Before publishing the List of Asian Personal Finance Bloggers – Part 1, I didn’t know what to expect.
The post could be well received since it includes so many amazing Asian personal finance (PF) bloggers I’ve encountered over the past two years.
However, I was also afraid some might wonder why in the world I would take the time to build a list that other people might know already. Also, I didn’t want non-Asian PF bloggers to feel left out since I didn’t include them.
I built this list for two reasons. First, although I follow and adore many non-Asian PF bloggers, I want to find some frugal grocery, cooking, and finance tips that I can relate to as an Asian.
When I started reading PF blogs, I had a hard time finding Asian PF bloggers online, so I want to make it easier for other readers to find what they’re interested in.
Second, I hope to reach out to other Asian PF bloggers. What’s a better way to establish a connection with them than highlighting their great work?
Since List of Asian Personal Finance Bloggers – Part 1 came out, I have received such positive feedback and comments from both Asian and non-Asian readers/bloggers I decided there has to be part 2.
And here come the amazing bloggers (in alphabetical order):
20 Something Lawyer by George
George is a female lawyer in her 20s in the Philippines. She focuses on litigation and corporate law. George is also a non-practicing economist and currently practicing public interest law. She loves law but also enjoys finance, travel, fitness, and fashion.
A Gai Shan Life by Revanche
Revanche is a professional in her 30s living in the Bay area. She has been a personal finance blogger since 2006. When Revanche was nine, her mom let her write checks to pay for the real bills. At the age of seventeen, she helped her family get through a tough time and came out stronger and more aware of the importance of personal finance.
From 2000 to 2008, Revanche paid off nearly $200K in family debts, none of which was incurred by her, while supporting her family of four. She started a personal finance blog as her free therapy.
Revanche and her family are currently in a much better financial position. They are striving to be rich not just in assets but also in love and giving.
Big Kid, Little Adult by Pia
Pia is a young professional in her 30s. On her blog, Pia publishes monthly financial reports where she discusses her expenses, financial goals, and other major financial news in her life. She also publishes recipes for frugal yet delicious-looking dishes.
Kris is a frequent reader and commenter on my blog, so I was pleased when Kris informed me he had set up a blog of his own.
With the encouragement of this then soon-to-be wife, Kris took drastic actions to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt in 6 months right before his wedding. Kris also paid off $40,000 in student loans after 6 years (8 months after his wedding).
Kris and his wife have been debt free for the past 5 years and have increased their 401(k) contributions, maxed out their IRA contributions, and invested in other funds.
Current on Currency by Anum Yoon
Current on Currency focuses on personal finance for college students and 20 somethings. Anum had lived in three different countries before moving to the US. Anum lived in Hong Kong until she finished middle school.
Anum didn’t think much about personal finance until she started high school in the foothills of the Himalayas. She learned how to budget and live with a monthly allowance of $15 given by her school.
After Anum moved to America for college, she lost track of her expenses and ended up spending $10,000 after the first semester in college. That money didn’t include tuition, room or board.
Anum is now debt free. She documents her journey to financial freedom on her blog.
Debt BLAG by Mario
In January 2013, Mario, back then a single guy living in New York, realized that he had amassed more than $160,000 in debt. It was also during that time that he started Debt Blag.
On his blog, Mario offers the lessons he learned the hard way about paying off debt to reach financial independence.
Debt Free Geek by Chris
Chris works as the Vice President and Director of Information Security for a financial institution. At the age of 28, Chris paid off over $150,000 in 3.5 years and is now 100% debt free (no mortgage).
However, Chris and his wife realized that money didn’t make them happy. They are now working towards financial independence.
Financial Panther graduated college in 2009 in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. Due to the dire job market, he went to law school and graduated in May 2013 with $87,000 in student loans.
Financial Panther accelerated his debt payoff starting in January 2014 and made the final payment in June 2016. He then left the big law firm he had worked at for 3 years and took a government attorney job that paid $50,000 less than his previous job.
However, Financial Panther had gotten used to living below his means, so he didn’t notice any major lifestyle change. He has started a series of side hustles such as a dog-sitting business, Airbnb, delivering food, and selling used items online.
Financial Panther and his wife are now paying off his wife’s students loans from dental school. They have an adorable dog named Financial Pub.
FITnancials by Alexis
Alexis started her blog in 2013 to share her tips on personal finance, travel, and fitness. Alexis works as a full-time blogger, which has enabled her to travel the world. Alexis has been to Europe, South America, Australia, and Asia.
Alexis used to have a binge eating disorder but overcame herself to lose more than 60 lbs after realizing one night that she was overweight at over 170 lbs (5’2” in height). Since then, Alexis has made more conscious choices about her nutrition and exercise.
Alexis is Michelle (Making Sense of Cents)’s younger sister.
Future Proof MD is a radiology resident and personal finance blogger. He addresses personal finance topics that appeal to young medical professionals (i.e. med students, residents and fellows).
Future Proof MD started his blog to fill a knowledge gap about personal finance among young medical professionals. Despite his hectic schedule as a resident in training, he publishes posts three times a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
If you are a medical student or are trying to pay off debt from med school, or even if you just want to know what it’s like paying off medical school loans, then head on over to his blog and check out some great tips.
High Fiving Dollars by Sarah Li Cain
Sarah was once jobless, homeless, and $9,000 in credit card debt due to an ex-boyfriend. Since then, she has learned to take better care of her physical, mental and financial health and now lives happily with her husband and son.
Sarah once walked away from a job that was physically and emotionally draining. She had no backup plan and no job lined up the next day. But a healthy emergency fund that could cover 18 months of her family’s expenses showed Sarah that she had options.
