The Numbers: A Summary of Month 4

Month 4 baby! 🙂 And we are going to celebrate but starting to include less detail in this monthly report. This is because it really feels like we have a handle on our spending culture by now so we no longer need so much detail. If you would like to see the details of this month then please check out Week 14, Week 15, Week 16, Week 17 and our Malaysia trip. If you are new to The Brat Experiment and want to see monthly summaries in more detail then feel free to check out Month 1, Month 2 and Month 3.

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Week 17



432 340 won

35 030 won


129 980 won


225 310 won

42 020 won

Eat out


263 420 won

137 820 won

69 600 won

56 000 won




0 won







36 450 won


10 250 won

20 100 won

6 100 won



210 100 won

13 000 won


188 100 won


9 000 won

Bills & Fees


268 084 won

11 860 won

1 020 won

104 204 won

151 000 won



29 300 won

20 000 won

3 300 won

6 000 won




110 320 won

3 000 won

9 820 won

37 500 won

60 000 won



7 000 won


7 000 won





267 050

219 350 won

(Seoul on way to Malaysia)

47 700 won

(bus home from Seoul)



Travel (spending money in Malaysia)

 RM 4472 or about 1 350 000 won

 Week 14 Total: 440 060 won

Necessary: 364 230 won (83%)

Indulgent: 75 830 won (17%)

Week 15 total: 278 670 won

Necessary: 215 320 won (77%)

Indulgence: 63 350 won (23%)

Week 16 total: 637 214 won

Necessary: 577 314 won (91%)

Indulgence: 59 900 won (9%)

Week 17 total: 268 120 won

Necessary: 253 020 won (94%)

Indulgence: 15 100 won (6%)

Malaysia: 1 350 000 won

 MONTH 4 TOTAL: 1 624 064 won (+ 1 350 000 won for Malaysia)

Total necessary: 1 409 884 won (87%)

Total indulgent: 214 180 won (13%)

Ignoring our spending money for Malaysia (because that came out of what we normally would have saved rather than our day-to-day budget), we actually came in 275 936 won under budget 🙂 And that was with a trip to Seoul, eating out a LOT and spending quite a bit on gifts. Super stoked 🙂 I have no doubt that not being in South Korea for 10 days helped a lot though. Either way, our current budget is treating us well and we have some extra money from Month 4 so we are going to up our savings for Month 5. The send-it-to-savings-the-moment-you-get-your-salary-and-maak-‘n-plan (translation: make a plan) for the rest of the month approach is working really well for us so that’s what we will do again in Month 5 too. So wish us luck, especially given that I’d like to try and be more of a tourist in South Korea this coming month 🙂




The Numbers: A Summary of Month 2

I cannot believe that we are only 2 months into our Brat Experiment. I feel like we have been doing this for so much longer… It has become so much a part of us and how we view the world… Still amazes me how quickly that happened.

Anyway, here we are at the end of Month 2. As with last month’s summary I have kept a lot of detail because we are still new at this Brat Experiment and the detail gives us a better idea of our spending culture (and maybe fellow Korean dwellers will find it useful too).

Day to day lives:



240 580 won

3850 won Groceries
11 280 won Groceries
700 won Soft drink
46 860 won Groceries
850 won Water at beach
2400 won Chocolate biscuits
13 440 won Groceries
14 600 won Groceries
8800 won Groceries
2650 won Milk
3000 won Sweets
2 650 won Milk
6 950 won Bus snacks
4 500 won Juice
1 700 won Small milk
40 450 won Groceries
51 000 won My school lunches
8 500 won Soup mix
8 270 won Groceries
3 150 won Groceries
4 980 won Groceries

Eat out


130 300 won


18 000 won Dinner out
9000 won School juice
22 000 won Dinner out
1800 won Ice cream
10 000 won Coffee out
14 000 won Lunch out
20 000 won Dinner out
35 500 won Burger dinner out



64 800 won

19 800 won Clothes
45 000 won Bag



64 570 won


3500 won Beer
5300 won Beers and chocolate milk
3550 won Soju & Mix
8800 won Beer
2 900 won Beer at the beach
1 400 won Soju
3 800 won Tonic water
8 400 won Beach beer and chips
11 600 won Beer, milk and chocolate biscuits
3 720 won Beer
4 150 won Beer and chocolate biscuits
7 450 won Gin



