Use your phone to save

Saving without a target is like leaving the house without knowing where you are going. At least that’s how I have always treated my savings. I plan my journey with a target destination.

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If you are in Kenya with a safaricom line, you have 2 options to save under M-PESA loans and savings.

  1. M-SHWARI: Select the options as follows: Lock Savings – Open Account – Choose source of savings (M-Pesa / M-Shwari) – Indicate period you would like to save (e.g. 1 month) – Enter Amount – Enter pin. With an account now created, all you will need to do is select “Save” under the lock savings every time you need to top up your savings account. Should you require to withdraw the money before the maturity date, it will take upto 2 days to get the money back. So urgent miscellaneous spending will no longer mess up your savings account.
  2. KCB M-PESA. Select the options as follows: Fixed Savings Account – Choose between Fixed deposit or Target Savings account and open an account. You get an option of saving for 1 month, 3 months or 1 year. Say you set a target of KES 20,000 for a period of 3 months, you will have the flexibility to move any amount of money till you hit your target. You cannot withdraw that amount, till the period runs out. This is a good way to train yourself, start small and keep growing.

Gateway to savings – Pen & Paper

IMG_1298A pen and a paper are your two greatest secrets to savings (please note,  i speak of a pen and paper and not a phone note pad).

How?

Start writing down even single cent that you spend on a daily basis. All you need is a small notebook and a pen that you can carry with you everywhere.

That KES 10 that you use to buy peanuts at the neighbourhood kiosk or the unwavering urge to buy ‘smokies with kachumbari around your neighbourhood, or that KES 50 that you spend every evening to buy a much needed packet of milk, every cent must be accounted for on a minute basis, hourly basis and daily basis.

Try that for 7 days and you will know why you have postponed your savings journey.

Buy a small notebook today and track all your expenses for a whole week and let’s see where your money goes to, which areas you waste your money in and which areas you can cut off.

Can you walk minutes further away from your house and get a bus for KES 20 cheaper?, canyon carry lunch and water from home everyday as you head out to school or to the office?, Can you take a bus when going to town for a quick errand and save the parking costs or if you must drive, go after 4pm when parking is free?.

Savings opportunities are everywhere. Start over today. 

Let us know in which areas you are able to cut on costs by sending us an email to ajmurugi@gmail.com.

 

What is my financial vision?

img_1297.jpgWhere do you want to be in 5 months , 12 months  and in 36 months?

If you have little children around you, either your own or for other people, watching the little milestones just brings about the awesomeness of God. One day the mother is expectant, the next you hear or see a noisy crying baby, before you know it, teeth pop up and soon they are riding their bikes around.

Every time you see that child, your first comments are something in the lines of “This kid was just born the other day and now they are walking”. It’s during  such  moments that you fail to realize that even as that young child grows, time is also passing you by. You may have grown by starting new ventures or in a worse state by stagnating at the same spot with no savings or development milestones such as taking a new class in arts, crafts or computers.

This is why its important to create a vision for your life today.

Start by:

  1. Writing 1 thing you’d like to achieve financially in the next 5 months, 12 months and 36 months. Please note,  I have not written 1 year or 3 years. I use months as you can set smaller achievable targets e.g. save KES 5,000 per month for 36 months instead of saving KES 60,000 per year for 3 years. See the difference?, a goal broken down is easier to achieve.
  2. Have a visual vision board with pictures that clearly represent your goals. If it’s a computer program you intend to take within 5 months, cut out a picture from a magazine or a newspaper and stick it on your vision board.
  3. Now have faith and commit your visions to God and watch everything come to be. You will be surprised that everything you do will be aligned to your dreams and visions.

Your salary is a seed

IMG_1299Your salary is a seed. A seed is to be planted if a yield has to come out of it. You cannot eat a seed and expect food tomorrow. Using maize as an example, one single seed of maize can produce one stalk that will have 2-4 cobs/ears. You had the option to eat that seed that was too small to satisfy you or you can plant it and produce enough to feed you for a few days.

Your salary, no matter how small or large, must be treated as a seed.

An employers’ goal is not to make you a millionaire, all they do is give you a service charge in form of money to ensure that when you leave work, you have a roof over your head and you do not fall down while working for them because they need their job done the next day.

If you eat that service charge, you will never break the cycle as you will keep working to get more to eat. However, if you sow that service charge (as a farmer plants/sows a seed), you will harvest a big yield. Therefore, use your service charge to invest (plant that seed) because, even a small seed can yield a big tree. The problem is not the seed, it is the person holding it. Sow your seed in good ground. Invest wisely.

Budgets and Discipline

IMG_1300These are the two keys to salary management. It is for this reason that someone who earns KES 15,000 will build a home and live rent free while someone earning KES 60,000 or KES 300,000 will live in a rented flat for 10 years.

Why? We need to go back to the basics of wants and needs. Needs are things you can’t do without, food, clothing, shelter, transport, education and healthcare. Everything else is a want.

If you work in Westlands and live in Athi River in a rented house, then the KES 10,000 you spend on transport is no longer a need but a want. If you earn KES 60,000 and shop at Jade or Woolworth’s, then clothing becomes a want and not a need. This is where DISCIPLINE comes to play, the Athi River resident in this example can move to Uthiru  and spend KES 1,000 on transport and save the extra money to invest in education or savings and in 2 years they have a better job or start a side business. The Woolworth’s shopper can sacrifice to buy clothes from Toi market, Mutindwa or Gikomba and if they hit a milestone e.g. Save a set amount weekly for all 52 weeks by December 31st they can reward themselves with a beautiful dress or a shirt from Woolworth’s, Not 2 or 3 but just 1 because remember, the goal is to word with budgets and discipline.