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I wouldn't consider things to be all that frugal over here. I do live in a very nice - but modestly-sized - apartment. I have a sports car that I genuinely love (and would still have the one I bought in 2004 if someone didn't run a red light and T-bone me), and saved a ton by buying it 2 years old, getting it cheaper than most people pay for boring, 4-cylinder midsize sedans.

Granted, my income increased substantially over the years. My foundation expenses haven't increased, I've just cut down discretionary spending and buy things that last (i.e. avoiding buying cheap junk because it "saves money now" when it costs more over time because it has to be replaced). I actually spend less than I did 5 years ago.

There's ways to be cheap that are still smart and don't make you feel like your cheating yourself for the sake of frugality. Video games are just as fun when they're 2-years old and can be had off of eBay for $10 as they were when they were brand new and $60. I wait for consoles to be price cut. I can upgrade iPhones every year because I can get 90-95% of the upgrade cost covered by selling the old one on eBay. I spent a lot on an LED-backlit TV years ago, but it looks so fantastic (after 4 years) I don't see myself replacing it until it dies, rather than upgrading every 3 years like my friends have since the late 90s.

If I really wanted to, I could limit my expenses to 35% of my net pay. But then that would be short-changing myself. 35% used to be the average savings rate in China.

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