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Practical tips for saving money on everyday expenses in Kenya

Life Hacks
 A woman making her budget. (Courtesy)

Kenyans love to spend money. From the latest mobile phones to designer clothes, we are always on the lookout for new ways to spend our hard-earned cash. But with the current economic climate, it's becoming increasingly important to find ways to save money on everyday expenses.

So, whether you're living on a tight budget or just trying to stretch your shillings further, there are many ways to reduce your everyday expenses and put some extra cash in your pocket.

Make a budget and stick to it

The first step to saving money is to understand where your money is going. Make a list of all your monthly expenses, including necessities like rent, utilities, and food, as well as discretionary items like entertainment and eating out. Once you have a clear understanding of your spending patterns, you can create a budget that allows you to prioritize your expenses and allocate your funds wisely.

Shop smart

Shopping is a national pastime for Kenyans, but it can also be a major drain on our finances. To save money on shopping, try shopping for groceries at supermarkets or supermarkets that offer discounts. You can also buy in bulk or buy generic brands, which are usually cheaper than the big brands.

Cook at home

Eating out is one of the biggest expenses in Kenya. A meal at a restaurant can easily cost you KES 500 or more. To save money, cook at home as often as possible. Not only will you save money, but you'll also have more control over what you're eating. Plus, cooking at home can be fun and a great way to bond with family and friends.

Avoid impulse buying

Impulse buying is a major problem for many people. We often see something we like and immediately buy it, without thinking about whether we really need it or not. To avoid impulse buying, make a list of what you need before you go shopping. Stick to the list and avoid buying anything that's not on it.

Use public transportation

Transportation is one of the biggest expenses in Kenya. To save money on transportation, try using public transportation, such as matatus. They may be crowded and slow, but they are much cheaper than taxis or private cars. If you have to use a taxi, try sharing it with someone else to split the cost.

Reduce energy costs

Energy costs can be a major expense in Kenya, especially during the dry season. To reduce your energy costs, consider installing energy-saving appliances, such as LED light bulbs, and making sure to switch off lights and electronics when not in use.

Be mindful of your water usage

Water is a precious commodity in Kenya, and it's important to conserve it as much as possible. To reduce your water bills, make sure to fix any leaks promptly and install low-flow showerheads and faucets. You can also collect rainwater and use it to water your plants and garden.

Buy used items

Buying used items can also help you save money. You can find used items at thrift stores or online marketplaces like OLX or Jumia. Just be careful to check the condition of the item before you buy it.

Cut down on transportation costs

Transportation is one of the largest expenses in Kenya, especially if you're commuting to work. To save money on transportation, consider using public transport, carpooling, or walking or biking to work. If you must drive, make sure to maintain your car properly to reduce the cost of repairs and fuel consumption.

Get creative with entertainment

Entertainment is a big part of life in Kenya, but it can also be expensive. To save money on entertainment, consider visiting free events and attractions, such as local parks, museums, and festivals. You can also have a movie night at home, play games with friends, or take a picnic in the park.

Buy a refillable water bottle

Purchasing a refillable water bottle can save you money on bottled water and also reduce waste.

In conclusion, saving money on everyday expenses is a matter of making smart choices and being mindful of your spending. By following these tips, you can stretch your shillings further and put more money in your pocket. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned, so start saving today!

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