Financial Mistakes to Avoid During This Holiday Season

An image of Kenyans shopping
Shoppers queuing to pay for goods at a supermarket point of sale in Nairobi County in May 2019.
Kenya Market

A recent report seen by indicates that salaried Kenyans spend more than half their salary on Christmas holiday expenses.

But according to experts, some financial undertaking and mistakes can be avoided during this year’s festive season.

According to Waithaka Gatumia, the Chief Executive Officer, Centonomy, dishing money out to relatives is one such mistake that can be avoided.

A Picture of a hand holding Kenyan notes.
A hand holding money Source: Facebook.

While speaking on financial prudence in a morning TV interview, Gatumia noted that, it is important to empower such relatives as opposed to giving them handouts.

“You begin to realize not every single relative need my support, I know that is controversial but guess what it is also not African to be lazy and not work. If you think about what our African history was, it was community and everyone participated as a community,” he insisted.

“There was no one waiting on the side of the road with hands out, no if you didn’t have work you’d come and work together in the farm and you would gather together and learn from that. So this idea of just giving handouts ahh ahh ahhh, empower that person.”

Waithaka also notes that it is important to automate finances to avoid unnecessary spending citing that if one does not have the money it is impossible to spend it.

“If you don’t have the money you can’t spend it, get it out right away, so the same way you have that check off system of repay the bank a loan they just remove it from your account before you know it, do the same with your savings and investing."

He also called on Kenyans uninstall all mobile lending application from their mobile devices to avoid being tempted and also leaving their credit with relatives or spouses to avoid the temptation of spending without a plan.

“Give it to your spouse, give it to someone else who is responsible in your home and tell them keep this somewhere safe for me because this is actually going to help me if I don’t have access to it,” Gatumia explained.

He further called on cautious spending this festive season citing that the year has been financially strenuous and highlighting on the need for proper planning for the next year.

“Live like there is a next year, plan as if there is a future that is a head of you. The problem is that when we splurge on a holiday like this as if there is no tomorrow is what many people say you only live once……The myth is I cannot enjoy myself and still plan but what we have found out is that if you sit down and take control of your money, there is enough money for you to go out to save and for you to be ready for January when it comes."

He also called on Kenyans to take advantage of the festive season to invest advising that it is the best time to do so.  

A photo of people queuing to pay at a Nairobi supermarket on Friday, March 13, 2020.
People queue to pay at a Nairobi supermarket on Friday, March 13, 2020.