If you read the headline and think: “What the f*** is Kakeibo?!”
Then go and read Part One first. It has been amazing how big of an impact it has done to my finances that I started to take note of every cent. Even though there is a big difference in living in Asia, and couch surfing in Denmark. I’m still convinced that this single habit is the best to stay on top of your finances.
To summarize. I have four categories that give to my expenses.
In April I had the following spending in the four categories:
Category 1 = 1.552 DKK (231 $)
Category 2 = 899 DKK (134 $)
Category 3 = 450 DKK (67 $)
Category 4 = 0 DKK
Total spending = 2.901 DKK (432 $)
Average amount pr. transaction = 161 DKK (24 $)
Average amount pr. day = 96.7 DKK (14 $)
Average transaction/day = 0,6
Amount pr. trans
Amount pr. day
Couch Surfing and Cooking
It seems like it is way cheaper to cook for people to borrow their couch. That is what I have been doing the last month. Visiting family and friends in every corner of the country, and just showing up with a bag of food (and beer) and do some cooking.
Category 2 is the one that I would like to keep as low as possible. Preferably 0. But a 778 % improvement is a quantum leap!
And a 370 % improvement on my “Amount pr. day” isn’t that shabby either.
Tomorrow I will do 13 days of sailing in Denmark with two of my friends. And I think that will have an impact on this project.
A fellow danish money blogger is this post sponsor. His name is John, and he writes in danish about hands-on money-saving tips and other money/finance related stuff at vilebo.dk
Measuring our finances is one of the best habits we can develop.
And to be honest, I’m not very keen on it. Living in Asia for a couple of months is not necessarily that cheap. So when I couldn’t figure out where all of my money was going, I decided to start tracking it.
When I was on the boat in the Philippines I was listening to the audiobook of “Your Money Or Your Life” (for the third time). They suggest that you track every cent there is going in and out of your life. By doing so. You should be able to reduce your spending by a minimum of 20 % in three months.
That was my call.
When I asked the big old fellas Google on how I should do it, the answer was the following:
KAKEIBO. (Pronounced Kah-Keh-Boh)
What Is Kakeibo?
Kakeibo was invented by the first Japanese female journalist Motoko Hani, in 1904. I fell in love with Kakeibo because it is so simple. It is like a bullet journal for your finances.
How To Do It
Kakeibo suggests that you use a pen and paper to write down your finances. And I really like that. It makes every transaction more mindful. You have to put it down on a paper, with your own handwriting, which makes you think about that transaction more than if it showed up on an app.
What I do is that I have a note on my phone, and every time I buy something I write it down in the note. So when that list starts to creep up. I write them down in a notebook and delete them from the phone.
The Start of Every Month
The first thing you do when the month starts is to have a look at fixed income and expenses, and list them up.
It could look something like this:
Work – 2.500 $
Sold my old PC – 200 $
Phone – 10 $
Internet – 20 $
Insurance – 200 $
Gym membership – 20 $
And so on.
During The Month
From there, I write every purchase down on my notebook on the phone. And when it creeps up, I transfer them to my notebook.
In the notebook, I also give the transactions a category.
The normal Kakeibo categories look like this:
I didn’t like the fourth category, and I think it belongs to the “Optional/Wants”, and I think there is a category missing for saving/investing. So I created my own categories.
Loui’s Kakeibo Categories:
From Hate to Enjoyment
I really hated starting on this project. I just didn’t feel like the idea of a habit that was so ongoing all of the time.
And at the start I hated it. Whenever I had made a purchase I thought it was super ignoring that I had to write it down. But as days went by, I kind of like the filled out notebook. I started to feel like I was in control.
My March Month
March was a hectic month. I was in the Philippines about to go back on the boat I was sailing in November and December. But this time as a skipper. I started to get a bit bored where I was, so I decided to visit a friend from Copenhagen who was on a vacation in Bangkok.
All that was in the middle of this Corona pandemic. So there was a lot of talking back and forward on whether we should go home or not.
The numbers total numbers in March looks like this:
Category = 5.713 DKK (836 $)
Category = 7.889 DKK (1.155 $)
Category = 558 DKK (81 $)
Category = 0 DKK
Total 14.160* DKK (2074 $)
As you can see, category two is the biggest of them all. Which is the “Optional/Wants” category. This category is the one I would like to be zero each month. Whenever there is a dollar in that category it means that I have spoiled myself in some way. Which I most of the time doesn’t think is worth the money.
* This is ONLY my spending during the month. It does not include my apartment rent.
My Criteria for Success
I have promised myself to do it for at least three months, but I kind of like so much already that I can imagine myself doing it for the rest of my life. It is such a good feeling to know exactly where your money is going.
But I have made some statistics on how a typical spending day look for me. By doing that, I can easily set myself up for doing better the next month, because I know how many transactions I make in a day, what the average transaction is and how much I have spent on an average day.
