| Angela Ward
Unless you enjoy working with numbers, it’s unlikely that you enjoy budgeting.
Even the word 'budgeting' can make some people cringe.
But if we want to know where our expenses are going and how much we’re really saving, then we need a budget.
There’s a new budgeting method that’s grown alongside other lifestyle trends like Japanese decluttering, Danish hygge and Swedish lagom.
It’s called kakebo and is a Japanese method of budgeting that gets you to look more closely at your finances using mindful journalling.
It’s both a mindfulness journal and a ledger, which is what makes it so unique in terms of a finance tool.
So why is this approach to saving more fun?
Provides a Simple and Easy-to-Use Design
Think of a kakebo like a journal where you record your income, expenses and savings, along with your financial habits and goals. At the beginning of each month, you write down your projected income and your fixed expenses. You then subtract your fixed expenses from your income to see how much you have left to spend for the month.
Out of your disposable income, you decide on a savings target for that month. This gives you a good high-level view of your money. With its section of questions, it also asks you what your short and long-term goals are and how you plan to achieve them. With a kakebo, you keep all of your financial activities and goals in one organized spot.
Encourages Smart Financial Goal-Setting
Another reason why kakebo makes budgeting so enjoyable is because it gives you visual insight on your spending. At the end of each month, you do a monthly review and record your spending into four categories: general (transportation, gas, groceries), leisure (movies, eating out, shopping), culture (art exhibits, books, language classes) and extras (car repairs, gifts, birthdays).
After totaling up the sum of what you’ve spent, you figure out if you’ve stuck to your target or if you’ve gone over. Next, you do a journaling activity that prompts you to think about where you’ve succeeded, where you’ve put in effort and where you’ve failed. You also get a nice little quote to encourage you along the way.
Creates a Mindful Approach to Money
At the end of the year, you also do an annual review and a questionnaire that helps you reflect back on your habits, your spending and your feelings about your financial situation. You can also plot your finances in a pie chart and graph. All of this is designed to make you feel more in control and mindful of your finances.
In fact, the Japanese believe that being mindful about how you save, spend and monitor your money leads to increased calm and well-being in your life. Kakebo, like minimalism, takes a simple, practical approach and when your finances are in order, it’s easier for your life to be in order too.
Reduces Financial Fears and Worries
The best part of using a kakebo is that it makes you take a good, hard look at your finances but it also gives you the tools you need to better manage your money. When you’re more aware of your financial situation and your vices (we all have them), you’re able to worry less and not be afraid of finances.
It allows you to plan ahead. You already have a financial goal in mind and when you write down your goals, you’re more likely to achieve them.
Kakebo- The Japanese Art of Saving Money will give you a more structured guide on kakebo.
So the goal with kakebo is to become more aware of your money habits, work to change them and save more money in the end.
Have you tried kakebo or do you have another budgeting method that works for you? We love to hear from you at Eve & Elle!