Sukuma Wiki: 3 financial habits to swear by

The term ‘sukuma wiki’ does indeed refer to a popular leafy green side dish  that accompanies ugali, Kenya’s most popular dish.

Simple, nutritious and cost effective the meal is popular because for anyone and everyone who’s just trying to stretch a shilling, this meal is a saving grace.

For many of today’s millennials stretching a shilling or a dollar is an integral part to making sure you make it through the week; basically “sukuma wiki”. With a range of experiences, some major mistakes when it comes to money and some eureka moments on my journey towards financial freedom there are a few habits I have cultivated to ensure I do not fall off the tracks.

  1. Multiple streams of income

In today’s fast moving world, it is important to realize the value of time and how to best use it. Employ your skills, and if you have none, it might be time to learn a few. Once I joined the work force, I quickly learnt that my salary would hardly carry me towards the lavish lifestyle I thought I would be living. You see, we all have these dreams of one day living it up in a home of our choosing, able to indulge ourselves on the regular. However if you think your salary will meet all your needs, you have another thing coming.

I suggest taking up a part-time job, or investing wisely to earn a passive income that requires little of your attention.

2.Set your accounts up for success

Saving is one of those habits that requires loads of practice and discipline. However, if you are not a fan of the envelop method for managing your spending and monthly expenses, it could also be worth considering the importance of multiple accounts.

Keep a rainy day savings account for unexpected major expenses, a goal -related account perhaps for your bi-annual vacations, a sacco and a current account. Such a structure with ensure that you are well set up for contingency expenses, annual expected expenses and strategic saving should there be need for a low interest loan. This is just a simple example of how to structure things towards your current and future needs; foreseen or otherwise.

3.Supermarkets are a dark hole, be careful

Always be aware of your shopping habits. Your mental and emotional state may often contribute to your spending habits.

Shopping on an empty stomach is a faux pas, not to mention entering a supermarket without a detailed list. Whether you are just going in for some specialty candies or some particular soap you can only find in that exact store, never enter the store without a list as it is a sure way to engage in some impulse buying.

When I joined college and began managing my monthly expenses, I quickly learnt the benefits of buying in bulk. Now, almost 10 years later I can guarantee you that shopping in bulk for items with a long shelf life such as grains and  toiletries will definitely save your some considerable cash.

Money and personal financial management is something Africans hardly discuss openly about. Though we are not too shy to live the flashy lifestyle, how to get your coins right almost always remains a mystery. However, I encourage us all to ask, don’t take any answer for face value and do your own research.

Cultivate generational wealth for you and future generations to come.

A journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step.