About Us

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Grace (The Frugal Pup)

Welcome to The Frugal Gene, my name is Lily!

I was born in China and brought up in San Francisco, California. My husband and I currently call Seattle, Washington our home. I am 26 years old and my husband is 29 years old. We have been homeowners since 2015. We paid off over 60% of our first house within a year and then purchased a second rental property in 2016.

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 Masters degree that I was not passionate about and would have certainly put me back into debt again.

In this life, I am a full-time Airbnb hostess as well as a blogger and big-time side hustler (Rover, eBay, Etsy and so many countless others). My husband works as an engineer in one of those tall buildings downtown.

We amass a savings of anywhere from at least $100,000 to $150,000 per year, 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. My husband 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 reports

The first lesson here is ‘it’s not how much you make; it’s how much you save.’ It’s also what you do with that money too. The second lesson is that no one saves 70% of their income on the first go. It took us a little over two years to learn how to save like the Mustachians.

We want the option of F.I.R.E (Financially Independent Retire Early). My goal in life is to do something memorable as an entrepreneur…enough to get my rump on Oprah or my own Wikipedia page.

Half kidding! 😛

Our ultimate goal is financial independence and we want you to come along with us on our wealth journey. After our wealth journey, my husband and I plan on traveling for food and YouTubing it. Basically, there’s going to be a buffet after-party so you should come…

Blog Philosophy

We were able to build our wealth by pure luck. We’re not remarkable in any stretch of the definition, just unexpectedly blessed. We came to awareness right in the nick of time. To repay our good fortune, we’re doughing out genuine money hacks and frugal living adventures. I’m always game if you want to chat, hit me up on Twitter!

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.” For the first 21 years of my life, I thought it was normal for the average Americans to save at least 50% of their income. When I read the real figures, I knew we were freaks of nature. I knew I had something to say and just like that, this blog was born.

Related: Our glossary of blog traffic reports

Unfortunately, there’s a very slim chance I would get to meet everyone who visits. The good thing is: you’re not missing much. I write like how I talk in real life – probably better because I’m really shy. Think of this blog as a quiet conversation between you and me.

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

Quick Facts About Me

Discovery Park in Seattle

– 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 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 nearsighted 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. Read topics about our marriage and finances.

– My husband & I attend metal concerts 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.)