By Allan Kai

The Covid 19 outbreak has steered Kenyans into uncharted waters where hard decisions have to be made both socially, in how they interact with others and economically in terms of their finances and how well they manage their money during these hard times.

The situation has essentially been deemed a war time kind of situation only that the fight doesn’t involve any heavy artillery or the traditional battle ground, rather our health officers are the ones in the front-line with help from the government.

It goes without saying that while people are quarantining and socially distancing themselves, they need to keep track of their spending so as to make sure no money goes to waste.

Mombasa based Financial and Business Sales Adviser, Rita Orony spoke with Gilitics Media and shared a few steps on how to better manage our finances while facing difficult times such as these.

Key among the things Orony advises Kenyans to do is to avoid impulse buying. This is where people just got out and make purchases that they never intended on getting in the first place.

“If you are going to the supermarket,” Orony says, “don’t carry unnecessary or excess money because when you get home you end up finding out that you don’t need it and in the process you have wasted money that could have been put to better use.”

On the other hand, Orony advises Kenyans to rather embrace bulk buying but further warns against stock pilling perishable goods. She asks us to consider dry food stuffs and essential toiletries while buying in bulk. By doing so, you reduce the number of trips you make to the supermarket and in turn save on the transport cost and more importantly, the risk of getting infected with the corona virus.

“Cancel any unnecessary subscriptions which end up making you spend money which could be of better use elsewhere” she said. Gym subscriptions, cable TV subscriptions or newsletter subscriptions do not seem to be important right now.

Another way to help save money and ensure your well being is by pulling resources together. Orony explains that “we don’t know how long this pandemic is upon us, so if possible, family members staying close to each other can come together and share the cost of living so as to retain more money in your pocket.”

Conservation of utilities such as water and power over the course of this pandemic is key in controlling the monthly bill payments which goes a long way to make sure you don’t spend more money than you need to. Save on transport cost by walking rather than taking public means or motorbikes for distances that are manageable. Not only do you save money but you get a good workout and also avoid risk of infection by riding on public transport and you save on fuel cost if you’re using private means.