Everyday, Kenyans: both young and old, strive to begin and maintain a saving culture. Be it saving for a new TV, saving for a vacation down at the Coast, or saving for a birthday. It is a task that many of us uptake but few are able to carry through with to the very end. We fall short of meeting our goals that we even end up ‘eating into’ the little we had saved, with the silent promise to try again and bounce back.
Enwealth Financial Services Ltd, hosted its 7th Conversation edition to discuss Savings and Investments behavior among Kenyans, a report written and compiled by members of the social security study at Strathmore University in collaboration with the company.
The study was aimed at identifying the savings and investments behavior cutting across all age groups throughout Kenya.
Findings from the study indicate that only 12% of Kenyans have developed a saving culture, with 2 out of 10 saving for the future while the 8 look to the government.
The conversation’s main concerns included the need to cultivate a saving culture in the earlier stages of one’s life. In comparison to the African culture, the Asian culture inclines more on teaching its children to balance work and studies. African parents need to abolish the ‘free labor’ analogy and instead allow their children to ‘earn’ a small amount of money even after carrying out a task.
They also need to educate their children on matters money and savings: how do you budget your finances, how do you generate income, and so on. This offers a platform for the child to integrate a saving culture into their lives even when they’re older.
Averagely, 24% save for emergencies, 33% consistently save every month, 30% save for long-term goals and 22% save for retirement in the country.
There is an intention to want to save, however Kenyans continuously experience challenges in actualizing the behavior. These challenges include lack of enough funds, the need to support the extended family (Black Tax), availability of quick loans via mobile phones which negatively affects saving behavior.
‘On black tax- Stay within your budget. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to help. Allow your family members to also experience God’s faithfulness. Don’t take the place of God in people’s lives,’ Simon Wafubwa, CEO Enwealth Financial Ltd commented.
As per the study, income levels have an influence on the saving culture. Thus, it’s imperative for organizations to ensure that the employees are always competently and sufficiently renumerated for the work done.
A key takeaway from the conversation was from Simon Wafubwa, the CEO Enwealth Financial Services, who said money flows where there is vision and purpose, it likes to stay where there is peace and it stays where there is trust, competency and credibility.