When you eat noodles on the final day of the month or take a matatu to work because you don't have enough money to pay for fuel, just know that many employed Kenyans also experience the same.
It's essential to understand how to manage your salary so that you aren't stressed out every month because you can't cover all of your bills. After all, it doesn't matter how much you make if you can't survive with it. Here are five tips for making your salary last the whole month with ease.
When thinking about stretching your paycheck throughout the month, this should be the first move you make. Although it may seem apparent, you would be amazed that many guys do not have a budget.
Making an accurate calculation of how much cash you spend each day for a month will allow you to determine if you want to make any sacrifices. It will also determine your spending limitations until the next payday.
If you are not used to creating a monthly budget, the 50/30/20 budget rule could be a good starting point for you. Bear in mind that the ‘wants’ section of this budget method is what you must manage effectively to really get ahead.
Though it may be enticing to make a beeline to the mall as soon as you receive your paycheck, it is best to hold off till month end before you consider treating yourself. By doing so, you will have taken care of all of the monthly necessities, including food and expenses, and you will not have to wait long until your next paycheck arrives. When you go shopping at the end of the month, you recognize precisely how much money you will be willing to spend without causing yourself financial difficulties.
If you are having a particularly challenging month, consider how you might be able to save money by altering your commute to work. Rather than filling up your car tank with fuel, try purchasing a bus or train ticket if you can. You could save a significant amount of money this way.
Better yet, if you live not so far from your workplace, how about riding your bike to work? You will save some good money while still getting some workout!
You also have the option of carpooling with workmates who live in the same neighbourhood or friends who work near you. You will still enjoy the convenience of avoiding chaotic public transport while saving time and money.
How about taking the train? Even if you have been taking a matatu, the train will always be cheaper and faster, at least when it comes to getting you to town.
You should, however, bear in mind that the train can be unreliable so better check for past disruptions on your route and figure out if it is going to be a good option.
All in all transportation forms a significant chunk of your monthly expenses, if you can find a way to lower the cost, you have to take it.
If you stay alone and have an extra room, it may be worthwhile to find a housemate. Having a housemate can result in immediate savings because you'll share all of the monthly expenses.
To have a flatmate is among the most effective ways to reduce the amount of money you spend daily by as much as half.
You, however, have to weigh the cost savings associated with having a housemate against the inconvenience of sharing your personal space with someone who is not your spouse or relative.
It is not unusual to find early career professionals choosing to rent out a 2-bedroom house that they may not have afforded on their own and enjoy the convenience of having more space and still have a private bedroom as compared to the bedsitter the split amount would have afforded them.
Make a habit of withdrawing the amount of cash you need at the start of the month instead of paying for everything you buy with your credit card or debit card.
You then use physical cash/Mobile money to pay for all your major expenses such as rent and utilities. Do your shopping and pay other obligations you have such as sending parents upkeep upcountry, your religious obligations etc. and then keep your day-to-day expense money as cash in your wallet.
Being able to physically see your cash begin to decline from your wallet or purse after every transaction serves as a far more effective reminder to be economical than merely inserting a plastic card into a machine.
Be strict with yourself, once your stockpile of actual money has been depleted, you should be aware that you should not replenish it till your next paycheck arrives.
You know those times when you have to go shopping because you "don't have any clothes?" That is untrue.
Set aside time to look into your wardrobe and start reusing outfits that you've had for a good number of years. You do not need to go out and buy new pairs of pants or a new top when you already have these perfectly acceptable options lying around at home.
If you are to buy any new clothes or shoes, make sure this was planned for the previous month or you will surely fall into the trap of overspending.
And who are we kidding? We all want to look good and fresh always, and since fashion businesspeople are aware of this they are always enticing us with new designs or making us think we need more than we can afford - but, it will be worth it?
No, your grooming has to always stay on top of your priorities - but within your budget any day.
If you are still low on cash, but your next paycheck isn't coming until a few days from now, why not be a little innovative and find out if there are some goods stashed away that you might sell to your friends or neighbours to raise a few more money?
While you might be happier holding on to some items for sentimental value, selling it off can give you an even better experience. You get to earn some money out of stuff you barely use, create more space in your house and crucially, avoid the need to get into debt.
Although we never appear to have enough money, a person who has some control over their finances may also develop a system for saving money - regardless of how small the sum is.
You shouldn't have to tear apart your couch at the end of every month hunting for stray change if you follow these other money-saving tips that stretch your shilling further down the road.
The fact that you have a regular income is reason enough for someone to expect you to not run out of money, save for the event of an emergency.
But we all know emergencies can’t really happen every month - and if you have an emergency fund, the possibility of running out of money should ideally be eliminated.
Which leaves us with the fact that one has to live within their means, follow a strict budget and continuously find ways to reduce recurrent expenses and increase money meant for savings and investment.