Whaaaaaaaat?! We have OFFICIALLY been doing Our Brat Experiment for SIX MONTHS?! Wow. I can’t actually believe that we have done it for so long. When we first started this journey I was desperately hoping that the blog would help us stay accountable and keep us on track… but I never dared to hope that we would stick at it for an entire SIX MONTHS. And with no sign of stopping either 🙂 Yay 🙂
To new readers of The Brat Experiment: Husband and I track every single won that we spend on a fantastic app called Money Lover. The app is synched to both of our phones and means that it’s very easy to see where all of our money goes (which is not always pleasant!). I then report on our spending weekly and write up a summary of our spending for each month. You can check out our weekly spends and other monthly summaries in The Numbers section.
Week 22 total: 811 300 won Necessary: 671 450 won (83%) Indulgence: 139 850 won (17%)
Week 23 total: 306 880 won Necessary: 279 280 won (91%) Indulgence: 27 600 won (9%)
Week 24 total: 254 420 won Necessary: 209 270 won (82%) Indulgence: 45 150 won (18%)
Week 25 total: 391 390 won Necessary: 328 940 won (84%) Indulgence: 62 450 won (16%)
MONTH 6 TOTAL: 1 763 990 won
Total necessary: 1 488 940 won (84%)
Total indulgent: 275 050 won (16%)
So we spent less that last month (Month 5 we spent 1 892 650 won) and improved on our ratio 🙂 More importantly we came in a whole 16 150 won UNDER budget 🙂 🙂 After that first week of the month (week 22) I am SO happy! Can’t believe that we actually pulled it off. It definitely confirmed that a 66% savings rate, or rather living off about 1 800 000 won, is our magic number for our current life (i.e. in Korea with all the benefits it brings and with both of us working).
In terms of our goals for Month 6, we did travel more (albeit for 2 weekends in a row followed by nothing). We had friends come and visit us the weekend of Week 24 though, so we did play like tourists in our own town that weekend 🙂
In terms of purchases we want to make before we leave Korea we have actually pulled a bit of a sneaky… we got a very nice tax reimbursement in South Africa from last financial year and so… we have used my South African credit card to order:
- The most beautiful camera backpack. It arrived yesterday and I’m SO stoked!
- A raspberry pi (which we will use as a home entertainment system so that we don’t ever have to get cable).
Since our Korean money wasn’t used to pay for either item it kind of feels like they were free… which of course they weren’t. But they were ordered off this AMAZING Chinese website, aliexpress, which is incredibly cheap (and delivers for free if you’re willing to wait a bit) so we feel really good about the purchases.
For the other things we want to get and do before we leave, we have been adulting to try and make realistic plans about how exactly we are going to go about that. This is the plan at the moment:
- November (October salary): Winter clothes for both of us
- December (November salary): 2 external hard drives; 2 ski trips
- January (December salary): 2 ski trips; camera lens
- February (January salary): Korean tea set, shipping the few things we want to take from Korea to NZ (we trying to be minimalist about it!)
- March (February salary): flights home; flights to NZ from SA; spending money for the month of March in SA; travel guitar if we can
In order to do all of these things we have reduced our savings rate. This is possible because The Brat Experiment has meant that we are well on our way to saving more than we ever dreamt that we would save this year (YAY!!) and so we feel comfortable saving less in order to invest in things that we think are valuable i.e. winter clothes, skiing and a beautiful Korean tea set 🙂 What this means is that our 66% savings rate is now a thing of the past for the mean time (hopefully, by some miracle, we can build up to it again in New Zealand). Instead, our savings rate will fluctuate based on what we plan to buy each month.
For the coming month, Month 7, our plan is to:
- Save 56%
- Buy good quality winter clothes
- Live off 1 800 000 won (that excludes the winter clothes shopping)
There is one tiny, teeny little possible complicating factor… we have recently discovered that we get 18 glorious days of leave in Jan/Feb (incredible because Asia typically isn’t big on holiday time off)… and it just so happens to be over my THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY 😀 Once again, we are battling with the different voices in our heads:
- The early retirement/frugal living voice says that we should just stay put and keep trying to save as much as possible.
- The intentional spending voice keeps reminding me that we LOVE to travel. That travelling is right up there with our top-top values, and one of the major motivators for wanting to retire early in the first place, and so we should definitely (Interestingly, all my co-teachers and my 94 year old grandmother all seem to agree with this voice).
So what do you think, dear Reader? Any thoughts on which voice we should listen to?
So far we have narrowed our holiday options down to:
- Stay in our town
- Travel around Korea
- Go to Thailand
- Go to Laos
As part of our adulting we have established that once we are in Thailand our cost of living would be cheaper than if we stayed in Korea, whether we were travelling Korea or staying at home (incredible hey?!)! The only bugger is the flight to Thailand… The only way to pay for it is to settle for slightly less than our dream-dream amount saved by the end of our year in Korea… Eish. These first world problems hey….