Month 7

This has been a strange month. It was our first month since we started Our Brat Experiment where we gave ourselves permission to not save as much as possible. This was with our buy-winter-clothes plan. We also decided to reward ourselves with a trip to Thailand and, here’s the big step dear Reader, acknowledge that it was actually part of our spending (as opposed to some exceptional case like we did with our Malaysian trip). This has meant that our savings rate has dropped SIGNIFICANTLY this month (we hoped to save 56% [down from our usual 66%] but instead only saved 42%). The other thing is that we went over budget… but never fear! There are always lessons to be learnt and great songs to listen to (this is my new favourite one): Paper Girl by July Talk 🙂  Continue reading

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Week 30

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Snow on the mountains around our town this week 

Without even looking at our app, I know that we overspent during this last week of the month. You ask how I know this, dear Reader? Because we ended last week with a mere 47 048 won for the rest of the month i.e. for Week 30. Continue reading

Our (Current) Plan

One of the most surprising lessons for me on this early retirement/financial independence journey is that it isn’t only about money. While being focused on the money, we have unintentionally also become focused on the quality of our lives, living intentionally, self-sufficiency, the environment, health and just generally leaving the world in a better place. The early retirement/financial independence blogs talk about all these things of course but I initially (and swiftly!) wrote them off. I told myself that I didn’t need these extra lessons (or was already doing what I thought was enough) and focused instead only on the money.

However, to my surprise all that other stuff snuck its way into my life anyway. Continue reading

Week 29

img_3520We really tried to not spend too much money last week. But apparently, we can’t seem to stop buying clothes…. We were good during the week but while we were away over the weekend we couldn’t help ourselves. Sigh.

The big costs last week were that Husband had to go to Seoul for the night to get some documents certified at the South African embassy (the joys of having to get things certified in English while not living in an English speaking country!) and we went away to Gyeongju for the weekend to see friends of ours – happy, happy days 🙂 Also, Gyeongju is awesome. Well worth the visit for anyone in Korea. My favourite was renting bikes and cycling around the park and tombs (which actually look like hills).

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Pretty graphs of our SIX MONTHS of Brat Experiment

img_3353I’m still in complete disbelief that we have officially been on this journey for SIX MONTHS. I remember the first day the concept of us actually trying to do this thing took hold in my head. I prepared myself to go home and break the news to Husband that I had had another hair-brained idea… I fully expected him to tell me that I was crazy (especially with him not having read everything that I had been reading about Early Retirement) but to my COMPLETE shock he was fully supportive of the idea. Thinking back on it now I really shouldn’t have been surprised given his natural tendency to frugality… However, since then though it doesn’t really feel like the surprises have stopped:

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Week 27

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We dicovered a farm in the middle of our town this weekend!

We spent a lot this week… Part of it was planned spending on winter clothes for Korea and New Zealand. But we did spend more than we planned to… We initially felt a little weak at the knees when the price rang up at the till but even with reflection every item felt like a good purchase. So we’re going to suck it up and just make a plan to compensate for that extra spending going forward. However, this week isn’t going to help on that front. We ate out three times, bought a heater, and bought a converter and memory card for the Raspberry Pi… I just know that the rest of the month is going to be tight…

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Week 26

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An evening walk along our river 🙂

This week was the beginning of a new month and so we decided to start it with a big shop in the hopes that it would work as well as last month in reducing our spending. It turned out that our big shop was bigger than we thought it would be though… We were immediately plunged into familiar feelings of guilt and slight self-loathing, however when we looked at our slip there were no massive purchases that had slipped past us. Instead it was simply an accumulation of lots of small, but necessary, purchases e.g. vegetables, coffee, fruit, wine etc. Another lesson in small steps adding quickly up! Let’s just hope that the shop last us as long as the cost promises! Continue reading