Toria’s Coin Confession

Welcome to The Coin Confession! We are demystifying how people spend their money by asking everyday people to share their spending over a 7-day period.

Today: a professional banker who has found clever ways to grow her savings.


Name: Toria Mwangi

Age: 25 years

Salary: My net salary, or what I may call my peanuts, is KES 30,000 (this is after a 10k deduction from my gross salary 🙄

PAYE, HELB, and Insurance: 10,000 (Can you imagine my employer deducts insurance from my salary? Is this even legal?)

Rent: 9,500

Monthly shopping:KES 3,000

Savings: KES 5,000

Weekly budget: KES 2,160


Monday

6:20 AM: Mondays? God I hate Mondays. It’s the one day of the week that literally cuts my weekend short. Like most human beings, I hardly wake up on the first alarm. To counter this, I found that setting 2 alarms actually does the trick. So normally, I set an alarm for 6:20 AM and then another for 6:25 AM.

7:00 AM: After quickly preparing myself I leave the house at 7. I am lucky enough to stay near my office so by 7:30 I am already at work, waiting to serve my clients (p.s: I am a banker).

On Monday’s, breakfast is normally served at the office; arrowroots and sweet potatoes. At first, I used to hate, HATE, having this for breakfast but now that I am trying to be healthier, I have grown to accept it. The good news is, people at the office hate arrowroots and sweet potatoes so there’s always plenty left, hence I eat 2, which leaves me full enough to avoid snacking. This, ladies and gentlemen, is my first coin hack 😃

1:00 PM: The work of a banker is not easy, especially if you work at a busy bank. Granted, I have grown to love my job and there’s nothing else I would rather be doing at the moment, but boy am I always super hungry and kind of tired by lunchtime (actually aren’t we all?). The thing about me is that when I am super hungry, I get all sorts of cravings and because of this, I spend a lot of money trying to fulfill my lunchtime cravings. To deal with this, I started to carry packed food to work to save on lunch money (coin hack number 2). For today, I carried some ugali and beef and boy it slaaps!

2:00 PM: After spending my lunchtime chatting up with colleagues and devouring my lunch, I head back to the office for the afternoon shift which is normally busier than the morning shift. My theory is that this is the case because Kenyans are addicted to doing things at the last minute, so everyone is normally hurrying to the bank before closing hours (do you fall into this category? AHEM!). Anyway, I am full from my lunch and refreshed so I can’t wait to get back at it and have a productive shift.

5:15 PM: HOME TIME! Today was a GREAT day at work. Both shifts were very long but I was so productive and efficient I can’t help but be in a great mood. I board a matatu back home which costs me KES 60 and then I proceed to get supper for two (the cost was split into 2 which brings me to coin hack number 3; get a roommate to cost-share with if you can).

Total spent: KES 265

Tuesday

5:35 AM: I am used to waking up at 6:20 AM but this is never the case on Tuesdays due to my weekly Tuesday team meeting. The meeting starts at 7 and so I am usually forced to wake up at 5:30 so I can get there on time. Needless to say, I really struggle waking up this early and on this particular day, my alarm hack doesn’t seem to be working.

After snoozing twice and deliberating whether I should wake up or not, I give in and decide to snooze my alarm until 6 AM.

6:02 AM: The alarm goes off again and this time I swear it’s louder than the previous ones. I am still super sleepy though but with my roommate leaving the lights on all over, I have no option but to get up and prepare myself.

6:22 AM: Believe it or not, I just finished preparing myself in less than 20 minutes and I’m already heading out to catch my SWVL. This brings me to my coin hack number 4 🎉; capitalize on SWVL promotion codes. Personally I spend at least 30 minutes on Facebook and Twitter or simply just asking friends for their SWVL promo codes and I’m almost always lucky. These free codes save me a lot of transportation costs because matatus around my area always overcharge during peak hours.

6:47 PM: I got home pretty early today and after the productive day that I just had, I decide to put my roommate in a great mood (happiness is truly infectious). To do this, I decide to make a special meal for him.

First, I make some vegetable rice as I prepare the other ingredients (I weirdly love to make the rice first because it leaves the room smelling really nice). Second, I boil some peas (enough for supper and lunch), and then fry the peas in some thick beef stew. He is gonna love this when he gets here!

Total spent: KES 340

Wednesday

7:30 AM: No meeting today so I get to the office at 7:30. We are having chapatis at the office which are not my favorite since the ones provided aren’t as tasty and one is never enough. Seeing that I do not have another option and I wouldn’t want to mess up my budget, I bow to fate and have my malnourished chapati and ginger tea.

5:15 PM: Today has been rather tiring and I am so hungry. It seems like the perfect day to have a cheat day.

My go-to cheat meal has and always will be fries and chicken. My hood has a restaurant that serves small chicken pieces for KES 50. Before you underestimate them, I promise those pieces slaaap! They are not as good as chicken inn (my favorite) but they taste like chicken inn’s main chef’s first breakthrough gig. The point is, they are pretty good and so I treat myself to 4 pieces plus fries which cost me KES 300.

Total spent: KES 420

Thursday

7:55 AM: On Thursdays, we normally have sausages and mandazis for breakfast. It sounds good but it’s strictly just one piece per person which never cuts it. To counter this, I carried fried eggs and some cornflakes to get me through the day (coin hack number 2 remember? 😃).

For lunch, I buy rice and minced meat because I didn’t have a chance to make supper yesterday. This costs me KES 150 which is the cap that I have for all meals that I buy while at work.

Total spent: KES 270

Friday

8:30 PM: Today was my no-spend day. A no-spend day is basically a day where you dedicate to spending KES 0. I used SWVL promo codes to get a ride to and fro work which means that I didn’t spend anything on transport. For lunch, I carried packed lunch as usual which saved me on lunch money, and then for supper, I made some lentils and rice (both of which I had bought at the beginning of the month) meaning that I also didn’t spend a dime on supper. WHAT A DAY 🎉

Total spent: KES 0

Saturday

6:30 AM: I slept late last night so it has been a real struggle waking up today. Despite that, I am in such a bad mood because why the hell do I have to work on Saturdays? 😒 Anyway, I manage to leave the house at 7:20 AM and reach the office at 7:50 AM.

7:55 AM: For breakfast, I have a marble cake which I honestly find to have too much sugar and not satisfying at all. I also order two fried eggs and some viazi karai for breakfast which costs me KES 90.

6:20 PM: By now, you might be wondering who my roommate is. I mean, who goes out of their way to make someone a meal just to make them happy? Anyway, as you probably guessed, I stay with my boyfriend and this decision was arrived at to enable us to save more money. A few weeks back we realized that we spent quite a lot, especially because of the commutes between each other’s houses, separate shopping, etc. So we decided to move in together on a trial basis and so far so good.

Being the banker in the relationship, I help with the budgeting and tracking of all our expenses. We are still assessing whether to open a joint account to pool funds from, but we still haven’t decided yet. Maybe this is something that Africa’s Pocket can help us with.

So after getting home today, we decide to have an impromptu date at ‘For You’ where we talk about how it’s been staying together and what each of us can improve on going forward. Luckily, he was gracious enough to foot the bill so all I spent on today was breakfast and transport.

Total spent: KES 220

Sunday

Sundays are my lazy days so there’s nothing much going on today. I did however make Ugali and Beef which costs me KES 450. This should serve as my supper for the day and tomorrow’s lunch.

Total spent: KES 450

Total spent summary

Weekly budget — KES 2,160

Total Spent — KES 1,965

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