Karibu!

Drip, Drip, Drip…..Where did all my money go?

There’s an old investment joke that says, “you can put all your money under the mattress and go broke safely” – in other words, being a cheapo by trying to put all your money away for a rainy day is not the path to riches. Now of course, this doesn’t mean that one should spend extravagantly. It just means that putting every penny you earn into a 2% interest bearing savings account is not going to get you to the promised land.

I thought about this quote last night because I was watching this business woman who makes a very good living talk about how much money she “saves” by cutting her son and husbands hair herself. According to her, a typical haircut costs about $20 (done every 2 weeks). Since she went to hairdressing school, she knows how to cut hair and would rather do it herself and save the $40 ($20 X two heads)

As I was watching her I thought to myself why a woman making almost $1 million dollars a year would worry about a small time expense like a haircut. However, as I thought more about it, I did some little calculations in my head and realized that those small spending habits really do add up over time (or do they?) — These are some examples I used from my own experience:

Coffee: Everyone morning on my way to work, I buy a cup of coffee.

Cost per day: $2

Cost per week: $10

Cost per month: $40

cost per year: $480

I could make my own coffee at home, but for some reason, I prefer to buy it.

Parking:

Cost per day: $4

Cost per week: $20

Cost per month: $80

Cost per year: $960

I could walk, but it’s cold right now and I don’t want to freeze. Also, If I decide to walk, I’ll have to get up much earlier and I’m not willing to do that because I value my sleep.

Let me think of an example that everyone can relate to — going out for drinks, food or whatever. Again, you don’t want to be a “cheapo” — if someone buys you a round, you should reciprocate (there’s nothing worse than hanging out with someone who never reciprocates. Besides, everyone knows who the “cheapos” are and who wants to be around them?) and….I’ve come to believe that people who are more social tend to make more money — people like to be around them, they tend to be more interesting, etc, etc…

As I was writing this, I just came to a conclusion about this issue: Screw it! you only live once and these small comforts are very important for your daily sanity. As long as it doesn’t sink you…spend on.

I mean, what are you going to do? live like a hermit? I remember watching a travel show a while back where they talked about these hermits in Ethiopia that live in caves their whole lives. They are monks of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and they spend their whole lives living in caves in Lalibela, Ethiopia where they pray the whole day and have no contact with other human beings, ever. I don’t think these guys have money spending problems. I’ve attached a picture of one such hermit, clothed in yellow, sitting quietly in his cave ….what? meditating?

6 comments for “Drip, Drip, Drip…..Where did all my money go?

  1. Anonymous
    April 8, 2008 at 9:51 am

    :arrow: :twisted: :neutral: :mrgreen: :!: :?: :sad: :mad: :lol: :eek: :cry: :wink: :roll: :razz: :oops: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cool: :???: :smile: :shock:

  2. kenyanentrepreneur
    February 4, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    kinoo:

    LOL! I think you’ve may be watching too many iraq war clips!

    I hope those two ladies didn’t try to argue with the thugs or call them names….usually, if you give up the goods, they’ll leave you alone. Right?? I also wonder what two mzungu women were doing alone in Kinoo at night (we all know they’re some places where mzungu’s don’t and probably shouldn’t venture)…I”m not blaming them, I’m just posing a rhetorical question.

  3. coldtusker
    February 4, 2007 at 4:12 am

    The murdered ladies were missionaries…

  4. Kinoo
    February 2, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Hmmm, ‘American’ women?? Maybe they were prostitutes???

    For a minute lets not forget all the innocent kenyan lives lost due to the growing or (decreasing depending who you ask and where they live) violence. And the thousands left without mothers/fathers/uncles/aunts etc. Im not sure why the Govt has not declared a real war on the thugs???

    Let me tell you what I would do to wipe out the violence.

    1) Use tax payers money, go to Japan/Dubai and buy 1000 cars. (preferably the once thugs target alot) Distribute them all along the maor crime zones. Pack them with explosives, pack them in the city center and sit & watch. When successful break in and drive away happens, just follow the thugs deliquently and when you reach a safe zone, BAM!!! Car thef will be reduced to just a nuisant crime. The only thing you will have to deal with is Amnesty internation and the UN for your actions but even those guys will feel safer.

    2) Go to the local jail houses, while those criminals are sleeping, tag them with a radio frequecy device. Then on Jamuhuri day, release them for ‘good behavior’. Once they are out, just monitor them. Chances are, those that have made crime a career will lead you to so many crime scenes and places where they plot to terrorize innocent people. You can break up their crime rings by being ahead of the game. Just pick one of the participants and offer him a price, once they cannot figure out who the snitch is, chances are they won’t feel safe working with each other. No thugs want to go stealing alone. In actual fact, you might get them to kill each other as they won’t know who is snitching. (now that would be sweet)

    3) This is very important, the Govt has to create jobs. I do think if most of us can be guranteed some security at home, there are ways to make money. A growing economy is always creating jobs. Create a real middle class. I can never advocate for criminals but when wealth distribution is skewed towards the few, what is the rest of the population supposed to do??? Create real jobs with real wages. Improve the school system that wants to build sky scrappers not mud houses. (did any of you build this crap??) I think there is a healthy foreigh money going into the economy as we speak. Lets grow this country and lift those of us who are not fortunate as we go along.

    As for those two women, nobody is safe in Kenya. (even the minster of internal security (not sure if thats what they call it now but i’m refering to Michuki)

  5. kenyanentrepreneur
    February 2, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Ah yes…everyone talks about “balance” — you know what? it’s not that “easy” to achieve. It’s really about how much suffering or denial of pleasure you are willing to endure in order to achieve (complete this sentence for yourselves)

    Unless you play the lottery or unless you win a big lawsuit, that business with the big windfall will not appear (99% of working people are looking for this windfall)

    btw – what’s up with those 2 american women killed in Kinoo? that place was always a crime haven. danger, danger.

  6. Kinoo
    February 1, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    I like your thinking. I was starting to get worried that all you watch/listen too has to be business oriented. I was going to tell you about a show I was watching last night. American Idol, I love to see the crazy/desparate people. It does make me feel normal and hence, I will keep having that drink as long as it does not hinder me from paying my phone bill.

    I guess my point is balance.

    But in the meantime, I’m still looking for that business with the windfall. :-)

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