Overcoming The Hurdles.

Friday, August 28, 2015

It’s amazing how despite our varied backgrounds, histories, situations and locations, we all seem to have the same desire for financial security and stability. And yet, we seem to face the same challenges when trying to achieve that. Yes, we would like to save, but at the same time, we would like to invest that savings into something that can grow our wealth. Following all the responses garnered from my post, “Changing My Mindset About Saving”, it seems the common threads are: finding the impetus to save in the first place, staying disciplined and finding an investment with low risk and high returns.

From all the feedback I received, these three are the most prevalent challenges or misconceptions when it comes to saving.

1. Not everyone can save.

Quite a number of people said they’d love to save, but unfortunately don’t have enough to do so, especially in situations where they can barely make ends meet. How do you even begin to save when you barely have enough to cater to your most basic needs? How do you make saving a priority, when your basic day-to-day requirements leave you with nothing extra to put away? I am of the opinion that no amount is too small to put away. Start small. Step by step. Find an amount you're comfortable enough to put away every week. That's step one. Cultivate that discipline and see how far you'll grow. Even if it’s 20, 100 or 500 shillings a day. Start.

2.Why save? I work hard so that I can spend. 

You put some money away, and you feel great about being responsible with your money, but then a friend calls you up with a great plan to go away for the weekend. You’ve paid all your bills, and you have money in the bank. Why deny yourself a great time? This is why you work hard in the first place, right? You’ve been so good about money lately anyway. You deserve a treat. You deserve to spend the money. Case closed.

Verna Venoury put it very succinctly on Facebook. “Saving and withdrawing, I believe I should not lack if I have cash lying somewhere.” Faize Njiru added, “I guess I believe in not making myself suffer when I got cash in the bank.”

The discipline to not spend the savings is lacking with a lot of people but some have figured out how to overcome this. By making the money inaccessible. Fabian Mwoshi said he was able to overcome this by enrolling for a saving scheme. He said, “What I intend to save gets deducted before I earn it and is remitted directly into a saving scheme.”

I believe setting goals is very important. Establish what is it you are trying to achieve – a trip, new gadget or to own a home – for the long term and for the short term. Whatever it is, set goals and assign timelines. These will help you keep to your priorities.

3. Saving doesn’t count. Invest. 

There was lots of talk about investment and growing wealth, rather than stashing money away where it does nothing. Many were of the opinion that saving money does little to build your wealth into something significant, and the best thing to do is to invest your money and establish a wide portfolio of investments so as to keep your money out of reach, and also to make it work for you.

Christine Karimi‪ chimed in with this analogy. “Let me begin by saying that money is like manure when you spread it around it helps things to grow, when you stack it all up it begins to stink. In other words money is meant to flow, so let it flow.”

I believe this is true. But saving is a good start – even if it means saving a certain amount for six months to raise enough to invest in something worthwhile. I believe this will help with building the discipline to stick to plans and to keep goals in mind. It’s a good start to a great habit.

Do these three challenges/ misconceptions ring true for you? What’s your take on them and what do you think I may have missed out on?


This article is the second in a series of sponsored posts for the Barclays Savings Challenge. You can follow the discussion on Twitter and Facebook and share your own experience by using the hashtag #AfricaSaves. Visit the Barclays website for more information about their savings account.


  1. Nice piece. However I didnt really get what the pig meant. Help!

    1. Oh, no worries. It's a piggy bank, which most kids have as a savings tool for spare change. This was just a representation of one's savings account being kinda starved!

  2. Hi. I loved the article. I enjoyed reading the first one as well. Kindly highlight that nobody is too young to save. Most people think that saving should only be done by people once they reach a certain age. As a university student, I think my colleagues can start saving from their allowances/pocket money before they transition into the workforce and start earning a salary. Thanks :)

    1. Thanks!! Very true. It's never too early to begin saving! If I had started properly saving years ago, my financial situation would have been very different right now! Wise words Salome.

  3. Nice piece Patricia. The best way to save is to join a sacco,you can't spend what you don't have.Use the sacco savings to get a loan and invest wisely. The 'Y' generation live in the 'now' moment. Someone can own an iphone 6 worth over 80k but has no savings. When they are in a fix, they will sell that phone in olx for 50k. If your phone if worth 60k, ensure you have saved at least 180k. When it gets cold and rainy outside, you will at least have a safety net. Kudos girl! Its nice for people to talk about these things.

    1. Thanks for reading and for your feedback. And yes, you're right. Our priorities are off sometimes!

  4. Thanks for the great piece.In addition, its good to have financial goals as you have mentioned but one also needs to write them and review regularly. What gets written gets done- thats what i believe.

    1. Very true. Writing down goals, however small, always helps me get things done!


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