(By SHIRO MAINA)I know you’re probably a little broke. Scratch that… I know you’re probably very very broke, it being mid “Njaanuary” and all. It’s that month where even asking for a loan even from the bank seems to take forever to process. They are called emergency loans for a reason people! Borrowing money from friends or family is just a bad joke right now. Brace yourself; the worst is yet to come.
Coffee shops are visibly empty, even the occasional rich looking Somali guy with an iPhone 6 plus and an S6 Edge in his hands holding a meeting with his ‘investment partners’ has become a rare sight. You know it’s tough when you walk into Java and all waiters are lined up at the counter chilling and you really can’t blame them because there isn’t a customer in sight. This is not the usual scene for such places especially during lunch time when its accustomed to getting so crowded you get confused if the air you’re breathing is oxygen or carbon monoxide that the guy eating garlic chicken from the next table just puffed out.
Tears will fall if you dare look at the photos taken over Christmas of you holding an entire goat’s leg to your mouth as alcohol flowed. There are several ways however that you could save yourself from eating Ugali with salt water. These rules could work for you on long term or short term depending on how big a spendthrift you are.
Rule number 1:
Don’t use your car if you afford a full tank. A full tank will save you from re-fuelling till the end of the month depending on the distance from home to work. If you only have money to fuel in bits, you’ll end up way more broke than you already are. Also keep the weekend mall runs to a minimal, you don’t need to be wasting fuel.
Rule number 2:
Your kitchen is your friend. Restaurants are for those who maintain seven figure bank accounts throughout the year. Cook your meals and make them just enough to carry for lunch the next day. It might be the biggest saving you make throughout the month.
Rule number 3:
Phone calls cannot be avoided but they are not free. If it’s not a client, send a text. They cost way less. Data bundles are expensive too. Make maximum use of free WIFI for Instagram and Twitter and keep the bundles for replying Whatsapp messages in the house.
Rule number 4:
‘Plans’ can wait till next month. Keep meetings with friends to home or office visits instead of the usual drinks at Mojo’s that end up becoming a full blown party at 1824. It is the best time to get to know whether your friends live in a hole or the uptown apartments they portray.
Rule number 5:
Don’t let January catch you pants down again! Plan yourself so that by the end of 2016, you have a small fund set aside to deal with the hunger of the next dry January. You’ll be surprised how a little planning goes a long way.