About Us

Hey, Hello, Hi!

Not a dog blog, I’m just in love with my doggo.

Welcome to The Frugal Gene, my name is Lily!

I was born in China and brought up in San Francisco. My dad was a factory worker in China and we lived in a fishing village.

Growing up in the U.S., my parents worked in the back of a Chinese supermarket. I was your typical shy, nerdy Asian girl next door!

My husband and I currently call Seattle our home. I am 27 years old and my husband is 30 years old. We have been homeowners since 2015.

In my previous life, I was a typical underemployed millennial “in-betweener” stuck in the twilight of young adulthood.

I graduated university early but my undergrad still left me $20,000 in student loan debt. Fueled by desperation (I never held debt before), I was able to repay all of my student debt within 8 months of graduating while surviving on only part-time work.

I spent my days at a very uninspiring ho-hum job trying to decide if I should pull the trigger for a Master’s degree that I was not passionate about and would have certainly put me back into debt again.

Seattle off leash park on a summer’s day.

In this life, I maintain my Airbnbs, my pup daycare, and building 2 other projects on my bucket list. Life is too good to take passively.

My husband works as an engineer in one of those tall buildings downtown. We save 90% – yes 90% – of our income, not including any additional growth from our investment portfolios.

My doctrine for extreme savings rests in a childhood plagued with poverty and a sobering refusal to repeat that mistake.

Myhusband and I both strive to save as much as we can without giving up the core things that make us happy.

Related: Our glossary of family income and expense reports

We want the option of F.I.R.E (Financially Independent, Retiring Early).

The primary goal here is simply FI (financial independence) and we want you to come along with us on our wealth journey.

After our wealth journey, my husband and I plan for a family, lots of food, some traveling and “deep life.”

(Deep life is my word for work that is unnecessary financially but fulfills the deepest part of human needs for purpose and legacy.)

Also on the topic of legacy, having my children born financially savvy and free is a big one.

It’s my main motivator in life. I didn’t totally enjoy growing up poor, duh, so I’m stopping the cycle.

Blog Philosophy

We were able to build our wealth by working hard and that hard work put us in a position to be very lucky financially. We’re not remarkable in any stretch of the definition, just unexpectedly blessed.

We came to awareness right in the nick of time.

Personal finance is a very tight-lipped subject. Growing up, no one gave me an ounce of knowledge about money.

Easy doings enough – my family didn’t have any!

In fact, the subject was completely banned in our household because it was seen as “rude.”

I thought it was normal for the average Americans to save at least 50% of their income. When I read the real figures (5% at best), I knew we were freaks of nature.

I knew I had something to say and just like that, this blog was born.

Related: Want to know all about real life characters that made me who I am today? I deliver!

Quick Facts


– My real name is . It means the ‘sound of beating wind and rain.’ Humorously we live in Seattle, Washington.

– My parents were poor. For the first couple years of my life, I was given to my aunt to raise. I was barred from attending elementary school because of my family’s social caste in China.

– Eminem taught me how to cuss in English. Not…like in person of course 😂 I wish!

– 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 nearsighted until I was 16. Moreover, I was not able to get proper glasses until I was in college. My grades in high school were negatively impacted because I was too ashamed to tell anyone I couldn’t see.

– I am allergic to chapsticks and lip balms.

– My husband & I are big Scandinavian heavy metal fans. That was the music we bonded over when we first met and everything glided from there.


If you want to chat, hit me up on Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.