Thrifty China: Whiskey, Weddings & Savings Rates

I’ll occasionally post details about ways in which my home is uniquely frugal.

One simple example comes from the creatively packaged whiskey that arrived today. My Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbon* was placed in its usual styrofoam sleeve, but its box was an aggressively taped together Talisker box that had been turned inside out. Talisker’s bottles are more narrow, though, so the Rare Breed’s squatter shape necessitated a bit of creative taping on a gapping side.

It’s an inconsequential example of how vendors cut corners. Little things like this make me smile.

Secondly, on a bigger scale, the Irish Times recently reported on a crackdown by Chinese officials on extravagant weddings. Just a bit different than the obsession in the U.S. with years of planning and “no expense spared,” right?

Picture from the linked Irish Times article.

Read the article here.

Finally, in case you haven’t heard about it yet, there’s more on China’s incredible savings rate here.

It’s consistently one of the highest in the world, and this one states that just a couple other places rank higher, including Kuwait, where I worked last year.

I find this intriguing given what I learned while there.  Essentially, the Kuwaiti government provides its citizens an incredible amount of support.  Its students get exorbitant stipends and full scholarships to study anywhere in the world. Many of them use the generous living expense account they get to save up money for their first homes, and the government even routinely wipes out the debt of its wealthy/royal families.  This generous assistance undoubtedly helps this country save at the high rate that it does.

Meanwhile, even though Chinese universities are free in-country, the schools don’t have the physical capacity to accept all qualified students. Consequently, wealthy and/or frugal Chinese parents foot the bill for their children to study abroad, many times after saving for many years.

That’s it for now!  I’ll do shorter posts like this fairly often in addition to the longer ones I’ve done before now.

*This whiskey costs half as much here as in the US, probably because the vendors on Taobao don’t realize that it’s a step above Wild Turkey 101, which is more popular. But it goes further due to its stronger proof; in a move that would grieve purists, I serve it with ice or water to make it last longer.

It is budgeted for, and only something I buy occasionally… but I will probably cut down on it in coming months.

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