Through her experience, Sarah wants to empower women to take charge of their financial and emotional health.
I Saved 5k by Leo T. Ly
Leo is a realtor based in Ontario, Canada. If you are interested in gaining financial independence and investing in real estate, then I Saved 5k is for you.
After reaching the millionaire status over 10 years, Leo is well on his way to gaining financial independence: increasing his net worth to $2 million and retiring by the age of 48. Leo’s recipe for financial success consists of disciplined saving, utilizing tax rules, and leveraging money for investment instead of consumption.
Learn to be Great by Darren
Darren’s topics of interest include personal finance, personal development, health, fitness, and life. Darren retired from the US Army three years ago and works as an instructor for the US Army’s Soldiers and civilian workforce.
Darren started his blog to explore his creativity, show others how to run a profitable business, and to leave a legacy for his children.
Making Sense of Cents by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner
Michelle started her blog in 2011 to document how she paid off $38,000 in student loans. Since then, Making Sense of Cents has grown into a successful business, generating $979,321 in income in 2016. Michelle’s most recent income report for May 2017 reached $120,104.93.
Michelle and her husband sold their house in 2015 to travel full-time in their RV. They have two adorable fur-children.
What I admire about Michelle is not only her impressive income but also her acumen and tenacity as a businesswomen. She has only two part-time assistants, an editor and a tech specialist, instead of a big team.
Michelle has faced multiple comments and questions from others doubting her ability as a woman to single-handedly build such a strong business. But she has shown them that she can do what they deem impossible. She can do what they think THEY can’t.
I like proving other people wrong when they think I can’t do something successfully, so it’s not an overstatement that I look up to Michelle as my role model when it comes to blogging.
Side note: Mr. FAF has always doubted my ability to run a successful blog and make any money from it. In other words, he doubts my ability to become a successful businesswoman. I know it doesn’t sound romantic, but it’s the harsh reality.
I understand where he’s coming from. Making money from blogging is still a foreign concept to him. Mr. FAF always says my blog is just for fun, which irks me to no end.
One time, I showed him Michelle’s monthly income report and told him one day I will make in a month what he can make in a year. I’m not sure if I will, but I just loved his facial expression right then and there: shocked and in disbelief.
Miss Bonnie MD by Dr. Bonnie Koo
Dr. Bonnie Koo is a dermatologist in New York but has always been an entrepreneur at heart. Her first successful business venture was her lemonade stand when Dr. Koo was only 10 years old. After graduating from Barnard College, she worked at Morgan Stanley making six figures by the age of 23.
Dr. Koo went on to earn her medical degree at Columbia University. It was during this time and before she finished her residency that Dr. Koo lived paycheck to paycheck and was $20,000 in credit card debt. She ended up with $200,000 in student loans. With a passion for financial health, she plans to achieve financial independence in 15-20 years.
Bonnie also has an amazing bi-monthly podcast called “Friends Talk Finance.”
Mr. Tako Escapes by Mr. Tako
If you visit Mr. Tako’s blog, you will be impressed with the beautiful and delicious-looking photos of Japanese dishes that he makes. Mr. Tako and his family rarely eat out since he’s such a great cook.
Mr. Tako became financially independent with his wife at the age of 38. In 2015, they were worth over $2 million USD although he made less than $100,000 for most of his career.
He lives with his wife and two sons in the Pacific Northwest of the US.
Ms. Financial Literacy by Nina Seibold
Back in 2009, Nina and her husband spent a lot on healthy food, restaurants, and vacations. But they were frugal in many other aspects of their lives.
Nina was driving a 1985 Honda Civic while her husband was driving the same model made in 1995. They were not interested in the latest gadgets. Her husband didn’t get a phone data plan until 2013, and Nina didn’t get hers until December 2012.
Nina and her husband are working to achieve financial independence by 2018. They plan to save 33X their annual expenses for that goal. Their current monthly expenses are roughly $5,000, 35% of which goes to childcare. Once they leave their 9-5 jobs and can stay home with their daughter, their annual expenses will drop to $50,000 or less.
Nina and her family live in San Francisco.
NZ Muse lives in Auckland, New Zealand but took six months off in 2013 to travel the world. She was one of the three Asians majoring in journalism at her school and writes for a living.
In her hardest days, NZ Muse ate so many jam sandwiches that she no longer wants to have jam in her house. Things started to look up for NZ Muse. She bought a house in 2016 and has been living it since.
Savingchamps by Lorna
Lorna grew up in a frugal family in China. In 2000, she came to America to pursue a PhD. Lorna paid for the GRE and application fees for 15 graduate schools in the U.S with the savings she had put away by working multiple jobs throughout college and grad school.
Lorna lives with her husband (Roy) and two children (Andrew and Allison) in the DC area.
Urban Departures by Emily and Daniel
Emily and Daniel is a couple team who is passionate about personal finance and travel. Both of them are engineers. Daniel had $30,000 in student loans and a negative net worth while Emily had about $500 in her name when they got married.
They paid off their student loans in two years and paid for their wedding in cash. They put the rest of their savings in a down payment for their first home.
Emily and Daniel have two children.
After compiling the list, I realized that each Asian PF blogger has such a unique story. We have different starting points in our lives, work in different professions, and have had different levels of debts for various reasons.
But we are all heading in the same direction: being debt-free and financially free. And we’re achieving that through discipline and hard work. Personal finance is what helps us grow stronger as individuals and as part of the bigger personal finance blogger community.
If you’re also an Asian PF blogger but don’t see your name listed in part 1 or 2 of the list, please don’t hesitate to leave your feedback below. Depending on the reader’s feedback, I might work on part 3.