Hong Kong movie star Chow Yun Fat’s fortune is estimated to be HK$5.6 billion (nearly 1 billion Singapore Dollars) yet he leads a frugal life.
According to reports, he lives off just HK$800 (SGD140) each month and relies on public transport to get around.
The 63-year-old, who is one of the world’s most successful stars, has pledged to give his entire fortune to charity.
We here at Neue were fascinated with how he was able to stretch his dollar.
In the comments section of these online reports about Chow Yun Fat’s HK$800 monthly budget, public reactions were somewhat mixed.
One reader asked, “Could some people please show me how to live on just HK$800 a month?”
Another reader believed that something had gotten lost in translation during the interview. “I think he meant pocket money, and not living expenses,” he commented.
Regardless, we here at Neue believe that there are a few things that all of us could learn from Chow Yun Fat. And so, without further ado, here are some money-saving tips inspired by the Hong Kong star:
#1. Save 10% of every payment you get
According to a report, Chow Yun Fat revealed the reason for his way of living and financial success, saying, “My mother always taught me to save 10% of every payment I get. She taught me that thriftiness is a virtue.”
#2. You don’t always need to buy a new mobile
While some people wouldn’t even think twice about getting, say the latest iPhones (that could cost over SGD1,000), Chow Yun Fat is believed to have used a first-generation Nokia phone for 17 years. He only upgraded to a smart phone a few years ago after his Nokia phone stopped working. Though the exact phone model cannot be confirmed, various online reports suggest that his Nokia phone could have been a “flip model”.
#3. It’s ok to use public transport
According to a report, Chow Yun Fat takes the MTR and bus from time to time, to the delight of his fans. The social media meme “Capture Brother Fat” started sometime in 2015. His fans would often take selfies with him when they bump into him – at bus stops, on MTR trains or on a hike – and post the pictures on social media networks.
#4. Eat hawker centre food
According to Chow Yun Fat’s wife, her husband manages to live frugally in one of the world’s most expensive cities by frequenting street food stalls. I can’t help but wonder if you’d be able to live on just SGD5 a day for food expenses in your own country. (Click here to read Neue’s previous article on ‘Is it possible to survive with only $5 a day?’)
#5. Clothes for comfort, not to show off
Chow Yun Fat has been spotted wearing a T-shirt worth only HK$98 (SGD17) and a pair of HK$15 (SGD2.50) slippers. He was quoted as saying in a report, “We don’t wear clothes for people to value us, but we wear them to make us feel comfortable.”
Have Your Say!
Would you be able to live a frugal life like Chow Yun Fat? What local charities do you think needs more support? Do you have any other money-saving tips? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to Neue via its social media channels on Facebook or Instagram.