Everyone living in Kenya and elsewhere needs to learn how to manage their money but it is 5 times more important for a Kenyan living in Diaspora to be a good manager of their money.
David Bach has a book called “Start Late, Finish Rich” and in it he basically says even if you start getting a good grip on your money in your 40’s or 50’s or 60’s you can still achieve your financial goals; you just have to work harder than everyone else. You have to do 5 times the work.
As long as you fly out of Kenya one day no matter how old you are, this is what is required of you …you have to be a good manager of your money. There are no ifs, I wish, buts, couldas’, shouldas’, wouldas’.
Because you really have no room for error.
The mistakes you make can and will be disastrous for you. Not managing your money well is the biggest regret you can have in the living abroad journey…whether you choose to return to Kenya or live in a foreign country.
On the other side, having a money cushion will protect you when the emergencies that will arise, eventually arise.
A Kenyan living in Diaspora has many financial issues on their plate; including:
- sending money to your family in Kenya,
- dealing with credit cards,
- trying to self fund an education in a foreign country,
- funding your vacation to Kenya usually in December which includes the flights and all the money you will spend in Kenya
- dealing with family crises like deaths which normally means sending money home or even attending funerals as well as illnesses which will mean you footing a large share of the hospital bill,
- saving money,
- investing in Kenya ,
- building a retirement financial plan…usually in Kenya
I mean there’s so much to deal with. Yet you deal with so much abroad and would want to drown your sorrows in alcohol or drugs or partying your cares away.
But you can’t because no one will give you a second chance to redeem yourself. Your family probably used all they had to send you to the USA.
You have no second chances. You only have one chance…do not blow it.
I have lived in and out of Kenya for 12 years and in different countries and I know all that can happen in 12 years. You don’t get this preview on that first flight out of JKIA. You have no idea what will happen. I’ve had all kinds of unforeseen circumstances happening to me and I can tell you what I learnt was having a good grasp on money is the most important thing for you as a Kenyan living abroad.
You also really need God in your journeyJ
The absolute first step to managing money and your financial situation is managing your time.
Time is the new money. A person who is not in control of their time and who wastes time does not manage their money very well.
Can you account for every hour in your day?
Do you spend a lot of time with ‘friends’, watching endless hours of TV and movies and spending a lot of time just having fun.
I mean I love watching TV but I had to reduce my TV watching when I went online and read all the resources on time management.
Being accountable for your hours will make you see that maybe you spend a lot of time shopping which we women love to do …and that will mean that maybe you are racking up a lot of debt or if you spend a lot of time buying the boys beers maybe you are racking up debt and need to evaluate how important your relationships really are.
Managing your time makes you become protective of your time.
The thing is even if you have a full time job, you can utilize a few extra hours to utilizing a hobby you have that could help your income grow or you can spend this time learning all you can on being a good money manager. There are so many financial experts like Suzie Orman and David Bach. The other day I discovered this blog called moneysavingblog.com which helps families become frugal and not use credit cards.
I started writing which is a something I’ve always loved doing and I’m currently learning Swedish and job hunting in Sweden. I am very militant with my time. My friends call me to hang out or have dinner without much notice and I can’t go because I’ve already established my schedule for the day. I tell them let’s do this next week.
The best resource I found online on time management was an eBook called Tell Your Time by Amy Lynne Andrews. Please click on the picture and you can purchase the eBook for a special price of less than 3 dollars.
Once you manage your time you are well on the journey to meeting whatever financial goals you have, be it buying land in Kenya and building apartments for rental income or paying your siblings’ school fees.
By Anita King
About the author: I am a Kenyan lady who has lived in 3 different continents outside Africa for 12 years called Anita King. I currently live in Sweden and recently opened a blog http://asummerbunny.com/