Despite being a millionaire, Hong Kong action superstar Chow Yun Fat has led an extremely frugal lifestyle over the years. According to an American film industry and review website, he spends only about US$102 (S$141) a month.
The film legend who is in the midst of promoting his new action flick “Project Gutenberg” made headlines made headlines after he told Hong Kong movie site Jayne Stars that he plans to give away his entire net worth (that is valued at HK$5.6 billion (S$983 million) according to estimates by The New Straits Times) to charity.
In that same interview with the movie site, Yun Fat explained his plans to donate his amassed fortune and said: “My dream is to be a happy and normal person…the hardest thing in life is not about how much money you earn but how to keep a peaceful mindset and live the rest of your life in a simple and carefree manner.”
According to the article, he stays frugal by doing charity work instead of spending it on himself. Read on for other money saving tips we learnt from the thrifty and down-to-earth megastar.
Shop at discount stores
Yun Fat was once seen out and about wearing a $20 tee and flip flops that cost $3. He has also been said to frequent discount stores. When asked about it, he told the outlet that he does not dress for others, what matters most is that he feels comfortable.
Follow the film star’s lead and save money on clothes without sacrificing your style by shopping at sample sales and thrift stores. That said, make sure you have a plan. Create a wish list in advance to remind you what you came for. Also, only bring cash so you can’t spend more than you’ve budgeted.
Save money when buying a new phone
“Fat-Gor” revealed on a talk show that he used the same first generation Nokia phone for 17 years and only switched to a smartphone when his Nokia cell became unrepairable.
While we’re not asking you to swap out your smartphone for a candy bar phone, you can save some moolah when buying a new phone by purchasing it directly from the manufacturer.
These devices are sold on a SIM-free basis and can be bought for an upfront fee, reducing your monthly outgoings considerably and offer additional advantages in terms of storage, support and your returns policy.
Eat cheap street food
He might be a multi-millionaire, but he still enjoys eating cheap street food according to an interview with the Taiwanese media.
Take a leaf out of Yun Fat’s book and save a bit of money while eating out in the city by using a reservation app like Fave and Eatigo to find deals and discounts.
Apps like Chope give you points whenever you book through their platform that you can exchange for discounts and dining vouchers at a later date. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
Take public transportation
Yun Fat has often been spotted taking the train in Hong Kong by netizens. In fact, he was seen riding the Taipei MRT while in the country to promote “Project Gutenberg.”
If you’re already commuting via public transport, a money saving hack that you should know and take advantage of the “Distance Fare Scheme.” When you transfer to a different bus/train service within 45 minutes and the total distance is under 3.2km, your transfer ride is free. You’re essentially getting two separate rides for the price of one.
Ever heard of the old adage, “giving makes you rich?” Rather than splashing out cash to watch a movie or buy a new outfit, save that time and money to give back to the community. In his free time, the “A Better Tomorrow” star has been said to do charity work. Way to go, Yun Fat!