“You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it.” Tennessee Williams
I saw an interesting statistic in one of the newspapers today, that there are something like only 1,900 retirement benefit schemes (this is the number of employers with schemes for employees) in the country. Maybe the number is not quite accurate but the point is that we generally don’t have a strong savings culture in Kenya. Why is this? is it lack of marketing by financial firms? I think its many reasons and also the fact that many people do not have basic financial literacy and an appreciation for the concept of “time value of money”. I hope that along this journey of mine, I can unlock the secret of wealth creation and be able to share it with others.
One thing for sure, is that I do need to find away to curb my expenditure in order to save more. I have been successful at reducing spending on unnecessary”things” – but now I need to find out how to reduce my spending of food stuffs, bills and daily “essentials”.
For example in October, I spent a total of about 55,000 on food – surely I can reduce this somehow? I keep singing this like a broken record but I can save money on fruits and vegetables by shopping in the markets and also buying local and refrain from buying expensive imported items like kiwi fruits for example. The other idea I though of to reduce food expenses, is to simplify our diet and eat less variety especially with fresh fruits and vegetables as we tend to buy allot which ends up spoiling.
At the end of the day, I do not think there is very much room to reduce expenses without it being too inconvenient so ultimately the solution is to also increase my income but below are some few ideas for reducing spending.
Ideas to reduce essential spending:
- Pay down debt – this will reduce interest expense
- Eat less variety especially with fresh produce
- Avoid buying high value produce like kiwi, imported tomatoes and icecream, bacon, sausages etc
- Buy more fresh milk and less UHT which is about 40 shillings more expensive per liter
- Buy the cheapest bread – at about 49 shillings versus 350 from a bakery
- Buy bulk particularly with cleaning products
- Pay at Nakumatt with the bank/loyalty card because that earns me 1.5x more points.
Overall, I did quite well this month, I managed to save quite a bit as I had no unusual large expenses. I did not earn any dividend income this month and there was a slight increase in my net-worth from my savings but I cant say exactly how much because I have not been calculating an accurate figure, from next year I will be tracking net worth much more closely.