11 reasons why you're always that 'broke Nairobian'

Kazi ni kungoja tuu payday

Sometimes, you see people in the same paycheck league as yourself having more responsibilities and somehow, managing! How are they able to pay for rent, kids' school fees, maintain a home and survive till end month and you can’t? You need to check yourself and your spending habits. Here’s why you’re always that broke Nairobian claiming  “Mwezi iko corner” all year round. You’re not cursed, you’re just dumb fam.

1. You do not budget.

Budgeting your money is important for you to be able to prioritize on what’s important and what needs to take a back seat. If you do not budget, you will end up overspending and before even the 10th of the month, you’re looking up to Mshwari. You also need to have a savings account to put some money aside for a rainy day or join a Sacco. You can't spend money haphazardly and expect to not get broke. C'mon!

2. Impulse buying.

I totally understand and get any shopaholic. It’s really hard to restrain yourself from buying that cute shoe or dress you come across on Instagram boutique or when passing by Ngara. But if you don’t need it, why buy it? If you think about it, the shoe or dress will join a pile of other clothes and shoes you haven’t worn in years and it’s just pointless. It also doesn’t help that nearly all social events in Nairobi include pop up stores selling fashionable clothes. If you’re an impulse buyer, carry just enough money to prevent yourself from buying.

3. You’re always using mobile banking apps.

Mobile banking apps charge so much to make a single transaction. Each time you transact, you’re charged around 60 shillings. I never get why the banks have to charge us so much to take our own money. So, if you can, avoid using banking apps and do over the counter transactions or you could do bulk withdrawals so that you’re not withdrawing all the time.

4. You have expensive social habits.

I’m not telling you not to turn up. I know FOMO is real when you live in Nairobi. Every other day or weekend there’s something happening and the squad is getting lit. But if you cannot afford to always indulge, say no and save. Events will cost you not less than Sh 3,000, even when you do have complimentary passes. You need to get a cab ride to and from the event, buy drinks and food, which are not necessary cheap. Nights out, the same. Instead, you could come up with cheaper ways of indulging say by buying a mzinga and turning up in a house and then going out after if you must cause if you’re already lit, you’ll just need to buy water.

5. Eating out all the time.

Eating out is expensive in Nairobi. Unless we are talking Kibandaski food, a decent meal will cost you well over Sh 500 so if you do your math, it’s not affordable to eat out always. And, it's not even healthy!

6. You’re being a brand slave.

I get that sometimes, we want to stick to brands we know. For instance, most people will only buy Pearl or Daawat rice because they say that the rice “tokeas kamoja kamoja”. Compromising on quality is not necessarily what I’m telling you to do but be open to try other brands that are perhaps cheaper. You might find that they’re equally good, saving a coin or two. And most of the time anyway, there’s no much difference.

7. Gambling.

It’s okay to try and be the next jackpot winner but remember lottery money is cursed money hehe. Sorry to burst your bubble. Your gambling habits will keep making you poor as they enrich others. Be wise!

8. You have no second job/side hustle.

In Nairobi, you must have a side hustle you guy my guy. It could be anything as small as freelance writing or selling Mtumba clothes. But depending on one paycheck will definitely put you in the pool of broke Nairobians.

9. Uber-ing everywhere.

My friend. If you have no car, I suggest you get used to the matatu way of life and only use taxi hailing apps when you really have to say on a rainy morning or when you need to dash to a meeting. Taxi hailing apps may appear cheap but those 200s 300s combined per week, will be costing you an arm and a leg.

10. Living beyond your means.

Nairobians are all about show off. If half of your pay goes into your rent, move out and live in an affordable area. If you cannot afford a wig, braid your hair, avoid unnecessary bills that you can avoid and save yourself some money.

11. You’re in debt.

Since the brokenness cycle seems to follow you everywhere you go, you keep taking loans and that only increases your debts. By the time you get your money, a chunk of it is going to pay overdrafts and then by 15th you need another overdraft as you await payday and the cycle goes on.


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