About Us

Hey, Hello, Hi!

Want to know all about characters behind The Frugal Gene? I deliver!


My name is Lily. I am 26 years old and my husband, Jared, is 29 years old. We have been homeowners since 2015. Just 1 year later, we paid off over 60% of our first house before purchasing a second rental property. Jared works in one of those tall buildings in downtown Seattle. I am a full-time AirBnB (super)hostess as well as a blogger and business owner.

Jared and I amass a savings of anywhere from at least $100,000 to $150,000+ a year. This does not include any growth from our investment portfolios or real estate properties. We pour almost $60,000 a year into tax deferred retirement accounts alone. Thanks to some self-discipline our net worth ballooned to what is well within the scope of the top 1% given our age group. It’s not how much one makes; it’s how much one saves. It is also what you do with the money and we can help you with all that at TFG.

My doctrine for extreme savings rests in a childhood plagued with poverty and a sobering refusal to repeat that mistake. We both strive to save as much as we can. Remember this: no one saves 70% of their income on the first go. It took us over two years to learn how to save like pros. There are plenty of tips and hacks online but simply having the right mindset to want to change (by being here with us) is already amazing! The funny thing is everyone has a frugal gene but it is our mindset that dictates the rest of our behavior.

Our Story

Jared and I are millennials. When the country was reeling from the ’09 financial crisis, we were slowly “adulting” in a world much unlike the ones of our parents. We both struggled to find deeper meaning & purpose in our adulthood until we found each other.


I graduated early with Magna Cum Laude in 2012. My 3.5 years of undergrad left me with $20,000 in student loan debt. Fueled by determination, I was able to repay all of my student loan debt within 8 months of graduating.

My elderly father lives with us. Both my parents have endured difficulty in P.R.C. and in the U.S. as well. It is a blessing, in a way, to have them coincide with us under one roof. I can very well reason that we are truly millennials. We live under a multi-generation household with the residual power of parents to help us along.

Our Philosophy

Much of the personal finance blogosphere focuses upon early retirement as the ultimate goal. In truth, early retirement is not the strict goal on TFG. We both enjoy the Art of Work. The ultimate goal is financial freedom. The freedom to not escape work but to have the full opportunity to work for a passion without the concern for money. Blogging is my passion and for every reader I can reach, I am thankful.

Facts About Lily

blogger, the frugal gene, budgeting, saving, frugal family, selfie

  • My Chinese name is Xiao Xiao (潇潇). It means the ‘sound of beating wind and rain.’ Humorously I live in Seattle, Washington.
  • My parents were very poor so for the first couple years of my life I was given to my aunt to raise.
  • I came to San Francisco from China at age 9.
  • My parents worked as vegetable preps in the back of a Chinese supermarket for $5.50 per hour for 10+ years.
  • My family had no proper health insurance. I have been to “backdoor” dentists 3x times in the past 15 years. I did not find out I was severely near sighted until I was 16. Moreover, I was not able to get glasses until I was 19. My grades in high school slipped because I was too ashamed to tell anyone I could not see.
  • I am allergic to chapsticks / lip balms.
  • My husband has saved my life, more than once.
  • Jared & I are attend metal concert from time to time to teach our yuppie side a lesson in conforming 😉
  • Once I took an IQ test and scored around 119. Another time, I mistakenly ate dog food…(no, it was not good.)