64 450 won

26 400 won Brewing pot
8300 won Flower pots and soil
2750 won Plug
10 000 won Book
15 000 won Haircut
2 000 won Preserve jar

Bills & Fees


421 705 won


121 500 won School union fee
500 won ATM withdrawal fee
1000 won ATM withdrawal fee
500 won ATM withdrawal fee
540 won SMS fee from bank
30 000 won Deposit to join a health shop
3000 won Fee to join the health shop
21 515 won Bank international transfer fees
104 260 won Building management fee
39 600 won My phone bill
43 560 won Internet bill
39 600 won Husband’s phone
16 130 won Gas bill



39 700 won


2800 won Taxi
3600 won Taxi
3300 won Taxi
30 000 won Bus from Seoul



155 460 won


15 000 won Gifts
10 000 won Gifts
10 000 won Gifts
45 000 won Gifts
7000 won Gifts
10 000 won Gifts
18 000 won Gifts
20 000 won Gifts
12 460 won Gifts
8000 won Gifts



26 600 won

7800 won Acupuncture
5300 won Acupuncture
6000 won Acupuncture
7500 won Medicine

 Week 5 grand total: 341 540 won

Necessary: 273 490 won (80%)

Indulgence: 68 050 won (20%)

Week 6 grand total: 229 300 won

Necessary: 187 650 (82%)

Indulgence: 41 650 won (18%)

Week 7 grand total: 95 590 won

Necessary: 52 590 won (55%)

Indulgence: 43 000 won (45%)

Week 8 grand total: 276 125 won

Necessary: 209 525 won (76%)

Indulgence: 66 600 won (24%)

Week 9 grand total: 265 610 won

Necessary: 214 790 won (81%)

Indulgence: 50 820 won (19%)

 TOTAL: 1 208 165 won (technically over budget by 208 167 won)

Total necessary: 938 045 won (78%)

Total indulgent: 270 120 won (22%)   

Firstly, what a massive improvement on last month! Last month we were 505 910 won over budget and we have more than halved that this month 🙂 Our ratio of necessity vs indulgence isn’t as good as last month though (78% vs 86% last month) but I’m ok with that given that we spent so much less money this month and that in the last week we aimed to enjoy life a bit more (by spending a bit more). Overall our ratio of necessity vs indulgence seems to hover around 80% vs 20% which is wonderful – we’re being frugal but are still making room to enjoy life (by spending more) from time to time 🙂




 94 900 won

4200 won Taxi to bus station
29 200 won Bus to Seoul
20 000 won Money on T-money card
5000 won Money on T-money card
10 000 won Money on T-money card
21 500 won Bus home
5000 won Taxi home



10 000 won


4000 won Bag locker (instead of accommodation)
6000 won Bag locker



83 400 won


3700 won Breakfast
7000 won Coffee out
12 400 won Subway Lunch
1500 won Doughnut
24 000 won Beer & Pudding
9400 won Juices
12 000 won Lunch out
6500 won Ice coffees
4000 won Groceries
1900 won Lunch out
1000 won Water



32 500 won

21 500 won Craft beer
11 000 won Wine



44 000 won

10 000 won 2 shirts
21 000 won Gifts
13 000 won Three scarves

Tourist Things


11 000 won

2000 won Deer food
9000 won Traditional Korean tea

 Seoul Travel Total: 275 800 won

Necessary: 192 900 (70%)

Indulgence: 82 900 won (30%)

 Travelling TOTAL: 275 800 won – well under budget J

 Which means:

MONTH 2 TOTAL (day to day & travel): 1 483 965 won (516 035 won UNDER budget)

This is incredible because it means that we have gone from being 318 210 won OVER budget last month to 516 035 won UNDER budget this month! 🙂 Yaaaaaaaaay! Why exactly I’m not actually sure yet… but I’m starting to feel the need for graphs to track the differences from month to month… look at my financial nerd coming out!! 😉

Anyway, because we knew that we were under budget for the month and because we had thought long and hard about these purchases (more than 30 days as is recommended by Get Rich Slowly) and because we had researched them extensively we bought:

  • Travel backpack for Husband: 93 000 won (on a 50% sale too!)
  • Waterproof camera: 355 110 won (a dream for YEARS)
  • Camera bags for my polaroid camera and waterproof: 13 500 won

For a grand total of 461 610 won (still under budget for the month at 1 945 575 won total). In other words, because we came in under budget we were able to buy things that we had thought long and hard about without it impacting on our savings rate. Just brilliant 🙂


STOP bullying me!!

