By John Kariuki
‘Saving’ is now all the rage in Kenya. Everyday there are numerous articles and stories on the subject, and people now actively engage in the exercise.
But many people do not save money the way they should. These people will say that they need every shilling they make to pay their overheads and to keep food on the table.
But the reality is this kind of thinking forces people into a vicious cycle of living from hand to mouth, regardless of their incomes, while waiting for the ‘financial Coast’ to clear so that they can start saving.
But personal finance experts say that one should save money every month, regardless of his or her circumstances if one wants to get financial security. Often this involves making some lifestyle changes.
For example, people who eat lunch out each day can cut back on this habit and save by carrying leftover food to work.
Assuming that a good helping of lunch costs an average of Sh300 a day, one can immediately create Sh600 in just two days, which can go into savings each week.
And the habit of carrying food to work two days a week will see these savings rise to Sh2,400 a month. And brushing one’s shoes and doing basic grooming on the hair instead of getting these services from shoe shiners and hair salons, respectively, can save one a tidy sum every month.
Harrison Onyancha, a personal finance banker with one institution, says that one way of saving money is to carry a shopping list to the supermarket all the time.
“Preparing a shopping list ahead helps you to save money in two ways,” says Onyancha.
First, one just buys exactly what he or she really needs. And secondly, people who use lists to shop are more likely to resist the temptation of impulse buying, a phenomenon that can easily derail one form his or her financial journey.