A Survey of Cambodian Households in Rural Villages: An Assessment of Living Standards Using Kakeibo and its Impact as a Financial Education Tool

  • #Books and Reports

Kakeibo is a method of household bookkeeping designed to efficiently save money. In the field of social sciences, this approach is also referred to as "financial diaries," and it is increasingly being used to collect high-frequency data on household cash flows. In our study, from October 2021 to October 2022, we implemented a program in rural Cambodian households to introduce this method of money management using Kakeibo. Using the records kept by the participating households, we analyzed each household's patterns of income, expenses, savings, and borrowing, as well as the impact of maintaining a Kakeibo on the financial literacy and financial behavior of rural households. The analysis revealed several key findings:

  • Expenses related to ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals, constitute a significant portion of total expenses, and these were financed primarily through gift income.
  • When faced with large expenses, wealthier households tended to rely on borrowing, while lower-income households were more likely to rely on remittances.
  • Households with diversified income sources tended to have more stable income, although many households still experienced periods when their income and expenses fell below the poverty line, indicating vulnerability.
  • On average, households that participated in the Kakeibo program showed  improvements in financial literacy and financial behavior compared to those that did not participate.
  • However, the positive effects of participating in the Kakeibo program were predominantly observed in households with higher levels of education or higher income, with less significant effects seen in households with lower levels of education or lower income.

The results of this study provide important insights for considering policies aimed at improving the financial behavior of rural households in Cambodia, and further research using the detailed household cash flow data collected through this Kakeibo program is expected to shed more light on the economic conditions and actual living situations of rural communities in Cambodia.

AIBA Daiju, Noguchi Yoshinari
Date of issuance
March 2024
Number of pages
Related areas
  • #Asia
  • #Economic Policy
  • #Poverty Reduction
Research area
Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction
Research project