Japanese tricks so we can save a lot of money
In the vast majority of Spanish-speaking countries, the economy has been affected for many years, benefiting even the richest minorities and impoverishing the poorest. That is why millions of families have been forced to get ahead with very low monthly salaries and working many hours a day. Nowadays, getting to save money is something that entails a lot of effort, because you always have to pay the expenses of the house along with other things that always appear in the worst moments. With the tricks we will discuss below we cannot promise that this article will make you a millionaire in a week, but it is true that it will help you save a lot more money than you can collect per month. Do not miss it!
Have you ever heard of "Kakebo"? It is a traditional Japanese way of saving money every month. According to the inhabitants of the country of Japan, the trick is not to spend less, but rather to be aware of how it is spent and why. Once we have all our expenses clear, it will be easier to make some adjustments in this regard. How can you get something like that? We will let you know more.
Many people do not pay attention to the prices of their purchases, and in addition, they are quite impulsive in relation to their expenses. That's why they spend a lot of money every day on items that are mostly useless. In Japan, to save some money, a book of household accounts is kept in order to manage the personal budget. Kakebo was invented in 1904 by the journalist Motoko Hani and is still used in a large number of families, keeping their accounts updated. And the best part is that... It works!
1. Write down everything
In the pages of a Kakebo, all the income and expenses that are made during the month are recorded. The main purpose of these transcripts is to make people think more about their own consumption habits, thus improving their financial management and eliminating anything that is considered unnecessary. How does it work? At the beginning of each month, you should write your initial budget and the fixed expenses: Write down also the amount you would like to save at the end of the month (without spending it) and other objectives, such as quitting smoking, finding a cheaper gas station, taking advantage of offers in supermarkets...
2. Final calculations
Then, every day you will have to write down in detail all the expenses that you have made. At the end of the month, you will have to calculate the remaining balance of your Kakebo and learn a lesson of all the monthly expenses, taking into account the actions taken. If you have achieved your goals, think if you could have avoided some unnecessary things more. But the most important thing is that you can always improve the following month; The goal is not to be too frugal, but rather responsible. If you do it correctly, in the long term, you will save a good sum of money to spend on whatever you want or need.
3. Think about the benefits obtained
Remember that for the Japanese, the Kakebo is not just a book of household accounts, but rather a way to chase the stress and negativity of bad financial administrations. Maintaining a similar journal develops self-discipline and self-awareness, making you more financially responsible. The advice not to fall into the trap is to write "manually" and not "numerically" as much income as expenses. The Kakebo can be found in a lot of bookstores, so what are you waiting for? But this is not all!
4. The daily saving method
You probably make purchases every day, even if it's a chewing gum in a candy store. Well, what you should do is, every day you get home, keep the largest bill or currency that you have left in a piggy bank or a jar. If you do it absolutely every day, even if you only deposit 1 cent, you can save more than 20% of your salary at the end of the year. Consistency is key in this case! Do not listen to those people who say that saving is impossible or that you do not earn enough to do it, it's not true. If you think about it carefully, there are many irrelevant things that are making you spend money every day...
5. Unnecessary expenses
Are you a smoker? If yes, you will be spending some money when you buy two packs of tobacco a week. If you are one of those who smokes a whole pack a day, the figure turns into a bigger number per year. Do you know everything you could have bought with that money? In fact, if you still do not like to smoke a lot and only buy a few cigars from time to time, you pay less every year. How about that? To make matters worse, it is something that kills you slowly inside, and that all it does is to make you worse and worse; It's just up to you to manage your money in the best possible way. Finally, if you do not smoke, there could be other things. For example, taking a coffee every morning from Starbucks, Oxxo or 7-Eleven makes you use an amount of between 4-8 thousand per year.
6. What is the key to success?
As you may have already guessed, the real success of this type of method is the awareness of the end of our personal expenses, giving an explanation of where our salary is going and why we always arrive at the end of the month with our account shivering no matter how many times our capital increases. Undoubtedly one of the most damaging effects is to see that our booklet still bears some added expenses without worries even though we are at the beginning of the month.
Although it is true that money is the way we are able to give ourselves those little whims that allow us to move forward with lives full of boredom and repetition, wasting our salary in a fast and unconscious way can also lead us to absolute chaos if we arrive to stay at zero at some point, not being able to supply some of the basic pillars of life, such as food or necessary comfort. It is therefore important to do later analysis work to understand a bit.
7. Saving doesn’t mean not spending
Some people interpret that in order to save it is imperative not to waste even a miserable penny, trying to flee out every superfluous expense and making our lives a complete misery. Sometimes that, in fact, generates more discomfort, because in many cases we do not usually touch some of the points that really make us lose money without measure. It is important to identify what things cost us more money per month and try to find much cheaper alternatives.
What is the use of buying lower quality meat for only a few cents less when our real problem is that then, we go to the bars to drink exceptionally expensive drinks? The key to this system is that we realize what precisely those habits and customs are most excessive! That is where the success in saving lies. It also places special emphasis on the domestic economy in terms of food habits. It is not always good to devote to cooking "special meals" every day, because this usually involves a heavy investment. In this case, it is much better to allocate our salary to homemade meals that can be "used" in later days.
8. The "Kakebo notebooks"
The Kakebo method is committed to writing everything down by hand, with color codes and so that you have to be aware of what you do. To do this, it establishes five categories that allow decision-making to be accommodated as to where we can apply more or less effective and substantial cuts. This will help us reduce, according to the experts, up to 35% of the monthly expenditure and achieve to reach the end of the month with some coins to save. No doubt the names are clear and effective.
The first of the categories is "survival", where we are going to frame elements without which we could not function. Here we include food, water, electricity, home, and transportation. It should be noted that it does not mean that destinations cannot be modified, but that it would be completely incompatible to eliminate them from our lives. We can try to take a shower instead of a bath but do not decide to cut the water. This, however, we can apply in the next block of expenditure, "cultural". Here we would include everything we consider destined for personal enrichment, and it would be all kinds of cinema events, books, concerts, music purchases or anything similar. We include the internet here as well.
9. More superficial expenses
"Optional" is a category that would make more than one think about its real name. Clothing, accessories, restaurants or leisure areas can be eliminated or modified by much cheaper alternatives that allow us to create a bag of money. Sometimes a professional amendment can convert an old garment into something much more modern for a few coins, compared to the expense of buying a new product in a store to use. Other examples, directly, should be eliminated to achieve savings, such as tobacco itself, which contributes nothing to our useful lives.
The so-called "extras" are those concepts that escape all planning and cannot be considered as items to be accounted for. That the car is broken, that the bathroom is flooded or that the kitchen is breaking down are things that nobody can wait for, but that they must have a quick solution or they will suppose an added expense. In any case, the key to our economy may lie in the fact that within the "survival" area, concepts such as brands, unnecessary products or food whims that escape our budget are being sneaked out. As the book "The Art of War" said, "To know your enemy, you must become your enemy". Identifying it is, therefore, the first and most important step.