Disruption: How M-Shwari Has Saliently Disrupted Our Saving Culture

By Steve Biko Wafula / November 1, 2019 | 2:33 pm



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Auliq Ice once said that money is a very dangerous thing, you have to get know how to look after it or else you will lose it with ease and remember how you would’ve it in hard times.

Money is indeed a unique component of life that has everyone running around like a headless chicken trying to get it, trying to understand it, trying to hoard it.

Indeed, one needs spiritual enlightenment to be able to manage money and this we all know, is a journey we never fully understand.

To be able to invest, one either needs to have a grant, family money, a bank loan or a loan from friends. For ordinary mortals like us, if we want to invest, we need to sit and draft a budget that looks at our income versus expenses and through this, we are able to identify areas we can pinch some money from and save.

Imagine how much you could have saved if you didn’t spend a lot of your money on those unnecessary things with the intention of getting attention or feeling “important” in the eyes of others. The need to impress others is our biggest weakness when it comes to money and saving. We spend 60% of our money buying things we don’t need to impress people who do not matter.

Proverbs 21:5 says… “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty…” for me, I have learned to seek advice on money matters from the Bible.

It’s consistent for me. It has examples that make sense and through my own life experiences, whatever the Bible says or warns about, I have come to see it. I avoid other people’s views, especially when it’s all glossy and glitter and the truth behind that gloss and glitter is hidden.

Saving is all about prioritization. You can start by looking at your bank, credit card statements and M-Pesa statements or using my Safaricom App to track your expenses. Once you know where your money is currently going, rank your spending and savings goals in order of priority to you. This is where you realize that if one is keen, our money is spent on things that generate feelings. Things that are not a priority if an emergency were to occur.

I believe the important aspect is to make sure that the things that are most important to you (such as keeping a roof over your head, food on the table, the lights on, and creditors away both now and in retirement) are being funded first, which usually means setting aside money for long term goals like retirement before you even have a chance to spend it.

But how many of us think about retirement when we living from hand to mouth, month to month. This is why saving is a challenge and requires deliberate efforts. Unfortunately, the way out banking is set up, it does not encourage saving, because to save with the banks, it’s another expense just taking the small coins to the bank.

However, this has been disrupted and no one is really talking about it. The disruption has made it so easy for me to save even KES 10 every day without leaving the comfort of my bed. Mobile technology on mobile money through M-PESA has revolutionized how one can save. Where you can control the pace, be able to track your expenses and even lock the money for a special project so that you can only access the money when you reach the target.

Something that our banking system has not caught up and this is why I say, Safaricom has disrupted our savings culture in such a unique way that when it’s fully understood, it will make banking obsolete especially with saving accounts and fixed deposits.

A fool and his money are soon parted. This is a famous saying that simply echoes the lives of most of us. Once our salaries or checks clear, we are on a shopping and impressive spree that leaves us feeling like fools. It’s like money is burning a hole in our pockets, eager to be spent with careless abandon.

While the vast majority of us will at some time look to save money on our monthly budgets and household expenditure, the chances are we will look to save too much too soon and lose focus. The truth is that we need the motivation to save. We need convenience to save.

We need an emergency to help us regain the focus that we need. Not to praise M-Shwari but it has disrupted the saving culture in the country and all that needs to be done is incentivize it with a few aspects that reflect a savings account and we are good to go and I believe this has been done.





About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: [email protected]

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