A friend of mine just got  his first “real” job after a mini-hiatus  and asked me  to share  my thoughts on  money and how I manage to keep  my financial sanity since I work in the  financial industry that is  notoriously for living la vida loca. Just ask Leo  about his character in  his new movie Wolf of Wall Street.

 Well,  here are some of the  lessons that I have learned the  hard way and also picked up from others:

Kenyan shilling slips, shares extend fall 656565



A budget is the number one that you need in your quest for freedom. It can be   dedicated journal, excel sheet or even an app on your smart phone. The most important  thing is that you can keep track of your income and expenditure.


Save! Save! Save!  You have probably heard it over and over  again.  This is what separates the children  from the youth. Once  you develop this habit you will be able to get everything that  you need  and even want.

My colleagues and I  normally say that on pay day , everyone’s  bank is always in shock  due to the increased credit that  we are all  eager to  reduce the credit to a manageable level.   For those of you who get epileptic seizures  once  money is available,  consider making standing orders for recurring  payments  and also your savings to ease your burden.  For frequent  M-pesa  users  should look into using M-Shwari  as means  of saving.


Diversification is a  beautiful that  everyone should embrace.  Saving is good but do not put all your eggs into one basket.  Yes, have that 6 month- one year  worth of expenses emergency fund to cushion yourself from your unthinkable but also look into  investing in  the stock market, assets  and  chamas (merry-go-rounds). 

Insurance should never be over-looked. Apart from the health benefits  that are provided by your employer,  please invest additional insurance for your family.


Consider, a gradual  change in lifestyle. Everyone’s first paycheck is exciting. At least, I know I was over the moon about mine and could not wait to get the ATM to get MY money and spend it as I wished.   Spurlge on things that are more worthwhile and durable.  One of the best  fashion advice that I have  I ever  received is investing in wardrobe staples. Befriend more  solid colours  such as black, navy blue, brown  especially if you are in  the corporate world. Then  invest in  various coloured  blouses, shirts and scarves to give  your look an extra -pop.

Bonus #1: Classy Career Girl’s Anna Runyan interview with  image consultant  Sarah Ward has great tips.

Bonus #2: Dawn Stanyon’s Professionality has great ideas  on how you can  mix and match outfits for  the work

Bonus#3:  This one is for the hard-core. Take the seriously minimalistic route and don’t buy clothes for a whole year!

Look for cheaper ways of meeting them same need. Learn how to cook all those  exoctic  meals instead of eating out every weekend. Rent a movie  instead of watching  it at IMAX.   Go for second-hand especially for clothes and books. Look out for sales when people are moving out or during a garage sale.   Shop in your closet. Give a new lease on your life to some of the things in your home. Be creative with the time and resources at your disposal

Bonus #4: A Beautiful  Mess | A Pinch of Yum| Watch Tamu Tamu on NTV Sundays 6pm EAT

Bonus #5:The Daily Muse addresses the lunch issue

For young professionals, the  importance of networking can never be emphasized.  However,   sometimes the opportunity  of meeting that  person that  you would like to connect   with will rise at a mixer, conference or event that you can’t afford. Well,  Ben Casnocha and Reid Hoffman advise in the Start-Up of You (a.k.a my career change  manual) that have an investment fund.  Set aside some money in your budget for personal growth whether it’s for attending a TEDx event,  Networking In Heels, an out-of-town conference that your budget-strapped company can’t afford or simply  buying Bob Collymore coffee at Sankara or a disruptive book within your industry or passion.


The thought of  personal debt petrifies me  but the older I  get, the more I realise that it is a necessary evil.  For me, I only use my credit card  for  medical emergencies and when it’s a matter of absolute necessity, knowing fully well  when and how  I will pay back.

Know  how you will  service your  loan.  For example, some people take loans to purchase or build rental apartments that  will bring in rental income at the end of each month. Therefore, the asset pays for itself without straining your other earnings.

Bonus#6: Anna shares how she and her husband paid off $80,000 debt in 18 months!


In this day and age, one needs  multiple sources of income.    There is no greater joy than earning money from  what you  enjoy doing. However, some of us  have not fully explored our various talents.Well, Daniel offers a couple of pointers here


Last but not least, educate yourself. There are plenty of  information  out there to get you sorted. We all love financial guru, Suze Orman and  locally, Waceke Nduati-Omanga is leading the way in financial empowerment. You can enrol  for classes  or  following  her articles in The Saturday Nation’s lifestyle pull-out


4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Money

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