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Kakeibo – the art of saving – Japan

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I followed a link in a Medium article by Thomas Oppong and it led me to this interesting blog post about this thing called Kakeibo, which is basically a way of spending and saving practiced in Japan.

The blog post explains that kakeibo is a tool used by money-savvy Japanese to manage the household finances.

Kakeibo, pronounced “kah-keh-boh,” translates as “household financial ledger.” It was created in 1904 by a woman named Hani Motoko. She was Japan’s first female journalist and was described by CNBC as “a simple, no-frills approach to managing your finances.”


How to use a Kakeibo

  1. A the beginning of the month write down your fixed expenses and incomes (e.g. mortgage, rent, broadband bill, etc.). The difference will show you how much money you have available for the rest of the month.
  2. Estimate the savings that you want to achieve for the month and set it aside. You should just forget it and make everything possible to don’t touch it during your weekly expenses.
  3. During the month register the expenses in the different categories:
    • Survival: food, pharmacy, transports, kids. Optional
    • Optional: bars, restaurants, takeaway, shopping, cigarettes
    • Culture: books, music, shows, movies, magazines
    • Extra: irregular events such as gifts, repairs, furniture
  4. Establish the goals of the month (e.g. start to save for your summer vacation)
  5. Establish the promises of the month (e.g. stop smoking, buy gas from the cheapest station)
  6. At the end of the month (and the year) the battle between the “savings pig” and the “expenses wolf” starts: the difference between the initial budget and the total monthly  expenses will give you the monthly savings.



  1. CNBC: I tried ‘Kakeibo’: The Japanese art of saving money—and it completely changed how I spend my money

  2. Kakeibo: The Mindful Japanese Budgeting System That Can Help You Save

  3. Shondaland: The Art of Kakeibo: This Japanese Budgeting System Could Change Your Financial Life


  1. Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Mindful Saving
  2. Kakeibo
  3. How to live Japanese





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Life Notes is my online notebook; a place to put my digital ‘newspaper’ clippings, bits of my journal, observations, and other stuff all with the ultimate aim of find tools, resources & ideas to help artists thrive.  Read about how it came about here.

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