Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Kakeibo: Another Way to Think About Budgeting

I enjoyed learning about KonMari (the Japanese decluttering method by Marie Kondo), so I was intrigued when I read about Kakeibo, a Japanese method of budgeting. It sounds a lot like the Magic Little Notebook method I first used before YNAB (which probably stemmed from the Kakeibo method, but I just didn't know it). 

In the Kakeibo article, there was reference to a study finding that students who take handwritten notes retain the information better than those who use laptops or other electronic means. 

I think that's why I took to YNAB so well - I was already in the habit of tracking my expenses, and the app just made it easier to do so. 

This Kakeibo method uses questions that are similar to the YNAB Rules:

Kakeibo: How much money do you have available?
YNAB Rule One: Give every dollar a job. 

In both cases, you only deal with the money you actually have today. 

Kakeibo: How much money do you want to save?
YNAB Rule Two: Embrace your true expenses.

In both cases, you are looking at what you will need in the future. 

Kakeibo: How much are you spending?
YNAB Rule Three: Roll with the punches.

In both cases, you are looking at what's actually happening to your money in the present. 

Kakeibo: How can you improve?
YNAB Rule Four: Age your money.

In both cases, you are looking at how you can improve your financial situation. 

It's also interesting that both methods use four steps. 

So if you have tried YNAB, but found that you weren't actually using the app, maybe it's time to take a step back and put pen to paper. 

If you have tried Kakeibo, but found the handwriting too tedious, maybe it's time to give YNAB a whirl (use this link for a free month). 

Of course, there are other ways to do this without using either Kakeibo or YNAB. The important thing is to continue to try to spend less than you make, and grow your savings. When it comes down to it, that's really the point.