March 06, 2018 1 Comment


How do you feel about money? Are you frugal or partial to a blow out? Do you wish you could manage your spending better but still want to enjoy life?

This week we are discussing money and ways to revolutionise our finances. We’re taking inspiration from Jacqui Agate’s recent piece for Refinery29 on the book ‘Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money’ by Fumiko Chiba.

Our relationship with money can be complex. In a recent Ctrl Alt Delete podcast, ‘Why is Talking about Money So Awkward?’ Emma Gannon discussed the taboo that surrounds money and why asking for it, having a little or a lot more than your friends, or saving for life’s big events can be delicate.

In Jacqui’s article, she acknowledges that saving money is hard - even if you’re scrimping, there’s not much left once the fixed expenditure has been deducted. That’s where Kakeibo can help. A budgeting journal invented in 1904 by Japan’s first female journalist, it’s been translated into English by Fumiko. The concept is brilliantly simple; at the start of each month, write down exactly what you have (salary, birthday money etc) then plan your spending, saving and actions needed to reach your goals. All mindfully written down in a kakeibo journal, rather than a spreadsheet, to allow you to review your successes and weaknesses and improve each month.

Some other tips from the author are:

  • Shift your mindset to ‘spend well to save well’ - budget meticulously so you CAN do and have what you want, rather than focusing on what you CAN’T do or have.
  • Divide your spending into four categories - survival, optional, culture and extra to ensure a sensible balance.
  • Try using cash rather than cards, and consider dividing it into labelled envelopes. We’re more likely to think twice about the physical handing over of cash.

Fumiko says “small acts can make a big difference in your saving goals. Acting with patience and consistency is what the kakeibo encourages” and it could see you cut your spending by 35%. Maybe, the next time you check your bank account won’t be so terrifying…

1 Response

Linda Greenbrook
Linda Greenbrook

March 12, 2018

Good piece, useful information .

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