In my current role, I lead the recently launched Queen Banking proposition which aims to address women’s financial and non-financial needs.
Before joining Family Bank, I served as the Sector Lead, Women Banking at Stanbic Bank Kenya.
One of the challenges I have faced in my role has been changing the mindset of women around money, debt, wealth and alternative investments.
Kenya has a huge population of women with varied aspirations, cultures and beliefs around money, and it is hard to change some of their mindsets around money. As a result, many of their financial and non-financial needs remaining underserved.
I have made a few mistakes when it comes to money. The biggest one is lack of a financial advisor and financial education.
In the past, financial advisory services were scarce and financial success was based on who taught you. Other mistakes include not saving or investing from an early age, living beyond my financial means, not having a budgeting plan, succumbing to peer pressure, impulse spending, suffering from black tax and experiencing fear of missing out.
What I have learned is that you can restart your relationship with money at any point in your life regardless of age.
My greatest career moment was when I won the Standard Bank Group Africa employee Top Women Award 2022/23 in South Africa. It felt great to be recognised and honoured among other phenomenal women.
If I could start all over again, I would get a financial advisor to help me set up an investment plan and help me balance my investment portfolio.
I would also start investing in my 20s or 30s, take advantage of opportunities to move and work outside Nairobi when they come up, be conscious about how I spend money and create boundaries when it comes to financially supporting other people.
I have several channels of saving money. I have a locked savings account which offers me a higher interest rate compared to a regular savings account.
I also have pension plans and I have invested in land, stocks and bonds. I am also in a chama that has offered me another channel to grow economically.
Previously, I used to keep money in transaction accounts like a current account and mobile money as a means of saving.
These accounts proved to be ineffective because they are just meant for regular transactions and do not bear any returns.
Another ineffective method I used was having a savings account without having a goal. I have found that having a savings goal is good for effective planning and achievement of future needs and wants.
Proper financial management is key to financial planning, saving and investment. Avoid “Mathematics of Minus” which simply means, live within your means.
Be conscious of how you spend each shilling, always manage debt, prepare for old age by having a retirement plan, associate with people who can practically mentor you financially, and avoid peer pressure when it comes to money because we are all walking our unique journey. Also, tithe regularly.