The Njaanuary Series: Surviving the Week Back to Work
Happy New Year Savers! How exciting that 2017 is finally here! I had a pretty awesome 2016 but I know the world collectively believed that some bad juju happened upon the year because way too much happened that just wasn’t on. But hey, why look back when we’re already in the present and ready to make the most of it, right?
I’m doing the Njaanuary series all month which is going to be little bits of information that I hope will help you survive the month a little easier. Even if you turned it all the way up in Decemeber there’s no reason you can’t salvage what’s left over. Presumably, you are returning to work or your regular routine. Here’s how you go back with some peace of mind.
Get up earlier
I know. It’s January and you’re blue so you want to sleep in a little longer but getting up earlier is actually easier on your pocket. Most matatu routes will be cheaper before 6am which is when a flurry of people finally leave the house. You’re also likely to meet a whole lot more traffic after 6 and it gets worse at 7 so why not get up a little earlier?
Carry your own food
I’m a huge advocate for packed lunches because they are the easiest place to save money on especially for those of us in regular 9-5. We have a mama food at our office and meals go anywhere from 100-250. Spending any of that during the week is a WHOLE lot of cash and in January, you just don’t have it. But don’t starve. Find meals you can make on the cheap and if you must have meat with every dish, don’t make it the star of your meals. If you’re making a stew, add on some veggies in the stew or on the side to make the dish heavier. Actually, I think we just figured out why Kikuyus fill up their meals with veggies! Ha.
Only take what you need
Here, I mean in terms of money. If you drive to work, have some emergency money on mpesa (for if you get a flat or some other kind of emergency) but don’t walk around with a tonne of cash. You’ll inevitably spend it. If you jav, only have enough for fare for the week. Wherever possible, find some cheap transport options. My colleagues and I regularly walked to town even when I was heavily pregnant. It saved time because we wouldn’t have to sit in traffic and money because sometimes rush hour fare becomes exorbitant. Not to mention, walking is good for you. Wherever possible, always take that option!
Get yourself an accountability buddy
My best friend and I are doing the #52WeekChallenge so we are always checking in with each other on progress. We both want to go to out of the country in December for the holidays so this is our little holiday fund that we’re building. Every time I see a deal on something, I let her know and vice versa. If I am about to make a terrible money decision or an impulse buy, I will ask her. It’s great for your pocket but also for your friendship. Everyone needs someone to call them out on their bullshit once in a while. For us it’s always something involving stationery, “Do you need that new notebook or do you just want it?”