SURVIVING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IN KENYA

Financial Bill 2023

Times are undoubtedly tough in Kenya, with the cost of living on the rise, leaving many grappling with the burden of higher prices and limited resources. As we await the passage of the finance bill, it’s evident that every aspect of our lives has been impacted, with the cost of goods and services skyrocketing. From the necessities, everything seems to have had the price skyrocketing. The sharp increase in food prices and the all-time high electricity cost have put a strain on households making it difficult to manage everyday expenses.

In the job market, opportunities have become scarce, and when they do arise, the rising taxation makes it challenging to keep up with the financial demands owing to the shrunk disposable income. The exchange rate between the dollar and the shilling is unfavorable, diminishing the value of our currency and further worsening the already bad situation. For families, making ends meet and putting food on the table has become a challenge, forcing us to appreciate even the smallest blessings, however fleeting they may seem. As frustration grows and with limited options, mental health and well-being in our society are becoming increasingly visible.

In the face of this economic crisis, we must find ways to survive and navigate these challenging times. Here are some practical tips to help you weather the storm:

1. Embrace Bulk Shopping. Seek out wholesale markets like Eastleigh in Kenya, where you can purchase goods at more affordable prices compared to regular supermarkets and retail shops. Consider buying non-perishable items and cereals in bulk, such as beans, green grams, rice, spaghetti, and pasta, to ensure you have a supply for future use. This will reduce the need for frequent trips to the shops, saving you time and money.

2. Utilize Your Freezer. Make the most of your freezer by boiling and storing cereals like Githeri and Njahi. Cook and freeze beans, green grams, and other grains for extended use. Preserve vegetables by freezing them, and cooking them properly before consumption. This way, you can plan your meals more efficiently and have the assurance of at least a meal during these challenging times.

3. Stick to a Budget and Avoid Impulse Buying. Develop a budget and stick to it diligently. Avoid impulsive purchases by asking yourself whether you truly need the item, if it will still matter in a few days, and if there are alternatives available. Staying disciplined with your spending will help you make more informed financial decisions.

4. Carry Packed Meals to Work. Preparing and carrying your breakfast and lunch from home can save you money on daily take-outs and restaurant meals. This extra money can be redirected towards essential expenses like electricity and water bills.

Remember, we are all facing the brunt of inflation, and tightening our belts may be necessary for now. Working within our budgets and making the most of what we have can help us weather this storm. It’s essential to remain hopeful, as nothing lasts forever. Together, we will overcome these challenges and emerge stronger.

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