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Global growth is experiencing a steady decline from 3.5% in 2022 to 3.0% in 2023 and 2024.

So, It’s not just you.

This current economic climate will have anyone wondering about how to save money fast. You’ve probably heard about the ancient Chinese secrets offering numerous ways of saving money. If you want to delve deeper into them, you’re in luck.

Here are some of China’s money-saving secrets.

  1. Guanxi

Having a great deal of guanxi —- a Chinese concept meaning relationships — is one of China’s most remarkable penny-pinching techniques.

Perhaps not so much a “secret” as family and community dependence is a concept hiding in plain sight. After all, we have heard the axiom, “It’s not what you know but who you know that’s important.” So, be it business or personal finance, the Chinese consciously cultivate a harmonious relationship with their family, friends, and society to facilitate good business and save money.

Contrary to the Western business model, which separates business and personal relationships, the Chinese business model intertwines both worlds and leverages family and community dependence to save money while conducting business or managing personal finance.

Guanxi can be used to purchase goods and services at lower costs and negotiate good deals. The Chinese can save costs by sharing the cost of meals, transportation, and pretty much any resources with their family, friends, and community members. In this process, they bolster their social connections, thus culminating in generational living.

  1. Minimalist Lifestyles

Life, according to Confucius — a Chinese philosopher— is really easy, but we insist on making it complicated. Many present-day Red Dragon Citizens do not, as they lead a simple and minimalist lifestyle, which is one of their key cost-cutting strategies.

Confucianism makes a deliberate effort to instill mindful financial practices. To this day, the people of China are able to save more money by focusing on long-term stability instead of short-term gratification. Evidently, the country’s saving rate is at 46% of GDP, occupying one of the top spots for countries with the highest saving rates.

This frugal approach to life recently proved helpful during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown in 2020. Following a “zero-covid” policy that included stringent lockdowns and travel restrictions, 60% of people were inclined to save more, according to the People’s Bank of China — China’s Central Bank— as a result of the save rather than splurge mentality

Even when they can afford it, Chinese nationals tend not to focus on something other than luxury items with little relevance. In addition, the nation has adopted a philosophy of repairing and repurposing items to increase their lifespan. This lifestyle is how they manage to spend so little.

  1. Shrewd Shopping Practices

To many people, picking up items at the mall can be a form of therapy that triggers mood-boosting endorphins. But to the Chinese — the older generations at least—it’s serious business, where consumer goods prices are a sensitive topic that often results in extended periods of back and forth between sellers and buyers.

Yes, the philosophies earlier discussed may keep spending at the barest minimum. However, they follow shrewd shopping practices when they do have to spend. They’ll haggle for better prices until they get a fair deal. This negotiation skill is developed and passed from generation to generation, serving as one of the main hallmarks of Chinese frugality.

Other shrewd shopping practices include the ability to scout for and leverage group buying discounts and coupon codes. In addition, they familiarize themselves with multiple marketing tactics to make them pay more for less.

Anything that knocks down the price is always on the table when shopping.

  1. Budgeting and Prioritization

A minimalist lifestyle that is implemented by shrewd shopping practices always prompts Chinese folks to prioritize needs over wants. As a result, drawing up relevant scales of preference, appropriated budgets, and insightful expense trackers has become common Chinese practice. They also leverage technological advancements by using modern applications to solve such problems.

By creating budgets, they can avoid impulsive buys (or sale) and wasteful spending so that primary needs are taken care of with the least possible amount of money. If you’ve been asking How much money should I save each month?, budgeting and prioritization is one of the quickest ways to get the right answer.

Summary: Chinese Money Saving Tips

Saving money is not rocket science.

You just have to do your best to reduce how much money you spend. And while it is true that certain factors tend to make that problematic, these Chinese practices can help you save more money.

  • Build and leverage personal and business relationships
  • Focus on your needs; Wants can come much later
  • Negotiate till the price favors you
  • Repair and repurpose old items
  • Leverage promos, discounts, coupon codes and sales
  • Keep your life simple.

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