Living in the city is expensive as it is hectic: the bedlam of honking cars on a daily basis, deadlines to meet and expenses to cover cling on ordinary city dwellers like leeches, draining them of energy and hard-earned money. Adding insult to the injury, there are very many unemployed youth to go around. According to statistics, around 11% of Kenya’s population was unemployed as of the year 2016. While you may not be part of this statistic, you need to consider these 10 things that needlessly eat your money.
We all love music. I mean, what can we do without it? However, listening to music on a portable gadget is an expensive habit to maintain, much as you may not know. Consider the life span a cheap pair of 100-300-shilling earphones that you may come by in one of Nairobi’s stalls.
Immediately you start using them, they are exposed to the danger of snapping. Although you may be a little clumsy and get it clipped on furniture or anything around you: including humans, cheap earphones can get spoilt without you knowing the cause of damage. Try being a little careful, and responsible to not fall asleep while using your earphones and find out what damages them next.
You might want to upgrade and buy more expensive pieces for your love of music. Perhaps a 500-1000-shilling piece may guarantee you more durability. But wait until fellow pedestrians pass by swinging their arms, or the next time you have to board a Passenger Service Vehicle with the cable hanging from your ears. How many times will you replace a broken pair?
Cheap is expensive, so you might want to invest in longevity of music with a Bluetooth call receiver. And if you’re in the house, try a Bluetooth speaker. They can last you at least two hours.
Mobile subscription services
Every once in a while you wonder where your money goes. I bet you your pockets are well intact. Our mobile phones are buried deep in our daily lives that we can hardly do without them. They connect us to friends and the whole wide world in just a few swipes and taps and we never stop going. The advent of android phones with browsing and chatting applications, with ready friends and probably strangers attracts your attention that you hardly realize how much money you spend on a circadian in the name of bonding.
Perhaps daily Internet subscriptions seem affordable. But you have to count those obnoxious times you run out in the middle of loading an interesting page or a juicy chat. Whatever discounts your service provider gives; you’ll always purchase Internet data bundles repeatedly in a single day.
Now here’s the idea in simple math: 1,500 or 3,000 shillings for Wi-Fi connection will suffice you a month. Purchasing mobile phone subscriptions will you a little more or a little less, depending on your thirst for online activity.
Mobile money transfer services
They are convenient for emergencies and even on ordinary occasions for those, like me, who hardly fancy the idea of queuing in bank halls. Gladly, you can throw huge and small chunks of money here and there without formalities, at the comfort of your room.
But uncontrolled spending is a major habit that creeps in, and before you know it, you’re deeply engrained. All of us have ended up misusing the luxury of mobile money transfer services really needlessly: and perpetually to financially detrimental instances. We use these services to buy airtime, mark you, in order to make phone calls or purchase Internet data subscription services.
Compare how freely you might spend cash at hand to how you spend money via these services. I personally don’t count on cash at hand as cash actually possess if you do not have good spending habits.
Pastime phone calls
Astonishingly many young people spend lengthy periods of time calling friends for a chat. While it isn’t bad at all to keep in touch with friends, you might want to review some of the calls you make on a regular basis. Perhaps thinking twice fits in this scenario. Consider sending an SMS instead of calling: consider even meeting over a coffee once in a while to catch up on each others lives and save your money for more pressing matters. And as my father once asked me: “you’re making too many lengthy calls; are you a businessman?”
For as long as banks have existed, they have provided loans to customers. And who wouldn’t enjoy the experience of quick, easy money? There are always too many expenses to meet, bills to pay, cash at hand just in case.
You may even desire a new car, a piece of land and anything else that money can buy. But no matter how attractive your bank’s interest rates may be, no matter how much money you are eligible to borrow; don’t even think about it. In as much as loans are quick fixes to seizing opportunities, whom are they fixing?
Having to pay interest rates over an extended period of time cripples your financial freedom. Huge loans to service in addition to your regular expenses prolongs the span of your indebtedness and besides being in financial stagnation, there is high risk of being auctioned by your bank. So when a deal is too sweet, think twice.
This is one expense that everyone needing to travel: the working class and students alike. To be realistic, you can hardly evade transportation expenses even if you own a car. So you have to plan your transportation in advance. Be where you need to be for only as long as you need to be there: consider traveling ahead of, or after peak hours and if you own a car, try to use shorter routes and evading traffic jams to minimize fuel consumption. Even more preferably, consider hiking a lift in a friend or neighbor’s car to minimize your spending on fuel. Not only will you be ecofriendly but also pocket-friendly. Just remember to return such favors.
If any judge is convicting fast food buyers, we all need to lawyer up. But we can’t help it: fast foods are convenient for any time of day or activity. They’re also significantly less messy that you can almost go unnoticed after grabbing a bite. But how long can they last us before our tummies begin to rumble? And needless to say, fast foods can cost almost as much as a wholesome meal at an average eatery, or even three times as much.
So before you think of buying fast foods, consider carrying packed lunch. You’ll almost spend nothing on your daily budget but cooking skills and about an hour of preparation.
Don’t worry; cooking time can be flexible to include some multitasking.
Friday night outings
There’s no better time to be with friends than a Friday night. The week is just ending and you have no responsibilities hanging over your shoulders, at least for the weekend. Finally the opportunity to slow life down presents itself but what do most people do? – Burn the midnight oil dancing their money away: celebrating utterly no achievement but meeting a friend that’s always at an arm’s length throughout the week.
I don’t mean to be a fun killer but Friday night outings leave you a handsome amount of money poorer. They also leave you with unhelpful hangovers lingering through a few working days; causing you reduced productivity at work.
Easy money is so sweet. And it is even sweeter when you don’t have to give it back. But it hardly comes your way. Lottery competitions seem designed to give hope that luck might one day be on your side. But they have actually been designed to pool money from the poor and middle class desperate to get out of debt or leap into the world of riches like abracadabra.
Such gumption blinds many from realizing that they are investing their money in enriching a stranger who might not eve exist. Suppose the money you spent diligently in a bid to multiply it wildly was pooled and directed to a more worthy course, how much realistic benefit would you gain?
Friends and family can be very financially dangerous terms. Although they’re not the only kinds of people you might lend your money, friends and family can weigh down on your financial prospects in some profoundly undetectable ways.
A friend or family member might need a little financial favor from you or a small loan that they promise to pay before you think you can blink. And being a morally upright relative or good friend, you decide to forgo the loan. I’m not advising you to be stingy but some favors can be one too many. And without your realization, such favors can become discounted responsibilities.
Aside from friends and family, whatever loan you may feel inclined or generous enough to extend, you may just have to acknowledge kissing your money goodbye. Remember when I said that loans can be burdens? Think carefully before you give someone such a burden.
Abdulrazak Warren is a TV presenter and Producer in Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. He enjoys scripting, writing poetry and prose stories, drawing and reading. Abdulrazak is currently awaiting to graduate from Nairobi Technical Training College in March and further his course in Journalism and Media Studies.
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