If you are ambitious, in business, a risk taker, sometimes unrealistic and act on impulse etc.; you will lose money once or several times in your life. This could lead to having financial problems that could leave you bankrupt or broke in some cases.
Last year, people close to me (family/business partners) and I were going through a rough time financially. Then came elections and things got even worse.
Most of my income sources were not coming through and this led to living from hand to mouth, and I was too proud to reach out to people (family) that could actually help. I wanted to prove to myself and everyone that ‘I got this.’
How I survived during this hard time.
A time came when the little I made and received could not sustain us to the end of the month. Because of that, I had to find ways to make sure that we had enough food, and the small important bills were taken care of until I got the next income. Below are some of the things that really came through for me:
Ever since I could remember, I have always bought items and foods we need for daily use in bulk. I like to have an extra packet of unga or sugar, an extra bottle of oil, an extra packet of detergent or an extra bar of soap or more and so on, at every given moment. The minute we open the extra packet of flour or sugar, I always get another one. That’s how my household operates.
This habit was a life saver during my financial crisis season. I knew that if we couldn’t buy bread and all I could afford is an egg, I would go ahead and buy it, and then make mandazis or pancakes for my children. If all I could afford is sukumawiki (kale), spinach, an onion and tomato; I knew my kids would have a decent full meal, ugali and sukumawiki, coz we already have enough maize flour.
My stock would last us up to two and half months without running out and all we needed to buy Is vegetables and meat products.
Well, not so many people like it especially because of how they keep reminding one to pay back their money, but loaning money from m-shwari really helped me. I would end up penniless not knowing where to get money for vegetables or simple utilities, and then I would go to mpesa, loan as little as ksh.1500 and carefully spend it until I got my next income.
If you don’t know about m-shwari Click here.
3. A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH MY LOCAL KIOSK OWNERS.
The owners of a local kiosk that’s not so far from where we live, a family of four, have become our friends since we moved here. As we had chats and laughed together as we got to know each other, I dint know that that very relationship was going to come in handy.
Whenever we didn’t have bread, milk..you name it, we would go and get some on credit, and they would happily give us without any questions asked.
4. NAIVAS LOYALTY CARD
After Nakumatt went bankrupt and the branch nearest to us was shut down, I started shopping at Naivas. Things got even better when they built a Naivas branch about five minutes from where I live. For that, I knew I was never going to shop anywhere else and so I got myself the naivas loyalty card. This was one of the best decisions I ever made because this card really came in handy when I was broke.
My kids would ask me for chicken, yoghurt etc., I would walk to Naivas and with my loyalty card, I would get them chicken or anything else they asked for and this went on for a while. I got to know how important those points actually are to a point where when I go shopping with anyone, I always ask them to let the cashier scan my card after they pay to add to my points.
5. RELIABLE AND GOOD FRIENDS.
Sometimes things could get really bad. Business was slow plus my mum and I had this projects that had used up all the money, so I couldn’t turn to her. My kids’ dad was doing his best but things were a little tough on his side too. I would then turn to my most trusted and reliable friends, and tell them what was going on.
Some of these friends would not even let me say ‘I need some money’, they always said, ‘I’ll send you something’ immediately. I would then receive an mpesa message about five minutes after a chat or phone call, and mark you, it wasn’t loan money.
Another group (duo) came home to my house a few days after my birthday with groceries and cooked for us. This blew my mind. I thank God for such friends every day.
6.STICKING TO ONE GAS SUPPLIER.
For the last two and a half years, I have ordered gas from the same person. For this, we have a good customer-supplier relationship.
One Sunday afternoon, I was busy cooking for my kids and the gas decided to finish in the middle of my cooking, yet I didn’t have any money at hand. So I called my gas guy and even though they were not working on that day, he sent someone to deliver to me on credit. That saved my day.
The things mentioned above are not long-term solutions to financial problems. These are not the kind of things you want to turn to if you do not have a source of income. They are just temporary solutions for when you’re in a financial problems phase that you’ll eventually get out of.
Watch the video below for more
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