Shocking Cost of Living

Shanghai is one of the most expensive cities in China, with local residents spending 30,520 yuan($ 4,914) per capita in 2014. A Shanghai couple, however, has made a shocking claim that they lived happily on one third of that amount last year.

A 43-year-old netizen(网友)says in a popular onlineforum(论坛) that he and his 39-year-old wife spent(花费) less than 20,000 yuan($2318) last year. He adds that they live in their own house, have no jobs, no kids and no cars.

The netizen has made a list(清单) breaking down how the money was spent—1,000 yuan a month for meals, 50 yuan for tea, 300 yuan for watermelons (no other fruits), 340 yuan for TV access fees, 40 yuan for property-related fees, 20 yuan for a cell phone the couple shares, 50 yuan for transportation fees, 200 yuan for some medicine, 240 yuan a month for a buffet dinner(自助餐). The total amount(总数) thus reached 19,580 yuan.

The couple didn’t buy any new clothes or cosmetics.Neither(也不) did they socialize with(与…交往) friends and relatives, or go traveling.

Explaining how they could live like that, the couple says they have three houses worth 5 million yuan in total, 1.5 million yuan in cash(现金), and stocks worth 500,000 yuan. Apparently, they enjoy the currentlifestyle(生活方式): no work, (almost) no expense, and no pressure.

重点词汇 Key words:

生活 shēng huó
living/ live/life/livelihood


  • 幸福生活 a happy life
    日常生活 daily life
    生活成本 cost of living
  • 父亲靠自己的双手勉强维持生活。
    My father gained a bare livelihood of family by his own hands.
  •  热爱生活,生活也会厚爱你。
    If you love life, life will love you back.


  •      一个人脱离社会就不能生活下去。
    One cannot live cut off from society.
  •      她在这里生活了10年了。
    She has lived here for 10 years…

花费 huā fèi

  • v. 他花费巨资在大楼里安装了一台电梯。
    He spent a lot of money to install a lift in the building.
  • n. 这笔花费你能报销吗?
    Can you claim this back on expenses?