Why you are always broke
Being broke is normal; being always broke is a disease!
January is finally coming to an end and you can already see smiles on the faces of the workforce. Despite having just 31 days, it still qualifies as the longest month of the year.
However, every once in a while people will run out of money. Personal cars will be off the road. The butchery will be empty. People will adopt a healthier lifestyle of not drinking. Someone will be asking where their money went.
Poor planning is not what always makes people broke. Many people save up a percentage of their salaries but still have nothing to show at the end of their labour. The question is, what has been poking holes in your pocket?
Let’s start with the sweet-for-change culture that is rampant in supermarkets. I have gone to a supermarket that only gives 5/-, 10/- and 20/- coins. Anything under 5/- is issued as a sweet, chewing gum or matchbox. The irony is that they will not remember the sweets when you run short of 4/- during shopping.
If you want to know the value of a shilling, start collecting them today and see how much you will have stored up by the end of the year.
Leaving change behind
It is not a bad thing to leave tips after receiving exemplary service. But when you give the conductor 1,000/- note to deduct 30/- and then forget to take your change, that’s a big loss. Repeat this in a month and you will lack fare half-way. You can always visit the bank for loose change if you don’t want to forget your change in the matatu.
What about the 99 price tag? While most vendors use this as a sales tactic, they will have collected 1,000/- from 1,000 purchases. Leave change at your own expense.
You have seen how creatively goods are arranged at the supermarket. You are likely to feel hungry while waiting to pay for your shopping, and the fastest way to get over it is by grabbing a packet of ‘lunch snack’, right?
How many times do you go shopping only to end up picking things you had not planned for, not because you need them but because you have seen them?
Think about those promotional items you pick on the way only to end up stacking them on the shelf.
Mobile banking has been one of the greatest breakthroughs of the century. It has made banking convenient. You do not have to visit your bank to make a transaction. However, do not forget that convenience comes at a cost. When you sit on your coach to buy tokens from M-Pesa, when you press the USSD to transact from your bank, you pay for it. Some vendors have insisted on using Lipa na M-Pesa or direct deposits instead of choosing cheaper options for their customers. When you transfer money from your bank to your mobile phone then go to a mobile money agent to withdraw, you will save time but at your cost.
Finally, did you know that if any malicious teller decided to deduct 1/- from all accounts during transactions, nobody would know? Regular book-keeping is good for your financial security. Know how each shilling was spent, and you will stop wondering what happened to your money.