What you need to know:
Take advantage of free basic computer courses and technical courses and training, and get mentors to walk with you.
Hi, my name is Naomi. I am a 21-year-old Form 4 leaver. I did my KCSE exams in March this year. I got a mean grade of C Plain. I have a small job in Embakasi, Nairobi, where I am earning Sh8,000 per month. I started this job in April. I live with a friend in Embakasi who has been charging me nothing since April. I would like to enroll for a plant and machinery course at a technical college that is going to cost me Sh150,000 before December this year. I also want to move out and start living on my own but I have nothing except the salary that I am earning. I am not very comfortable living with and depending on my friend. At my young age, I am convinced that I can achieve a lot in life if I start making wise money decisions. Kindly help me to budget for my move and cost of course. Also, please advise how I can start building wealth now.
Rhina Namsia, the founder and chief executive officer of The Acemt Consulting, a training, and consultation company that provides financial planning and investment advisory.
A salary of Sh8,000 per month is a bit low and will not allow you to live on your own and still save for the course you intend to do within the next six months. This is because you will need to save at least Sh25,000 monthly for the course. Start by visiting the school you intend to enroll in and talk to the administration. Take a look at the fee structure and explain your financial position. One way to show interest is to register even if you don’t have the full fees.
This will be a commitment that could nudge the administration to give you flexible terms. Have you spoken to your parents, guardians or other close relatives who could lend a hand? Is the school you want to enroll in eligible for government-backed bursaries or a loan from the higher education loans board? Nowadays, you can apply and access educational bursaries from your area MCA, MP, and Governor’s offices.
With your mean grade, you may qualify for a different diploma programme placement under KUCCPS. These may give you good mileage and potentially secure you a place to stay in the student’s hostels. If your friend is lenient and willing to continue providing you with shelter, you should stay put and build yourself. One way to appreciate them is by offering to settle some of the lower-end bills or doing house chores. Talk to your friend and request her to keep you for another few months as you also save and build yourself. Also, look for other small job opportunities.
In the meantime, if you choose to save at least Sh2,000 per month from your salary, in 12 months you will have Sh24,000. This is good money to start you off. Use Sh1,500 to chip in on your friend’s budget. Out of the remaining Sh4,500, save Sh2,000 every month in a different savings account. In five months you will have saved Sh10,000. You now have a balance of Sh2,500 which you can use for your personal needs. The Sh10,000 you have saved can be used to start a small side hustle. Maximize on social media and be good at marketing to create a second income stream. At your age, you need to acquire as many skills as you can and set yourself up as a brand. This will prepare you for your 30s when you may have more financial responsibilities. Take advantage of free basic computer courses and technical courses and training, and get mentors to walk with you. You can also check out offerings at National Youth Service (NYS).
If you have any money problems, send us an email via [email protected] and leave your number for contact. Money questions will be answered on this page.