In Japan, being a housewife is also considered a job. Besides taking care of the family and the house, the woman also has to calculate their living expenses so that they can save the bigger amount. Many women have a small pocket notebook to record their savings, there are even books with timetables being sold in the supermarkets.
The majority of households in Japan are middle-class families. With a husband being a “salary man”(office worker), his income is only enough to cover the living expenses. Not to mention that the child/children’s study fees are also expensive. The salary is not too high, living cost is high, therefore people formed a habit of carefully calculating their expenses to save as much money as possible.
- Although the salary is deposited on the bank account very frequently, they always choose to withdraw it and have it in cash to control the expenses, since leaving money on the account prevents them from getting the exact numbers of the amount they have.
- Always having an aim and a certain amount for saving money. For example, saving X amount to travel, Y amount for fixing the house…
- When the child/children go to school and are older, they can work part time to earn more money for the family (or at least for their own expenses).
- Saving the coins! We always choose to spend the coins since they make our purse heavy, but many small coins can contribute to a big amount of money. Therefore, if you have many coins, put them in a jar and save them.
- Comparing, comparing and always comparing. Before buying/spending on something, they always compare the prices to see which one has the best price and value. For example, instead of eating out, if the husbands brings bento to work 3 times a week they can save up to 63 000yen per year. Or, if the husband switches from drinking expensive beer to a cheaper one, they can save up to 30 000 yen per year.
- Using the envelopes. Each one contains a certain amount of cash, with a label of what the money is being used for.
- Spending only 10-15% of their money on entertainment.
- When going to the supermarket, get what you want and pay immediately. If you walk around you may buy something that is not on the list.
- Watching out for sale campaigns. Going to different supermarkets since the prices can vary among them.
- Before opening the fridge, think of what you need to get. Open and close it within 3s to save the electricity.
- The hot water from the bath can be uses to clean the house.
- Buying the energy preserving machines/devices.
- Only buying clothes when there are sale campaigns. Or you can buy it from the websites/outlets for further discount.