My 2016 Dilemma

To my dear Reader,IMG_2492

With New Year this weekend I can’t help but think back on 2016 and try to evaluate how it all went. 2015 was a very personally challenging year for me and I was relieved when it was over. But 2016 has been different. Personally I have felt like it has been a good one with lots of growth and adventure but without all the pain that 2015 seemed to think was necessary. Yay 2016! Globally or humanity wise though… Continue reading


Month 8


Our first Christmas during Our Brat Experiment 🙂 And because I have started tracking what we have left in the budget (as opposed to simply what we have spent), I already know that things didn’t go entirely to plan… Which of course makes me not want to write this post very much. But I will trooper forth! We now have only two months left of our BEAUTIFUL Korean salaries and so I’m extra motivated to see exactly how we did and make sure that we are on track to reach our savings target. So let’s jump in!

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Week 34

To my horror I find that Christmas weekend has come and gone and I’m back at work. I have NEVER worked on the 26th before. And it sucks. It doesn’t give nearly enough time to soak up the family time and general Christmas spirit. So I’m sitting at work feeling quite grumpy but at least it means that I get to do last week’s numbers and then check out how we did over Month 8 – thank goodness for Pollyanna-like silver linings!! 😉

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Week 33


Stunning view on the walk home last week 🙂

To my shock, my numbers post last week got two likes. I couldn’t believe it! I had come to the conclusion that no one actually reads these posts. But I kept at them because I’m hoping that they will be helpful to people (even if it’s just a singular some one!) who want(s) an idea of expenses in Korea… Also, I know that this weekly blog post has kept me accountable for our expenses. Basically without the pressure of my “dear Reader” waiting for these posts, I think that I’d quickly stop doing them. So to the two dear Readers who actually liked my post last week, thank you 🙂 It’s wonderful to know that real-live-humans (as opposed to the anonymous dear Readers in my head!) appreciated it 🙂

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Week 32

I don’t think that we did too badly last week… We didn’t buy too many groceries, only ate out once (and eating pizza out is cheaper than making it at home) and were otherwise quite well behaved 🙂 The only challenge might be the Christmas spending… and posting…

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 weekly spending here and write up a summary of our spending for each month. You can check out other weekly spends and the monthly summaries in The Numbers section.


Week’s total: 372 649 won

Necessary: 346 569 won (93%)

Indulgence: 26 080 won (7%)

If we take out the flights and our Christmas spend we only spent 155 570 won 😀

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!! SO much better than last week!! So now let’s look at how our plan is going:


So this is where we are for sitting for the rest of this month:

  • Live off 775 630 won
  • Christmas budget of 40 490 won


    Christmas nails to match my Christmas mug 😀

  • Two ski trips for 227 941 won. We decided to only go skiing in January. And to instead use this money on flights within Thailand (not that much more than bussing and totally worth the time saved during our short holiday) and a kindle for Husband (who has wanted a kindle for aaaaaaaages – and we’d far rather spend a lot of money on something that he really wants for Christmas than less money on crap just cause it’s Christmas).
  • Save 51% (on track)

So all in all I’m feeling quite warm and fuzzy about last week! 🙂 We were amazing with our living expenses, still have room to play in our Christmas budget and there is plenty of room in the ‘ski budget’ for Husband’s kindle 🙂 We must just focus on not forgetting about the 250 000ish won needed for the bills at the end of the month. Have a good week, dear Reader!


Week 31

We spent a kak load of money last week. Firstly, it was the beginning of the month and so the week had two weekends. But we also did a lot of planned (intentional) shopping, so as I type this I’m just desperately hoping that while it feels like we spent a lot, that it actually won’t be so bad once I look at it properly. Hold thumbs!


To give you a giggle as you start your read 🙂 The cold is real, dear Reader!

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One of my favourite lecturers ever, Francis, was an apparent walking set of contradictions: a philosopher while simultaneously being a deeply devout Catholic (to the extent that he and his wife even practiced the rhythm method – I know this because one seminar we debated the philosophical implications of birth control). Anyway. He stood out in the philosophy department as one of the few lecturers who was religious and he seemed to get some sort of mischievous kick out it. He LOVED to debate his beliefs with us, and in return we loved it too (what a revelation for our young minds to be debating religion based on logic instead of the usual “blind faith” argument). The last semester of 3rd year he invited our seminar (a group of 12 students) to his house for dinner. Continue reading