Is there anyone in this world who has enough money? Oh, how lucky they are!
There aren’t many sure things in the world, but we can agree that money is essential. No matter what’s going on in our world, having money will always be crucial. Bills are not going to pay themselves after all.
The truth is, many Kenyans live paycheck to paycheck - or what is also known as hand to mouth. This is mainly because their income is too low to save and invest after paying for basic necessities.
But also, in many situations, Kenyans do not put enough effort into saving. Not because they make too little but because they spend too much. Which makes one wonder why saving is so hard for many people.
Figuring out how to cut down your spending and lead a more sustainable lifestyle is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, you may even be unaware of areas where you are overspending and find it difficult to overcome long-held habits.
There are, however, ways to increase your inflow and limit your outflow so that you may invest more money in your goals and less in things that do not benefit your life or long-term financial situation.
So, if you’ve thought to yourself, “I am not making enough money,” read on; you’re in the right place.
All the personal finance experts preach the importance of cutting back on unnecessary expenditure. They will tell you to live in a cheap house, shop thrift, drive a cheaper vehicle, etc.
But when you are making less, you might need to tighten your belt even more. In addition to moving to a cheaper neighborhood, you might need to let go of a few premium subscriptions, pack your lunch to work, find more affordable areas to shop for your groceries, etc.
The idea is to try and cut back as much expenditure as possible. How far you need to cut down depends on various factors, such as how much you are earning, how much you need to save, and the prospects of a future increase in income.
In addition to letting go of some expenses, try finding substitutes for expenditures that are hurting your budget.
For example, you could consider purchasing some small workout equipment and workouts at home instead of paying for a gym membership that you will attend for only a day or two a week. Alternatively, you can jog around the neighborhood or do cardio in the comfort of your home.
However, be careful when looking for cheaper options because sometimes, cheap is expensive. Sometimes, spending Ksh100,000 to buy a home appliance can be more beneficial than purchasing a more inexpensive option of the same device.
You might end up spending more on repairs and replacements than you could if you just bought the real deal.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) and impulse buying are deadly diseases in this era. There are temptations everywhere.
If you are working on a tight budget, aim to put your money only on things that matter. For example, do not buy a coffee machine if no one in your household is a coffee enthusiast. It is especially important to avoid spending your hard-earned money on something you do not need just because you saw other people buying.
Read more: 10 Tricks to Stop Impulse Spending in 2022
If you have been surviving on a tight budget, you might be tempted to spend more when you have extra money. For example, you might be tempted to immediately move to a more popular neighborhood if you get a raise at work. Or you might feel the need to upgrade your fridge after your supplier pays a long-pending invoice. ‘
But try to avoid this. Instead, put the extra income into a viable income-generating venture to have more income in the future. There are many places you can invest extra money to generate more revenue. Check out our article on diversifying your income for some ideas.
Do you wait for your salary to hit the account so you can then manually transfer the 30% to your savings account? What happens if you forget? Then you end up spending it on other things?
Well, let's change that. A financially aware individual has routines. Routines that help generate income, reduce their expenditure as well as increase their savings. And it is not rocket science.
Few routines such as tracking your expenditure, religiously drawing and following a budget, and defining and following saving rules are essential, especially when you have a low income.
So do not just wing it. Routines will help get you grounded. They will make working with a tight budget seem effortless.
If you applied all that we have discussed above, there should surely be something that made a difference, right? Now, amplify that.
Did you get a better grasp of your budget after finding a substitution for some of your expenses? Or was it because you stopped buying everything you saw on Instagram? Whatever it is, it worked. And it will probably continue to work to your advantage if you stick to it.
So do just that. Find ideas that help keep your budget under control and stick to them.
Also read: How to Manage Your Money in Uncertain Times
Even with the outflows in order, you will not achieve much unless you increase your inflows. Increasing your income is the only way to work towards having ‘enough money.’
It is the fastest way to shorten the time it takes to achieve your financial goals, much more so than if you focus simply on spending reduction. However, many people think it’s complicated when it comes to increasing your income.
But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be!
To learn more, we have a wealth of information on our blog that can help make you an expert on how to increase your inflows. Check out some of our articles below.
So there you have it. If your income is dwindling, there is no need to stress.
Above, we have analyzed seven of the most effective things to do to help you deal successfully with a tight budget. Try one or two, or even all of them at once, and see if they will work for you. After all, you have nothing to lose.
For more information on reducing expenditure, increasing revenue, and saving more, check out our Money Management knowledge hub.