Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Mindful Budgeting – EP 237

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There are so many things to learn from our past as it is a significant factor in who we are today. We are excited to introduce to you this elegant way of mindful budgeting called “Kakeibo”. In this episode, we unravel this rich and timeless Japanese budgeting system and strengthen our relationship with our spending. 

Let’s lift the shame off of what we’re spending on and focus on how we spend better.


  • Pen and paper. Remember us? No, not the notes app on your phone or that knockoff iPad that’s only use is to replicate pen and paper but costs $1,000. The actual pen and paper. They wan’t you to know to not be afraid of a relationship with your pen and paper. Yes it’s more intimate than tapping a screen but that’s what relationships are about, intimacy, vulnerability, longevity. This is a long term commitment, like when you write something down, lose it and find it 3 months later, and you physically hold it in your hand. Pen and paper, for those who want something special.

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

If you’re just as new to Kakeibo as we are, this article from Shondaland will surely give you everything you might need to know about this elegant budgeting system.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

A female journalist and an advocate of Japanese housewives named Hani Motoko in 1904 developed “Kakeibo” as a simple way for women to manage their household finances. Jill couldn’t agree more with the idea behind Kakeibo as it helps bring mindful awareness to the process of spending (and budgeting). Jen also couldn’t stop describing it as ‘elegant’ for its aim to get in touch with our thoughts and mindset–adding to a stronger relationship we have with our finances. 

Jill liked the metaphor used by the article to describe budgets as like diets for your wallet. It is never fun, they mean a lot of restriction and denial and it can make people cranky. If we approach budgeting like a diet, it can really become difficult. Jen adds to put our mindfulness into practice like writing it down can make you realize your spending. 

Learn About Kakeibo: The Japanese Art Of Saving Money

What are the things we need to know in order to engage with Kakeibo? Refinery29’s article summarizes yet takes a specific look at the important things we should take note of about the Japanese art of saving money. 

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Kakeibo wants us to shift our focus from saving to spending. Jill personally agrees with this as oftentimes discussing our spending can feel more approachable than when talking about saving money. We also need to be honest about our ‘musts’ and ‘wants’. As mentioned by Jen, keeping track of your spending transactions by writing it down will surely help as Kakeibo also encourages us to finish the month by reflecting on our progress. This also pushes us to be fully mindful of aspects we still need to improve on. 

How we feel about our intentionality toward spending in this season

Jill does well with meal planning and allocating funds towards reno. She is feeling good in this season! Meanwhile, Jen is giving self space to rest, and is slightly less intentional.

Bill of The Week

Thank you Em from Quebec for sharing about your new heating/AC unit and the research you did to get grants for this system and the value add this has on your house!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening! Many of you know we have a private community where we do monthly money challenges and offer accountability groups. We want to congratulate one of our members for a big win:

Bought some chicken…

I was catching up on the latest episode about saving money on groceries and I was inspired to stop at Walmart and get a rotisserie chicken! Cost me $7. They had shredded chicken packaged already so I picked that up too. That cost a bit more ($13) but got me a quick chicken salad sandwich.

Thanks Jen and Jill!

Congrats! Thanks for listening and if you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to frugalfriendspodcast.com/club to see what challenge we have coming up next.

Keep leaving us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher, and sending the screenshot to reviews@frugalfriendspodcast.com. And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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