Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Move to a cheaper house, use matatus instead of living on debts to please people

Lucy Chepchumba is the Executive Director of Good Kenyan Foundation, a nonprofit organization that mentors, empowers and equips high school graduates, grouped into cohorts, through a four-month program aimed at cultivating marketable job skills and career development plans.

The business that I am in currently operates as a social enterprise. On one hand, we seek to fill the time gap that occurs between completion of high school and the commencement of tertiary or vocational education.

On the other hand, our social enterprise is modeled as an income generating platform designed to economically empower its beneficiaries by making hand-made products using recycled materials that are sold through various individual and corporate markets.

This paired approach invests in youth with both immediate and long-term impact on income earning potential.

By working through solutions to livelihood challenges today and in the years to come, the Good Kenyan model encourages youth to remain positive and healthy members of the society by virtue of this unique approach for self-development.

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Attitude, a good heart, resilience and God have been my driving force. I wish we could all appreciate the very prominent role that attitude plays in our personal and career development.

If you have the right attitude, and you set your mind to do something, and create systems and structures for each milestone, there will be no limitations to what you can actually achieve.

Also, from my work at Good Kenyan, I have learnt that many Kenyans are willing to give their fellow Kenyans a helping hand when presented with clear processes and well thought out systems.

Early in my career, I was working and moonlighting a business on the side. However, I never kept records for the business or separated my money and business money. This ended up costing me a lot of money.

I didn’t know where the money I pumped into the business was or where it went. I also previously worked with advertising agencies. Back then, the terms of payments were modeled in such a way that we’d get paid after six months. This mode of payment literally brought me to my knees.

In yet another business experience, I moved from a highly profitable business to barely making it. To survive, I cut down on almost everything. I shifted salons, changed places where I ate out, moved houses, and even sold my car.

This experience taught me the essence of living your own life. Don’t be caught up keeping up with the Joneses or showing the public that you are okay while in reality you’re crashing inside. Do what’s best for you without shame. If you have to move to a cheaper neighborhood to survive, move instead of raking in debts to appease the society.

I have been budgeting my money every month using the good old school spreadsheets. Whereas this method appears too old school, it has been quite effective in keeping my spending in check.

I have also found it very efficient in tracking where every coin I earn goes to. I am, however, planning to upgrade to an app and will conduct trials alongside my spreadsheet to find out which app can be an alternative budgeting tool.

Don’t be a slave to money. But also be wise about money and your personal finances. Back up your personal finances with a plan, always reflect on your past and future career and financial habits.

Lastly, seek after mentorship. There will always be someone who has walked the path you are walking today, who can tell you the pitfalls you need to avoid to get to your career or financial destination faster.

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