The Different Cultural Financial Management Methods
Despite the cultural differences, we all have the same love for moolah
Money has always been an essential part of life and saving has always been fundamental in the subject of money. Interestingly, each culture has different methods to saving money. While the process may be different, the end goal is the same; a secured future!
Image via Live Japan
This common saving method in Japan has been introduced by Hani Matoko in 1904. It is a non-frills system and is overall, uncomplicated. However, kakeibo does not involve using any budgeting software, apps or Excel sheets. Yes, everything is traditional! Kakeibo optimises the usage of a notebook and paper to encourage you to process and observe your spending habits.
With the kakeibo method, apart from asking yourself a set of questions before purchasing an item that might not be non-essential, there are other methods in kakeibo that will help you spend more mindfully:
- Leave the item for 24 hours
If you like something, don’t buy it but instead sleep on it! If you find yourself still thinking of the item after 24 hours and are able to afford it, then just spend some money.
- Say NO to blowout sales!
Things at half-price are sure attractive, but do we really need those things? You might already have a cart full of half-priced items, but ask yourself: Will I really use all these items? Will I use it for long-term?
- Checking your bank balance regularly
Checking your account’s balance is a great reminder that while you may still have some money to spend, you shouldn’t! Isn’t it depressing to see your sum of money reduced? Exactly!
- Spend in cash
It is better to spend in cash, rather than waving your card all the time. Having a physical representation of your money decreasing every time you spend is a good reminder that hey, maybe you should minimise your spending.
- Change the environments that cause you to spend
You’re scrolling on Instagram, and you see an influencer wearing a cute beige blazer? You just know you need to have it even if you don’t dress corporately. What should you do next? Unfollow them. Seriously, have some self-control!
2. The Chinese method (China)
Image via Freepik
Stereotypically, the Chinese are known to have a fortune in savings. Unfortunately, they are also always accused of being cheapskates. But hey, if it means having enough savings to live a comfortable future then so what?
Saving tips are passed down from generation to generation and clearly, it works tremendously for the Chinese to practice it for decades and maybe even centuries!
- Maintaining a frugal lifestyle
While the high life seems more glamorous, a frugal lifestyle is more fulfilling in the long run. Sometimes the simple things in life will give the biggest impacts.
- Haggle, haggle, haggle!
If you can get an item for a lower price, why shouldn’t you? The Chinese are not afraid to speak up for better prices and maybe that’s why there’s so little wastage, financially.
- Enjoying home-cooked meals
Not only do you get to save money from cooking your own meals, but you can also get to enjoy a family bonding time over the dinner table from a dish cooked with love.
- Other sources of income
The Chinese may be stereotyped as cheapskates, but they are one of the most hardworking people. They are always looking for opportunities to make money, hence why some of them dabble into business while also working a full-time job. Truly admirable.
- Financial wellness since a young age
Ever since a little child, Chinese kids are taught about the importance of money and how to maintain financial wealth. It’s no wonder they can handle money well once they grow older.
3. Kuri kalyanam (India)
Who says you can’t have fun when managing your finance? Not the Indians! Back in the day when bank loans were still an unfamiliar concept, a micro financing system was introduced in some of the villages in the Malabar religion of Kerala. The financing system would then be known as kuri kalyanam or payattu in some areas.
The kuri kalyanam would be held when a girl’s marriage was fixed, and well-wishers and relatives will be sent a cordial invitation to the kuri kalyanam where the invited will contribute their mite in cash.
Additionally, for each amount received, it will be noted down in a register so when the invitee becomes the invited, they will return double the amount or the same amount (depending on their financial status).
However, not all cash received from the kuri kalyanam goes to the expenses of the marriage. It can also be used for other purposes such as building and repairing or starting a business.
Image via The New York Times
Saving money is always more fun when you are doing it with people close to you. If they can’t spend, then so can’t you. But, have you ever heard of tanda where friends give each other money?
A tanda is a rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCA) found in Mexico and are commonly joined by a group of people who know one another. Interestingly, we do have a similar concept in Malaysia and the Malays called it “duit kutu”.
The concept of tanda is that this group of friends will occasionally get together to contribute money on an agreed-upon budget. The money will be pooled together, usually until the end of the month, and are handed to one person in the friend group and the cycle will rotate for another person to receive the sum of money by the end of the next month.
Who knew different countries and cultures would have different means to save money and manage finances? Truly, saving and managing finance doesn’t need to be a suffocating experience especially for those who love to spend at every occasion. Maybe you could try out one of these methods and realise that saving money can be fun and fulfilling!
What are your money saving methods that work for you? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Cover image via Freepik