How should one spend money? In this post I am sharing how I spend my income, which is solely from freelance writing services.

We all have different spending habits and mine are not the best, neither are they the worst. All until my graduation I depended on my parents for pocket money. Although I secured some part time jobs that offered Ksh15,000 a month, I never really got to report. I used to sleep a lot, I still do!

After I graduated in Dec 2017, I tried to apply for some jobs but I never got an opportunity to attend even a single interview. I was invited for one but we were told that degree certificates were needed. We are not given our degrees upon graduation and so this had to pass.

Craving for financial independence, I had to join my friends that do freelance writing. Writing sustains most Kenyan youths that are not on the conventional jobs. Some are not unemployed because one must be willing to work and actively seeking for a job to form part of the unemployed people.

Once I started making money online from this hustle, I stopped applying for jobs. That was in February 2018 – 3 years of freelance writing!

How much was my first income?

I used to make about $200 every 2 weeks when I started. Over time, with more experience in writing and seeking for writing gigs, I could make about $400 every 2 weeks. I was comfortable with this and I was hoping to increase it over time. But it hasn’t increased significantly. In other words, I am not where I was hoping I would be by now. And that’s life.

How much do I spend in expenses?

The following are my current fixed expenses.

  • Rent Ksh17,000 – a one bedroom in Roysambu
  • Internet Ksh2,900 from Safaricom Home Fibre

My variable expenses include:

  • Water – approximately KSh600
  • Electricity – approximately Ksh3,000
  • Food and groceries– approximately Ksh25,000
  • Restaurants – approximately Ksh7,000

While I have to spend the above in every month, I do not have to spend on the following for each month:

  • Netflix – ksh1,000
  • Dstv – Ksh2,600
  • Clothes – very variable
  • Fun, Travel & Leisure – very variable
  • Airtime – very variable but not more than 1,000 a month when I do. Sometimes I don’t even buy airtime for close to two months.

I do not have a fixed guaranteed income, in some months I spend more than what I spend in others. Sometimes I even sleep hungry!

As you can see this is not a perfect expenditure plan to follow. An insurance cover is missing but I am working on that.

We learn each day.

How to lower your monthly expenses

You can reduce the money you spend per month by:

  • moving to an affordable house without affecting your current living standards,
  • sharing subscription services such as Netflix and Dstv with family and friends,
  • buy cheaper insurance premiums,
  • use public transport means instead of taxis and personal cars,
  • negotiate for a bargain before paying for something, and many other ways.

How much do you spend in a month? Do you wish you had more to spend? I do. But that has to come with more income sources.

Relatives, friends, and personal finance experts and enthusiasts may be judgmental  and criticize the choices of others. There is no j-u-d-g-e-m-e-n-t here. I won’t judge you and don’t judge me.

If you have to eat out daily, buy new clothes every week, go clubbing each weekend, visit luxurious destinations every month, do it. If it fits your budget and you are happy and comfortable with how you afford it, then do it as long as you are saving for emergencies and your elderly self.

Should you buy a new car? Most people say second hand cars are the best financial decision to make in Kenya. But, if you can afford it without negatively impacting your financial security, buy a zero-mileage car.

Just spend on fancy things if you love it. If you love cars, like I do, buy one.

I really hope you have enjoyed reading this post. If you would like to know more about how I spend my money, you can ask on the comment section below. No judgement please.

Published by
Moroti Okemwa
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Okemwa is a graduate of Economics & Statistics from UoN. He works as a freelance writer and during his free time he watches movies, listens to music and follows politics.