Rose Kamene is the head of Women Banking at Family Bank
In my current role, I lead the recently launched Queen Banking proposition which provides wholistic solutions to women by addressing their financial and non-financial needs. It ranges from unsecured loans, WASH/agribusiness finance, savings and investments, financial fitness, bancassurance, trade financing and wellness. Previously, before joining Family Bank, I served as the Sector Lead Women Banking at Stanbic Bank Kenya.
I led the women banking programme which offers innovative solutions and financing for women entrepreneurs.
One of the challenges I have faced in my role has been changing the mindset of women around money, debt, wealth and alternative investments. Kenya has a huge population of women spread across 47 counties, all in different segments of business.
These women have varied aspirations, cultures and beliefs around money which has made it challenging to change some of their mindset around money. This has led to most of their financial and non-financial needs remaining underserved.
I have quite a few mistakes when it comes to money. The biggest one is the lack of a financial advisor and financial education. In the past, financial advisory services were scarce and therefore financial success was based on who taught you.
Other mistakes include not saving or investing from an early age, living beyond my financial means, not having a budgeting plan, succumbing to peer pressure, impulse spending, suffering from “black tax” and experiencing fear of missing out.
What I have learned is that you can restart your relationship with money at any point in your life regardless of age once you understand your money language.
My greatest career moment was when I won the Standard Bank Group Africa employee Top Women Award 2022/23 in South Africa. It felt great to be recognized and honoured among other phenomenal women and organizations across Africa for advocating for gender equality and women empowerment.
This happened through a nomination for “Rising above the Noise”, a programme that aims at uplifting and celebrating women and organizations that continue to do exceptional work in their respective fields.
If I could start all over again, I would get a financial advisor to help me set up an investment plan and help me balance my investment portfolio. I would also start investing in my twenties or thirties, take advantage of opportunities to move or/and work outside Nairobi when they come up, be conscious about how I spend money and create boundaries when it comes to financially supporting other people like family.
I have about six ways of saving money. I have a locked savings account which offers me a higher interest rate compared to a regular savings account. I also have pension plans and I have invested in land, stocks and bonds. I am also in a chama that has offered me another channel to grow economically.
Previously, I used to keep money in transaction accounts like a current account and mobile money as a means of saving. These accounts proved to be ineffective because they are just meant for regular transactions and do not bear any returns.
Another ineffective method I used was having a savings account without having a goal assigned to it. I have found that having a savings goal is good for effective planning and achievement of future needs and wants. Always start a plan with the end in mind.
Proper financial management is key to financial planning, saving and investment. Avoid “Mathematics of Minus” which simply means living beyond your means, “follow your shilling” that is, being conscious of how you spend each shilling, always manage debt, prepare for old age by having a retirement plan, associate with people who can practically mentor you financially, always avoid peer pressure when it comes to money because we are all walking our unique journey and learn to tithe regularly.