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10 money hacks to try in 2019

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By AnnMary Mumbi | November 18th 2018

What are some of the little ways a parent can save money and reduce expenses?

1.  School fees isn’t a one-time payment

Always budget for school fees as a monthly expense. If you wait for every beginning of the term to pay the school fee from that month’s earnings, you will most likely not have enough money or have to get a loan. And that isn’t sustainable. If you have two children whose school fee per term is say Sh30,000 each, that is Sh60,000 per term and Sh180,000 annually. Divide that sum by 12. You should be putting away Sh15,000 every month, then you won’t have emergencies during school opening days.

2.  Buy back-to-school items when there is no back-to-school rush

Did your child come home for the holidays with a long list of what they need next year for school? This is the time to buy the school items. Book shops tend to hike up prices of text books and stationery because of higher demands later on. And when it comes to boarding school children, do the shopping now before the holidays come on when items are pricier and money is tighter.

3.  Education policy

If you think primary school fees are high, imagine what your child’s university education will cost you. Factor in inflation and the fact that you may not be in your prime earning days anymore and the figures seem insurmountable.

If possible, factor into your budget an education policy that could mature when your child gets into college.

Tip: Read the fine print carefully and only deal with recognised and trusted insurance companies.

4.  Minimise spending on store-bought snacks

Well, every parent knows children will eat you out of your budget. We won’t let them starve, but some ingenuity could definitely help. You can figure out every weekend how to have enough snacks in the house for the following week. Make mandazis, bake cupcakes, buy fruits at the local market and store them in the fridge, buy the big bread instead of the small one that will run out in the day. And you could definitely benefit from buying the household items in bulk.  It is cheaper.

5.  Buy generic brands

Did you know store brands are cheaper than name brands? The ingredients and quality of store brands is most often at par with the others, and easier on your pocket too. When Nakumatt supermarkets were a force, they had their imitable Blue Label line. It helped one save coins. Still, other supermarkets have come up with their own brand. So whenever you are shopping and come across products produced by the store, they are always the cheaper option.

6.  Thrift buying everyday shoes and clothing

Parents of children below 13 know how hard it is to keep up with growing demands of new items of clothing. There will always be torn-at-the-knees trousers and tights, too short arms on the blouses and shirts, and indelible stains. So why buy new clothes when they will be history in a month? Buy everyday wear t-shirts, tights, trousers and shoes at your thrift market for cheap and only fork out more money for long-wearing non-everyday wear items like jackets and shoes.

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