The statistics look like this:
Average Spending on a day = 456 DKK (68 $)
Average spending per transaction = 186 DKK (27 $)
Average transactions a day = 2.45
Then it should be super easy for me to make progress because I know if I can:
Make less than 2 transactions a day
Make the transactions less than 186 DKK (27 $)
I should be good to go!
Things are going great! I’m in the countryside on Langeland (Long Island), and the only spending I do is grocery shopping. That shopping can creep up too since I like to cook a nice dish AND make a pre-dinner whiskey sour. But it is still way less than the last month.
This the day that I will be leaving for my 10 month long mini retirement in Asia. The last couple of days I have been racing around town to find stuff that I need for the trip. Visiting doctors. Saying “See-ya” to friends and family.
The previous week I ended up in hospital for five days, because I had an infected knee. So know I will be leaving my home country Denmark, while I’m still on antibiotics, but I don’t worry to much about that. Being at the hospital didn’t make the previous days less stressful. My time schedule was already quite ambitious. So staying in bed for five days was far from ideal.
Doing Stuff That Scares Me
For a long time I have been excited to go on this trip. But for the last month is has scared the shit out of me. I often find myself doing stuff that I get so freaking nervous about, and like everyone else. I hate being nervous. But I have come the conclusion that it makes me feel alive.
I was always super nervous when I rowed, but I ended up doing that for 10 years.
Now I find myself competing in brazilian jiu jitsu. Which is even more terrifying than rowing. Because your opponent will try to choke that shit out of you.
And in four months, I’m going to be a skipper of a boat. Sailing in countries I haven’t been in before. With people I don’t know. It scares the shit out of me.
But proving that you can beat the other guys in a rowing boat. Or choking the other guys in BJJ. Or sailing across oceans you haven’t been sailing before. Is to prove to yourself that you are capable of doing things that you didn’t think was possible. And if that doesn’t make you feel alive. I don’t know what will.
Blogging With No Internet?
This blog will be the main place I will make updates on my mini retirement. But there will be periods where you will find me several nauticals miles from shore. Which means. I won’t have any wifi. Besides that! I will do my very best to keep this blog updated.
The other day I travelled from Copenhagen to Sardinia with other crew members of the mOcean team.
We went to Sardinia because they have a newly bought boat down here which is going to sail the atlantic ocean, and then the pacific ocean, in order to sail around with the boat I’m going to be a captain on down in the pacifics.
My “Job” Down Here
Is to teach the other guys how to sail this 51 feet Jenneau Sun Odyssey. And to take a look at the boat, and see how all the of the sailing mechanics is doing.
We spent the first couple of days by running through the entire boat. And then we moved on to do some small jobs before dinner, and after dinner we headed to the sea to see how she is doing at sea.
Meanwhile we are sailing, me and Alfred (grandkid of a famous danish sailor named Troels Kløvedal) is teaching the other guys all we know about sailing.
Being A Part of the Elite
While “elite” is a strong word.
Being able to do a mini retirement, and do another thing I love fulltime. (Hint, it is sailing). I’m able to say “Yes” to these kind of projects.
When I’m able to do that. I put myself in a position where we find many of the “pros”. If we have a full time job, we can’t go for a + 3 months course, like I have been doing. And we can’t say yes to show up in Sardinia or in the pacific ocean.
Because I can say yes to these kind of things. I’m able to hang around with the best in this field. And slowly becoming one myself.
This can be done in every chosen field. Instead of sailing for the last couple of months, I could have been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (another hobby of mine) full time in an exotic place, with the best trainers, and where I only needed to worry about the training. I would fast become pretty good at it, and suddenly hang out with some of the best in Denmark, if not the world.
Being able to take a mini retirement can open so many doors you wouldn’t even dare to dream about. Meeting new people, which knows other awesome people.
I have just landed back from our “Denmark Around” trip.
It is a trip where we try to sail almost every part of Denmark. So there has been a lot of sailing. There is still a lot of harbors there hasn’t been discovered. But it still feels like that we have seen a great part of our country.
I have found a new love for our country. All of the small islands we have, is freaking awesome. And I would love to make summer sailing raids here in Denmark every year. I even consider moving to one of them. They actually have a society, where everybody knows each other. Back in Copenhagen I don’t even know my neighbor.
The route looked like this:
12 days – 11 harbors
We only had one day where we didn’t sail. Which means that we ended up sailing a bit above 300 nautical miles.
One of the raids in the pacific ocean are we only going to sail 350 nautical miles in two months. Some of the other raids has more. But we are not going to sail as much as we did on this trip.
The harbors we went to:
Ballen – Samsø
Marstal – Ærø
Lundeborg (Night sailing)
Pictures From The Raid
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So my 2019 and 2020 is going to be way different than I initially thought it would be.
I do not have one, but two mini retirements in sight.
The decisions I have made is with super mixed emotions. On one hand I look so much forward to do it, on the other hand I see all of the “downsides” and potential “risks” of doing so.
