Welcome to Savingchamps! I am Lorna, a mom of two, who loves to share ideas on saving and managing money to achieve financial freedom. 

Raised in a frugal family in China, I knew the meaning of saving money since very young. When my cousins used their allowance to buy popsicles, stickers, hair clips, and all kinds of fancy stuff, I kept my coins in my piggy bank and only planned for a small special treat when I reached a certain goal. I knew I had enough money to buy those goodies, but I also believed the money saved would help me do more important things. 

My savings continued to grow as I started to earn money during college and graduate school by tutoring kids and adults, writing articles for newspapers, doing translation work, and winning scholarships. In 2000, I decided to pursue my doctoral degree in the United States. I was extremely proud that I used my savings to pay for the GRE test fee and application fees for 15 graduate schools in the U.S. The exchange rate at that time was 8.8 Chinese yuan (CNY) for one dollar.  A big chunk of my savings was gone, but it helped me achieve one important goal. 

2001 was my lucky year for two reasons: first, I was accepted into a Ph.D. program with a tuition waiver and assistantship. Second, I was able to join my husband, Roy (also known as Mr. Savingchamps), who was studying for his graduate degree in the same city. Best of all, he also had an assistantship which paid better than mine and our schools were just less than 2 miles apart! I suppose I could write about our student life and how we managed to buy our first car (of course a used one), move from student dorm to an apartment, pay off Roy’s student debt, find opportunities to obtain skills and broaden network, etc, but those would run for pages and may deserve a full chapter in my potential autobiography.

We are now a four-person family living in the DC area. Like most people, our life has ups and downs, and sometimes unexpected turns here and there. What has not changed is my saving and spending habits. Over years, I’ve accumulated many ideas and tips on saving and managing money. I did not learn those from my Ph.D. studies; they came from my real life experience. In my spare time, I enjoy reading others’ blogs on thrifty living, building a fortune, and getting ready for early retirement. I finally decided it is time for me to share my ideas and tips on these topics. Now, here we are—Savingchamps!