Something strange has subtly crept into our lives since starting this Brat Experiment. When Hubby and I were at the shops a few weeks ago we perplexingly found ourselves getting angrier and angrier the longer we walked around…

At first we thought that it was because we were angry with ourselves because we weren’t letting ourselves buy things that we normally would have. But after the millionth “sale” or “special deal” sign we realized that it was actually because we felt bullied into buying stuff that we didn’t really want. We felt like the shop was trying to coerce us into spending. And it properly pissed us off.

Of course businesses make money by getting people to buy stuff. So they are going to try to coerce us into spending our money. But I think that, for the most part, us shoppers have forgotten this. We are so completely surrounded by capitalist and consumerist culture that we don’t even see it anymore. And so we have become passive participants in our own spending. We’ve lost our agency and intentionality.

But since beginning the Brat Experiment Husband and I have started critically evaluating and tracking our spending. And an unintentional byproduct of this has been that suddenly we see the bullying consumerism all around us for what it is. And we are not ok with it.

Maybe this is why my Experts are spending less and claiming to be not only just as happy but actually happier? They’ve called bullshit on bullying consumerist culture and, in doing so, have reclaimed themselves. They are no longer passive spenders at the mercy of capitalism but are rather independent, active directors of their own lives. And that’s pretty cool and empowering 🙂


Wine, Brie and Our Money Values

Last weekend Husband and I bought a bottle of wine, some brie cheese and sat down to try and figure out what our values are with regards to money. Obviously food is right up there 😉


Our figure-out-what-our-money-values-are picnic 🙂 

What struck me the most about the whole conversation though was that in 8 and a half years of being together this was the first time we have ever had a big picture chat about money and our values with regards to money. We chat about individual purchases and how much money each of us has but never about our overall philosophy towards money. How strange is that, dear Reader?!?! As a couple we talk a LOT, so why not about this? Is there something somehow taboo about talking about money? Or is the concept of pairing our values with our spending simply not part of our culture?

Despite our lack of previous conversations, we actually found it quite easy for us to do 🙂 This is what we came up with :

IMG_2506 - edittedClearly, time is one of our top priorities. And so it makes perfect sense why we are do drawn to the Early Retirement concept – it lets us be in complete control of how we use our time. Learning skills/up-skilling ourselves also fits in beautifully with the Early Retirement philosophy.

The good food and alcohol is definitely our biggest weakness in terms of spending more cash than we would ideally like to…

The rest of our values we are pretty controlled about though 🙂 I LOVE books but am really good about only buying from second-hand bookstores (old books smell the best anyway!) or sale/free books on my Kindle. Photography is an expensive value but thank goodness we have already bought most of the kit. I have been dreaming of a wide angle lens and a small, waterproof point and shoot camera for years though… Husband also already has all the gear for fishing. And good shoes are bought sparingly and worn until they have holes (i.e. for years) and only then replaced.

We also thought that it might be useful to list things that are definitely not important to us and this is what we came up with: IMG_2507 - editted.jpg

Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy all of these things, but we don’t think that they’re particularly valuable. For the most part our spending already reflects this… with the only exception being gadgets…. particularly in Korea: the land of awesome, cheap electronics. The challenge to resist is real, dear Reader.

Our biggest challenge though is that we’re not sure how we feel about generosity and gifts. We definitely love giving gifts and offering to pay for dinner or drinks etc… and I don’t think that’s something we would like to give up. However, it can very easily get out of control and result in us dropping a significant amount of money without us even realising it…

The most valuable thing about this conversation though was that it weirdly set us free. Suddenly our decisions about whether to spend money on things became so much simpler. Either a purchase was in line with our values or it wasn’t. It also gave us permission to spend money on things that we really want, are in line with out values but since The Brat Experiment have felt too guilty to actually buy. In other words, it improved our quality of life. Well played The Brat Experiment, well played… 🙂



Husband’s home brewed beer (he bought after this conversation) – and what a happy chap he is! (Also it turns out it’s going to be cheaper per beer than buying it in the shops!)