Inculcating A Savings Culture With M-Shwari #MaishaNiMPESATu

    Since I was a small child, my parents made me wary of how I spent my money. Granted I wasn’t making money at the time, I didn’t understand why I had to put money in a small metal box with a tiny opening at the top and only my dad would be allowed to open it; I mean, it was my 50 or so cents in there, but no matter how much I wanted to cry or burst the tin open to get money for ice and ballgums, they instilled a saving culture in me.

    Chances are that somewhere along the road someone has told you how important it is to save money. Yet, in the real world, it can be hard to set aside some of what you earn and not spend it. When you get your salary or that ‘You have received…’ M-PESA message, you’re naturally inclined to take care of your wants and needs. At most times, there’s nothing left after you do so, but that little can go a long way.

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    A replica of the tins we used as piggy banks back in the day 😅

    I went [sort of] cashless a month ago while only relying on M-PESA and Visa cards [save for fare and cash for veggies from mama mbogas] and the experience has been quite eye-opening.

    First of all I loved the challenge because I absolutely suck at keeping cash around me. I somehow end up losing a note or two especially when I go out. I get that I somehow had change in my back pocket but it’s not there when I get home.

    Second, I’m on my worst behaviour when I have cash on hand. That’s when everything looks so good and shiny and since I have money I think why not? But once I break that Kshs 1000 note, that’s it.

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    Creating a saving culture

    For the past 2 years, M-Shwari has been bae for me. The beauty about going cashless has also seen me conveniently saving using M-Shwari even with the little I have in my M-PESA.

    I came across the #52weekchallenge on Twitter and after seeing some of the testimonials; I mean guys were paying school fees and taking vacations from what they were saving, I decided to try it out.

    The big benefits of my small savings

    One of the best ways to take charge of your finances in today’s uncertain economy is to accumulate a healthy savings account. The beauty about M-Shwari’s savings account is you can save whatever amount is comfortable with you. I personally started out with Kshs 50 bob going up to Kshs 100. There’s no pressure to save what you don’t have!

    It’s super convenient! Unlike a bank’s savings account which before would require you to jump a couple of hoops, M-Shwari is conveniently situated in your phone allowing you to inculcate a frequent saving culture. Plus banks would probably judge you for going all the way to a branch to save that 100 bob, your M-Shwari won’t 😉

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    When I wanted to buy those sweets when I was small, the cravings drove me to taking my then metal piggy bank to a welder to have him breaking it open only to find out my older sister had already broken it open. As much as I hated her then, it made me appreciate the safety of having my savings in my phone’s wallet. Even when my phone is unfortunately stolen or gets spoilt, my cash is still intact as long as I don’t share my M-PESA PIN

    No more impulse spending with the Lock Savings account: The Lock Savings account which was introduced in 2014, was and still is an amazing way to deter you from impulse spending. How it works is M-Shwari allows you to withdraw money from your Lock Account before the lock period is over at no cost, but you need to make an application and then wait for 48 hours before your money is credited to the M-Shwari account. This may scare a few people but it will be a real life saver once the spending urges kick in. Trust me!

    I now got the saving culture bug! Since I started the #52weekchallenge, I save up whatever amount I have. I’ve been able to clear debts and pay bills just from the savings accumulated and whenever I feel like giving up, I go to the hashtag on Twitter and go through the stories of guys who’ve been redeemed because of saving and you can to!

    Try using the #52weekchallenge and save up some of that cash which you think isn’t as much or as important and see the results after a month, you’ll thank me.

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