By Susan Mukami,
Sometimes despite making and trying to follow a budget, money somehow disappears. A look at the calendar usually indicates that it is not even mid-month.
It may not be that you’re not budgeting wisely, it might just be the fact that you’re spending too much money on unnecessary things. Here are some tips that can help you save a few coins as they say “ haba na haba hujaza kibaba”.
Be more organized
Being disorganized can lead you to wasting a lot of cash.
This simple everyday action can cost you money at some point. From carelessly losing chargers and cables, misplacing expensive jewelry or important documents like your ID, driver’s license and passport. These are things which cost money and time to replace and if you make it a habit it can turn out to be an expensive affair.
Also you might spend a lot of time and money to replace an item only to find it later so it helps to be organized.
Use public transport
Granted that taking an Uber or a taxi to and from work is far more comfortable and convenient as compared to public transport, it is also strenuous your budget.
I’m not saying you should walk to work or to your meeting, but if your meeting is within a walking distance of your office. Just stretch your legs and save on the taxi fare. Not only will you be saving money, you might lose some weight, too. Also if your job does not involve going into the field it is cheaper to use public trasnport.
Carrying packed lunch to the office
Eating out is without a doubt an expensive affair. The fact that most of the food we buy on a daily basis is over Kshs 100 for a proper meal means you end up spending more than Kshs 500 every week – and that’s on lunch alone. If you count the impromptu coffee meetings and evening dinners with clients, you end up spending so much more. A lady from Centonomy once gave a talk on how the money we spend on lunch on a daily basis per year is enough to take you on a holiday.
To mitigate this endeavor to prepare food at home. The more food you can prepare at home, the better off your budget will be. Plus packing lunch also tends to be better for your waistline.
Carrying water from home
As you begin taking in the tradition of carrying packed lunch, also get in the habit of carrying water from home as well. This works if your office does not provide a water dispenser. It’s proven to be not only cheaper but also safer since you can treat the water you drink, that’s if you’re not entirely sure of where your bottled water comes from.
Budgeting for your groceries
Vegetable and fruit prices shot up to over 13% in January 2017 according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and is expected to project in the rising months if the drought continues.
Before you go grocery shopping, think about the meals you’re going to make for the week and write down exactly what ingredients you’ll need to prepare those meals. When you actually go to the store, stick to just the ingredients on your list.
Taking care of your health
Most of us are victims of this; ignoring simple symptoms and warnings that our bodies give us until it piles up to become a hospital case. This doesn’t mean you go for monthly checkups – although this isn’t an entirely bad idea – but you can start from simple home remedies for when you get the flu, regular exercise to keep your cholesterol in check and keeping cavities in check will save you from painful bills in the near future.
Limiting Impulse buys
Tempting products like a cold soda, a packet of crisps, a pair of shoes or an impromptu road trip are a great way to reward yourself after a long day. However, if it becomes a habit, you can end up spending a lot of money.
Have a plan. Set aside an amount in your monthly budget for such.
Taking care of simple repairs by yourself
Basic car maintenance and plumbing in the house is something few us are willing to learn. This is perhaps due to our increasingly busy lives and the preference for someone else to do maintenance work.
If you endeavor to learn to do the minor repairs or service on say your car and buy the tools needed you will find that in the long run you will have saved a good amount of money.
This article was originally published in Hapa Kenya.