From April 2019 and until September 2020 I’m going to take a year off from work.
I have never done anything like this. I started rowing when I was 19 years old (I’m 28 years today). So the last 10 years of my life has been all about competitive rowing, and some work. There has not been much time off during my adult decade. I have been travelling a lot with rowing, and I feel very privileged that I have had all of those experiences.
But compared to how my other friends have been travelling. My travelling has been a bit more boring. It is not unusual that a rowing season has between 60-100 days of traveling. But often we would go to some places that we had been before. And the places always involved a big lake. We would stay at this lake for the entire trip, with a weekly half day off, to do some sightseeing.
So even if we got to a place for the first time, it was pretty much the usual stuff.
Sometimes we had a cross country skiing camp which I loved! It was different and fun. But it was not every year we went on that camp. And boy it was a tough camp.
1# Mini Retirement
This was not at all planed.
As the avid reader knows, I work in the construction sector. I make construction models on large buildings, and go on site to make sure that they have made it as I have drawn. The thing is. Working in construction sector is a volatile job. Sometimes there is too much work, and other times there ain’t so much. This means it is not unusual to get fired semi often. Which happen to me about three weeks ago. This is my very first time experiencing it as a building constructor, but I have tried it several times as a mason.
The “luxury” of getting fired as a building constructor is that I have three months of salary where I can do whatever I want. As a mason I had two days. Yikes!
The three months of salary has made room for my first mini retirement.
Which is a three months sailing course on a folk high school*.
So from april to start july you will find me at Oure folk high school. Cruising in ships, training my ass off, drinking some beers, see if I can find a brazilian jiu jitsu gym and just have an awesome time.
2# Mini Retirement
2# retirement is not that “Mini”.
This retirement is the reason why I will go on the first one.
I have applied for a “job” to become captain on a 50 feet sailing boat cruising around in the Philippines and Indonesia. Which I got.
It is close to be a volunteering “job”. But as I see it, it is more like a 10 month free vacation.
In november 2019 I will go to Sorong in Indonesia. From there I will board the boat “Orbit” as a guest. There will be another captain from november to february. What I will be doing in that period is to dive everyday. I have to get 100 dives in order to become a dive instructor. Which is a must as crew of the boat. And then the captain will teach me all of the things that he knows about the boat.
In february 2020 we will get the boat out of the water in the Philippines. Renovate it. And the captain will go home, and I will board the boat as the new captain.
I will have three sets of guest from february 2020 to september 2020.
My first retirement is about 10 days from now. And I can slightly feel some worries luring around the corner.
Too Old For a Folk High School?
I’m 28 years now, and I don’t know why. But I really dread that if I end up with a punch of kids in their late teenage years. I know it sounds silly but that’s a concern that suddenly came to my mind.
Goodbye Olympic Dreams
This is one of major worries. Whenever you say yes to something, you also say no to another thing. And by sailing so much. I’m not going to be a part of the team for the Olympic qualifications. The truth is that I got kicked off the national team in november 2018. But I have tried that before and worked my way back again. But as the Olympics come closer, the window of getting back in the boat is getting smaller and smaller. So it becomes harder and harder for me to claim a seat in a boat.
I have not completely retired myself from competitive rowing. I could see myself aiming for the 2024 Olympics if I felt like doing so. But it is with mixed emotions that I have decided to say yes for another great opportunity.
Do I Enjoy Sailing That Much?
This is also a ridiculous thing to “worry” about. Because I do love sailing. But I have never been away more than a couple of weeks with my dad, sister and stepmom. This time I’m going to be away for almost a year, with about 5 x 10 different people I do not know, on tiny boat. Problems will occur. And there will be people I like more than others. This time I will be the one dealing with the problems and not my dad. (He is the captain whenever we sail together)
No Income For 10 Months
When I go for my second retirement. I won’t have any income. It is not going to cost me anything either. But my contributions to my investment account is going to be about 120.000 DKK (18.000 $) less than if I just would have worked.
What If a Recession Occurs?
Recessions are a really good buying opportunity. What if I end up buying all the way to the top, to then go away for 10 months and not buying while the markets is on sale? That would be kind of ignoring.
999 out of 1000 Worries
The thing is with worries. Almost none of them is going to happen. And the ones that do happen, is not going to be as bad as we thought they would be.
So no need to worry.
However, My Former Boss is the Shit
The other day my old boss reached out to me because he heard that I got fired from my job. He has now started his own business and has become 40 employees in less than two years.
He wanted me on board.
He is the best boss ever, so I would love to go work for him again. But I told him about all of my sailing plans. And he completely understood why I wanted to do it.
He is a former Olympic sailor and is still an avid sailor, winning all sorts of World Championships and similar.
He would do his very best to see if he had some work for me between my two “retirements” and if I did a great job during those months. He couldn’t see why there shouldn’t be a job for me when I come back from the trip in September 2020.