Have you been to the supermarket or any other retail shop lately? How are the prices of basic commodities? Any that caught your eye? I went to the supermarket two days ago and the prices of basic commodities are quite high. With the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war, the prices of fuel may go up and this will affect the basic commodities negatively. There is a likelihood of the prices going up and with elections coming up in August, the situation can only get worse. There is, therefore, a need to handle the situation well since your employer may not be increasing your pay soon.
One of the ways of handling the high cost of living is to stop wastage. Ensure you don’t waste food, water, electricity, cooking oil, and other basic products and utilities. Most people will leave the tap running when washing utensils or bathing, others will leave lights on for hours when there is no one in the room. Stop leaving taps running, lights on, and throwing food or frying food with excess oil. By the way, cooking oil is at its highest, and boiled food isn’t bad either. This simple act will save you a few coins and as we say kidogo kidogo ujaza kibaba. Be responsible in how you use utilities.
The second simple way of coping with the high cost of living is to eliminate the monthly expenses that are unnecessary. Stop spending on the things that you can do without. Whereas it is good to enjoy life, be careful on spending on the wants at this time. If however, you can afford to go for a holiday, go for it. Spend less on your luxuries unless you can afford them.
Before you decide what to spend on, ensure you are not spending more than you are making. This is not the time to be in debt, for you may become a slave for a long time. Avoid using credit cards to maintain a certain lifestyle unless you can afford it. In my opinion, credit cards are a bad idea for financial freedom for what is the wisdom behind spending money you don’t have to pay later? It is simply a debt trap in my view.
One can also easily cope with the high cost of living by doing things for themselves. One can for instance make soap at home instead of buying, cook instead of buying food from hotels, or even carry lunch to the office. This will definitely give you some savings.
You can save a lot by shopping around first before you buy something. The internet has made this easier for us. Don’t buy something without comparing prices, for this may save you some coins. You can also buy alternatives to basic products you have been buying. Whereas the taste may be different, if one brand of bread is 60 bob, you can shift to one of 50 bob and save 10 bob. You could even shift from the supermarket that you normally shop at if their prices are higher.
Constantly check on how much you spend on the phone in terms of credit and bundles. This is not the time for kopa credo and fuliza, avoid such unless you must. You may need to stop making unnecessary calls or spending all your time on the internet if you cannot afford it.
Finally, be disciplined, accountable, and responsible human beings.
What are you doing to cope with the high cost of living? Leave us a comment and help a brother or a sister.
Dr. Mary Mugo
Strategy, Governance and Management Consultant