Cherie Li, 27

Weekend traffic gridlock in the city often means a quiet night at home for Cherie.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Weekend traffic gridlock in the city often means a quiet night at home for Cherie.
My Reading Room

“At this time, I’m at home reading or watching a movie, and definitely with a good glass of wine.

Red wines from Australia are my favourite, because they’re reasonably priced and taste good. I sometimes go to night clubs and KTV bars, but prefer to stay in because the traffic is terrible from 5pm on Fridays, and this stretches out over the weekend because everyone wants to relax and have fun. My weekends are spent with my husband – we got married last year – and my parents.

We’ll lunch together before taking our two miniature schnauzers out for walks, or to a dog park with a swimming pool where they can splash around and keep cool. One thing you’ll notice about Shanghai is that it’s getting really hot. The highest temperature we’ve seen this summer is 45 deg C – it was the highest in decades.

I’m worried that this will only get worse.

I currently work as a financial analyst at a governmen towned securities company, where I collect, monitor, and study data. I earn between 400,000 yuan ($82,400) and 500,000 yuan a year. A lot of Shanghainese women in their 20s and 30s spend at least half their income buying things on Taobao (the Chinese equivalent of Amazon), while men spend that same amount going out with women. Here, it’s still customary for men to pay on dates, and even make the first move.

It’s expensive to own property in Shanghai, so our income also goes to rent and utility costs.

I don’t really spend on material things. I tend to channel my money towards wellness.

I love hot yoga and practise it daily to detoxify and relieve any bad emotions [I may be feeling].

Living in a city like Shanghai can be stressful, so it’s important to find balance.”
My Reading Room
More: shanghai spend