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5 ways to save money in Japan

5 ways to save money in Japan

Hello Smilers! For today’s blog, we are going to share tips and tricks to save money in Japan. For those of you struggling to save money in Japan and especially for Smilers who just came to Japan, make sure that you read this article until the end because we are sure it will be helpful for you.

1. Save money by using point cards.

For those of you who don’t know what point cards are, they are loyalty cards where you can get points when you buy something. 1 point = 1 yen which you can use to pay for purchases at the store or other places depending on the point card. The most common point cards are the T-point card and the Rakuten card.

For T-point cards, you get 1 point for every 200 yen you spend. For Rakuten, you get 1 point for every 100 yen you spend. It is okay to have different point cards because some stores only accept one and some stores accept more than one.

As mentioned above, when you spend money buying your daily necessities, you can get a few points from it. This can really help you save money in Japan when you have enough points to pay for your groceries. Saving up the points may take time but it is really worth it to do it because you get money back when you make a purchase.

Some cashback is better than nothing! Use it as an opportunity to save. In the long term, it can amount to bigger savings.

2. Save money by not buying drinks from the vending machine

Vending machines are everywhere in Japan! And it is very tempting to buy a cold drink on a hot day or buy warm tea during the colder seasons because it is everywhere! But do not be fooled, because the drinks in the vending machines are a bit more expensive compared to the supermarket or convenience store prices. To save money in Japan I personally compared the prices to the ones in the vending machines and the ones in the store.

For a can of coffee, the one in the vending machine costs 120 yen but if you buy it in the convenience store, it will cost you 80-90 yen

For a bottle of water, it’ll cost you around 100 -150 yen. But if you buy them in the convenience store the same water costs around 60-80 yen.  And for the same price as the one in the vending machine, you can get 2 liters worth of mineral water.

There is a 20-30 yen difference between the vending machine and the convenience stores. It might not seem like it is a lot but if you buy a drink from a vending machine every day, you can save up to 600-900 yen monthly.

Cutting costs bit by bit is the way to save money in Japan!

3. Bring your own food

If you are working or studying here in Japan and you don’t have a cafeteria in your office or in your school, what you can do to save money is bring your own bento (弁当) or in other words your own lunch box.

Buying a bento (弁当) in the convenience store or at a restaurant during lunchtime may seem like it is cheap as they advertise it as 1 coin bento where you can buy a bento at 500 yen (1 coin). It might look appealing as it is convenient but if you want to save money in Japan, you should cook more often.

By cooking, depending on what your menu is, you can get 1 week’s worth of food for around 7,000 yen and when you buy them in the grocery store, you can also get points if you have the point cards. If you eat 3 meals a day, you will get 21 meals for 7,000 yen. For one of your meals, you will be paying around 333 yen. You will be able to save around 167 yen per day (500 yen – 300 yen = 167 yen)  and if you multiply it by 30 days, you will be able to save around 5,010 per month.

Cooking may be troublesome but it is a big part of saving money in Japan.

4. Take note of what you buy

Taking down notes of what you buy, not only will it help you save money, but you will be more disciplined and mature when it comes to making decisions. By writing how much you spend on something, you will be able to reflect and think at the end of the day if you really need the item or not or if you overspent on that particular item. From there, you will be able to budget your spending and think before you buy something because you will have to write down what you buy and how much you spend.

Writing down everything you buy might take some time to get used to but it is worth it. If you do not have the time to write it down after purchase, just keep the receipt aside and write it when you have the time. Another way is for you to download an application on your phone where you can input everything you buy. I personally have used them and it really helped me with my budgeting and being more responsible with my money.

Give it a try and the most important thing is not to give up. Even if you miss a day or two, continue inputting your spending.

5. Save money by sending money through Smiles Mobile Remittance.

For Smilers that have come to Japan, some of you have to save money for yourselves and at the same time provide for your loved one back in your home country. Doing both simultaneously might be hard but Smiles Mobile Remittance is here for you.

By using Smiles Mobile Remittance, you can save money by using our point program. With the point program, you can lessen transaction fees as you are able to cover them with points. You can use any amount of points you have and if you have enough, you can send money for free using the points!

What are you waiting for? Save money while sending money back to your loved ones using Smiles Mobile Remittance! Download the app today.

This wraps up the article on how to save money in Japan. We hope that this article will be helpful and you will be able to save more money after this article.

Related articles:

  1. How to earn and use Smiles points
  2. How to send money using Smiles Mobile Remittance
  3. Top 5 Best Budgeting Apps in Japan
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