Savings: The Better Option

Published on 27th January 2009

The aspiration to self actualization is at the apogee of man’s quest for a more satisfying life. From little, he creates much. Through constant effort, strategy and vision, he moves from survival to satisfaction. History and experience have taught us that if we want to shun want, we must plan, source for capital and invest wisely. Financial liberty, just like any other kind, is won solely by risking or more precisely calculated risking. To achieve this end, in my opinion, to save or not to save is the question.

In the context of our local economy, financial institutions like banks, savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), private microfinance companies and more recently, mobile banking make the menu for sumptuous investment financing, whether it be by way of savings or loan procurement. By saving small amounts consistently, we cultivate the healthy culture of financial discipline that our growing economy needs. We not only learn to live within our means, but we also minimize lavish spending on frivolous amusements at the expense of our present and future financial security. Thanks to our entrepreneurial spirit, the average Kenyan is able to make a few more coins above his daily consumption from small businesses, being a member of a merry-go-round or from some form of employment.

By saving, we experience the thrill of personal gratification- the sheer joy of watching our savings grow until we acquire our dream home and education, among other aspirations. More to that, as a smalltime but regular saver, one is able to secure a big loan without necessarily having their property attached as security. Such is the option non-savers are obliged to take. The option puts properties at risk as they can be lost to auctioneers at a multiple cost of what we borrowed.  Even then, no loan comes without bank interests and correlated charges.

Eustace Makokha (L) receives an award from Postbank's

Manager Special Products, Jecinta Njoroge

Besides the long term benefits, saving is a sign of wisdom. It’s some kind of street wisdom that prods us to save for a rainy day. Emergencies are inevitable. Your savings could just be the jab in the arm that your business needs to resuscitate; a stitch in time that can save it from going under. Some opportunistic investment (those not anticipated) like Initial Public Offers (IPOs) for shares, unit trusts or bonds can easily fly past us or leave an irremediable dent in our finances if saving regularly is not our cup of tea.

More importantly, saving practically and psychologically puts us at a better chance of making our dream investments. Any miscellaneous monies, unexpected grants or even lottery prices fluidly find their place in our saving scheme. Without an ongoing saving regiment, we could be left regretting our squandered fortunes which sometimes never come twice in one’s lifetime. There is a way to admirable investment that is simple, economical and gratifying. That way is to save. Most certainly, akiba haiozi.

By Makokha Eustace,

Moi University

Winning essay during the Postbank-SIFE Kenya Essay Competition held in Nairobi Kenya on 24th January 2009.


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