Happy new year! We are thrilled that you were able to make it to the new year with us. Unfortunately, it’s January again, one of the hardest months for most average Kenyans economically speaking.
We are from December, the month with the highest spending rate. The sun is very hot in most parts of the country, children are resuming school, there are so many bills to pay and the finances are tight for a majority of us. So how do we survive this long, tough month? Stori has a few tips here.
Tips On How To Survive January
1. Live within your means.
The wisest financial advice is to always budget. Take out your pen and paper and plan your budget for the month. Write down all your expenses and estimated cost. As you make your budget, try to keep your expenses within limits of the amount in your account. The year is still very young and getting into debt this early is really not a good idea, try hard to avoid it.
2. Cut down on unnecessary costs.
Use matatus or walk (if it’s practical) to work instead of fueling your personal car everyday. Carry your own home-cooked packed lunch to work. Pay for the lower TV package now that you and the kids will be home for less time. Go for a run instead of paying for that gym membership. Doing this for the first few weeks of the year will help you save and go a long way in helping you avoid debt.
3. Be creative with your meals.
It will be hard for most of you to adjust from eating good foods during the December festivities to now feeding on sukuma wiki and plain cabbages but this is the time to try cheaper healthier options. Get your protein from omena or eggs instead of beef. Try eating more beans, green grams, kamande and the likes this month. Also, experiment with variety of traditional vegetables like managu or mrenda. These options are not only delicious but also very nutritious.
4. Shop in bulk.
Try as much as you can to always buy things in bulk. Organize for weekly shopping trips to your local market to shop for a weekly supply of groceries, buy your cereals in large quantities, limit your visits to the supermarket. You will be amazed the amounts you can save from doing that.
5. Borrow from saccos or chamas.
If you absolutely have to get into debt then consider borrowing from chamas or co-operatives if you are a member of one as their interests are lower than that of bank loans.
6. Practice cheaper leisure activities.
Just because the month is hard doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have fun at all. There are so many fun leisure activities that one can venture into for very low prices or even for free. For instance you can read books, go for nature walks, play card, board or video games, blog, learn new recipes and even tik tok dance moves depending on what you like.