According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) report released on August 31, the consumer price index (CPI) went up compared to the same period last year, pointing to a struggling economy.
Moreover, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), defines inflation as the percentage change of the consumer price index (CPI) over a one-year period.
As the rate of inflation and the CPI rise, many Kenyans cannot afford the same goods that they could have only a few months ago.
In other, today, Kenyans’ purchasing power has significantly dropped, signifying an ever-worsening economic situation.
Therefore, the average Kenyan is looking for a means to cut unnecessary costs to remain on similar purchasing power and put food on the table without borrowing.
Here are some tips to help you save a few coins and navigate the current tough economy.
1. Travelling during rush hours
Nairobi’s traffic jams are one of our city’s worst problems. During rush hours, commuters spend long hours on the road.
At the same time, operators of public service vehicles take advantage of the situation by hiking the fare prices.
Consequently, travelling during rush hours is undeniably expensive, time-consuming, and extremely frustrating.
To mitigate this, plan your travel schedule outside of rush hours where possible. It is cheaper and less frustrating.
It will help save some money that could be used to meet other financial obligations. What’s more, this trick also works for car owners since you save on fuel, when there is no traffic jam.
2. Tough Economy? Master your expenses
Remembering the common finance saying, “take care of your coins, your notes will take care of themselves”.
Things that are cheaper are usually most costly eventually, for example, streetside snacks, impulsively bought clothes etc.
It is crucial for one to spend money wisely without overspending to cut down on unnecessary or unwanted small costs that end up ruining the monthly budget.
Financial discipline dictates that you budget for your daily expenditure to fix your monthly budget.
Do this without leaving out anything, no matter how insignificant it may appear.
3. Spending money above your means
In today’s social media, it is quite easy to live outside your means to keep up with the Joneses.
Cashing on things due to the influence of social media and not because they were previously needed can cause debt distress and other pecuniary embarrassments.
To avoid this, one must take charge of his/her pocket and know their financial limits. This can be used as the standpoint for one’s budget and consequent spending habits.
4. Consider dumping that expensive brand
Part of the purchasing experience involves loyalty to certain brands.
However, some brands tend to be more expensive than others while providing the same customer service and satisfaction.
This cost gap is even more noticeable with the rate of inflation in the country.
Therefore, sampling cheaper brands for most goods and services may be a great way of spending less money while maintaining a sense of customer satisfaction from the product.
5. Buying food and snacks in the city
The aroma of fries from restaurants around the city can be tempting and most often, irresistible.
However, if you have made it a habit to be successfully lured into spending your money on a plate of French fries every time you are in town, you will be undeniably feeling the sucker punch in your wallet.
To save a few coins, one can sacrifice getting a plate of fries from the restaurant in favor of carrying food from home that is healthier and cheaper.
6. Impulse buying
The Nairobi streets are known for their eye-catching goods that are sold all over the city for fair prices.
These can drive even the most steel-willed person into buying items not budgeted for. This could be one of the holes in your wallet.
Budgeting is the best way to reduce costs incurred by impulse buying. With a budget, one can stick to a premade plan and in the long run develop discipline against impulse buying.
7. Stick to your budget
If you constantly make the mistake of creating an ambitious budget and not sticking to it, then that is where your money is disappearing to.
Budgeting is the first step of the process. It is imperative to create self-discipline for the budget to work.
A common mistake is making the plan too ambitious and rigid without leaving room for unplanned circumstances.
One must create a budget that works despite changing circumstances for it to be viable.
At the end of the day, cutting costs is the easiest way to arrive at better financial management as an individual.