
Different families make decisions that work best under their circumstances. As for us, we are ok with our current setup.
9. 3 Reasons Why I Love Instant Noodles
I grew up eating lots of instant noodles. Some say it’s a poor man’s food since it’s cheap, filling, and unhealthy.
But for me, it means fast and yummy food. As I get older, I try not to eat so much instant noodles and replace them with healthier options.
However, when the craving strikes, I just give up and make myself a delicious bowl of instant noodles.
10. 6 Things Americans Do That I Don’t Get
I came to the US for college. Not growing up in America, I had a huge culture shock when I came to the country. I have seen so many things that Americans do that I either didn’t or still don’t get.
I wrote this post to share my thoughts and hoped to seek some clarity from the reader. I almost didn’t publish it since I didn’t want it to become conversial or offensive.
To my surprise, this post went viral on Pinterest and received generally positive feedback from many readers.
One thing Americans do that I still don’t get is showering in the morning. Both Mr. FAF and I shower in the evening. I think of a shower as a great and a great way to end my day before I snuggle in bed.
After four years of blogging about personal finance, I have learned a lot about myself, our finances, and the community.
One benefit I see is that blogging helps me organize my thoughts and communicate more effectively at work.
I hope you had fun reading this post as I had fun writing them.
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