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Time to build your net wealth

By JOY KIIRU December 19th, 2013 2 min read

Jane has been complaining about the unique reasoning of her hustler husband.

On a good day, he would come home drunk and say. “Darling, business is bad. There are no customers. I only made Sh100. The money is not enough for the maize flour you requested; leave alone the wheat flour you wanted last week. All it could buy is beer.”


It is very difficult to budget on a small income. Would it not have been better if we were all businessmen like Chris Kirubi or Manu Chandaria, or an inventor with patent rights for a lifetime?

Unfortunately, this is not the case, and it might never happen for most of us.

But there is good news. No matter our income, we can still build our net wealth. Net wealth involves building on assets while reducing debt.

We do not need a lot of income to achieve this. In fact, there’s no such a thing as little or big money. It is about what we do with what we make.

You can count people who once controlled huge estates and were wealthy but by the time they retired from their job, they were bankrupt.

There are also people who did not inherit much from their parents, neither do they hold the very best jobs, but they seem to be doing well in life. They drive good cars, have built houses, educated their kids and are generally happy in life.

What is the secret?

The truth is, there is no secret. It is called building wealth. Buying new shoes, bags and clothes every month is not building net wealth; saving and paying off our debts is.

The secret

You say there is no money to save. Of course there is always something to save, no matter your income. By spending less on your wants, you can create a little surplus to save. Substituting more expensive stuff with cheaper ones will also help.

Talk to your bank for an appropriate low-cost saving product that you can use. Mobile banking could be ideal for small savings you make from walking rather than taking a matatu.

If you save from such a strategy, you can easily transfer the money from your M-Pesa to your mobile bank immediately.

This will also provide an exciting opportunity to see just how much money you would have spent unnecessarily.