Kakeibo Japanese Art of Saving Money

Japan has always been the land encompassed with rich history and culture. The Japanese thrive in everything. They mostly prefer things in the old, traditional way. Kakeibo literally translates to ‘Household finance ledger’ and is pronounced as ‘Kah-Keh-Boh’. The first woman journalist in Japan, Hani Motoko was credited with the invention of ‘kakeibo’. 

She worked relentlessly to purge the patriarchal mindset that plagued Japan during her lifetime. Apart from being a successful journalist and an activist, she developed this old-age tradition of saving money.

meaning of Kakeibo in English

Are you often faced with the dilemma – whether to buy or not? Well, you are not alone in that aspect. Millions of women across the globe face this issue. Impulsive and irrational shopping of things that we don’t even need in the near future puts a big dent in our savings account. While some are overcome by their nagging conscious to stop this frivolous expenditure, most of them succeed in overpowering this conscience. And, the result? The vanishing of money from your account and the added panic that occurs when the end of the month comes close.

Kakeibo is a solution to many and is adopted every day by billions of people. Even if the method is now found in various apps and technologies, the real essence of kakeibo lies in using a pen and paper. The manual way of writing and checking your finances while making it frightening could also make you satisfied after some time.

Kakeibo Japanese trick to become 40% more richer


Step away from the world of technology and remaining online 24*7, use a pen and keep a ledger. That’s all Kakeibo is all about. The art of Kakeibo generally revolves around asking yourself some self-aware questions:

How much do I earn?

You must keep in mind the amount that you earn. Shopping unnecessarily doesn’t mean that your salary has suddenly increased. It, unfortunately, remains the same no matter you choose to spend or save.

How much do I have to spend?

Keeping aside all the mandatory spending on food, rent, children, be sure to check how much amount you have left to spend. Keeping this in mind could help you a lot. This will prevent you from taking out any money from other accounts.

How much money do I want to save?

After checking out all the boxes of needful expenses, the money you have left is the money you can save. While it is difficult to save the whole portion of that amount, ensure that you save at least a little bit.

How can I save more?

This is the most important question and is sure to try your patience and determination. While the answer to this question seems easy, it is not as easy as it looks. You can save money by cutting down the extra expenses that you indulge in shopping and partying.

Kakeibo divides your total money into four specific divisions:

  • Survival- This includes transport, roof, food, children, and basic clothes.
  • Culture- This includes books, magazines, television.
  • Optional– This includes shopping, vacation.
  • Extra-This includes gifts, repairs, partying.

Implementation of Kakeibo:

Make a chart for your weekly spending

Jot down your weekly expenditures in a sheet. Make extra tabs and fill them with points like survival, culture, optional and extra. Spend carefully and see what amount of money you have left after a week.

Categorize your expenses for a month and plan accordingly

Like your week, plan your monthly expenditure similarly. Make tabs for survival, culture, optional and extra. Spend what you need and save how much you can. Remember, you only get a salary once a month.

Review the monthly spending

As the month ends, spare a few minutes of your time on the monthly sheet that you have made. See how much you have saved. Make notes of how you can save some more money. Also, think about the different expenses that you made that month. Think if they were necessary or was just done impulsively.

Supervise the yearly report

After the completion of a year, look closely at all the expenses you made. Make wise decisions. Try to curb down on unnecessary frivolous spendings. Try to save as much as you can. Make some extra tabs for unexpected billings or holidays. You can even compare it to the previous years and see the differences if any.

You can also take help of some philosophies that are based around the tradition of Kakeibo:

Do not buy impulsively

It is a basic human nature to act impulsively at times. Cut down your impulsiveness when it comes to shopping. Do not buy items that you wished to possess immediately. Leave them overnight. A good night’s sleep often makes you forget irrelevant items. 


Seeing money is different than spending it. It is easier to spend our money while using net banking or credit or debit cards. Use cash. The nagging of your brain to stop spending so much is going to be horrifying at first, but later you will have your brain to say thanks to.


Constantly remind yourself why you need to buy the item and its purpose. If it does not fit your purpose, do not rush to get it. It could become a bother for you in the future. Also, if the item allows a lot of space, you need to think hard about it. You need to think if you have enough space to keep it. Often we buy stuff that we cannot afford to in terms of space.


Sales are tempting and they can allure you into making frivolous spending. Don’t give into sales. Avoid the online sites that you choose for shopping during the time of sales.

Final Thought

Expenses are inevitable while living. But, it is up to you to stop when it’s too much and spend on what is necessary. This doesn’t automatically mean that you have to stop enjoying the fine delicacies of life. But, it’s better if you don’t go bankrupt while wanting to enjoy life. So, next work hard, earn, use Kakeibo and save a lot of money!


Kakeibo Japanese Art of Saving Money Paperback from Amazon

Thanks to vertex42.com for the wonderful kakeibo spreadsheet template.

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