The Math Of Savings: Surviving ‘Njaanuary’

My last week of December was spent doing some last-minute Back to School shopping for my nephew ahead of schools re-opening in January. After a long day of running errands, my sister and I sat down to relax and chat. This in turn ended up being a long rant about how the month of January and the needs that come with it always take us by surprise. Despite knowing that after December the inevitable January comes, we never seem to be prepared! Is it just us?

So, in a bid to change that, we came up with some saving hacks to help us prepare better financially not just for January, but for every other month. Here are a few:

You Can Save And Still Enjoy Life

Cake is my guilty pleasure. That meant every day after work, I would grab myself a slice on my way home. I was in a dilemma because as much as I knew that I need not be spending that much money on cake, I just could not imagine my days without some. Fortunately, I have found a balance. I now allow myself 3 cake days a week. So that way, I can save some money and still enjoy my cake.

Saving Requires Great Discipline

Of course, saving can be a challenging process that requires a great deal of discipline. If you belong to a chama, then you know what I am talking about. You may forget to changa your money sometimes, other times you have random needs that come up and other times you even question why you’re in the chama in the first place! I know this has been me over the past months but giving up is not an option. You have to keep going! The more you keep at it, the better you become.

Saving is Personal

This reminds me of an episode of Ubongo Kids that I watched on Akili Kids! TV while hanging out with my nephew, where this character called Kibena and her friends were saving up for a school trip. In this episode, one of Kibena’s friends is sad that she is not able to save as much money as her friends who receive more pocket money. But Uncle-T (my nephew’s favourite) is quick to remind her that we all have different saving abilities based on our lifestyle, our needs and income and so it makes no sense to compare ourselves to others. And I thought that was such an insightful lesson.

It’s Never Too Early or Late to Teach Toto How to Save

Start small, for instance, you could let them save that ksh.10 change they remained with after buying milk in the morning. And to prove how serious you are, you could consider getting them a ka-saving tin and then later, once they get the gist of it, you could introduce a piggy bank. This way, you help engrain a culture of saving in your kiddos right from a young age. Moreover, they can later on use some of their savings to finance their own projects and needs, like this guy did in the Math of Savings: Lessons from my Brother.

Which Savings Hack will you be practising this Njaanuary?

Happy Saving!