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MONEY TALKS: How I set and met my financial goals



One of my primary goals this year was to make money. And I have.

Granted, I’m not filthy rich – yet – but I have some extra money in my pocket to chase after those extra pursuits that make me feel extra special.

Take Easter. If I compare the extra I have now versus what I had last Easter, I’m doing pretty well for myself. I feel like the sunshine is hitting the right spots in just the right intensity. And I’ll tell you this for free – it’s gratifying to have the money to do what you want, when you want. It really is.

Life is undoubtedly easier and more fulfilling when the money in your pocket gives you choice.

I only wish I could take this positive heart-warming energy, put it in a blender and make a smoothie out of it. So that next time I’m thirsty for inspiration and a push-factor, I’ll drink this smoothie, and get back up and running again.

I’m certain you want to ask, Bett, how have you been making more money?

I’m glad you asked. But I was going to tell you either way. Because I’m that chick that’s all about sharing.


First, it’s been from the extra hours I had in my hands.

I’m something of a freelance writer. I used to write for a handful of publications but this year I chose to focus on writing for Nation Media only. That’s for print, and here online.

I realised towards the end of last year that I had some pockets of time on my schedule that were not being gainfully employed – a loose two hours on Thursday afternoon, three hours on Friday mid-morning, the wee hours of dawn, especially on Saturdays.

I put all these hours together and they added up to about whooping seven hours, that’s a solid day’s work.

I filled up that time in two ways: I got myself this personal finance column online, and I began a side-hustle.

This column takes up the weekday hours, the side-hustle takes up the Saturday hours.


Second, is discipline to beat my goals.

I usually write my goals down at the beginning of the year. GB and I have a meeting to discuss our goals as individuals and as a couple. I draft them during the meeting then I later write them in a Google doc I share with him.

I also do the same with my mentor. Though with my mentor, it’s mostly writing-related goals.

Goals are a roadmap to my year.

I also make sure to have some daily and weekly goals. I write these ones in my notebook.

These ones are immediate things like, ‘Send copy by noon’. Or, ‘Get to your desk by 7am’. And, ‘Publish blog post to Craft It by 2pm’.

Because one of my primary goals was to make money, then most of what I’ve achieved in the quarter as been toward making more money.

This primary goal has me toe the line I’ve drawn for myself, and maintain a level of discipline I haven’t seen since… I honestly don’t know when.

I no longer slack with my deadlines. I’m up by 5am, either to read or to get ready for the day. I’m punctual with my meetings. I spend my workdays more efficiently; I rarely waste time on social media or on YouTube. I’m always on the ground searching for investment opportunities.

There’s a quote I read from Joe Duncan that has stuck with me. Joe Duncan is a business mentor, his Instagram handle is @before5am.

Joe said, “The quality of your life will be greatly impacted by your ability to think ahead of time.”

Don’t you just love that?

I’ve been unwell a couple of times, I know this is my body’s way of telling me to slow down and take a rest. Last week I had a running stomach. A few weeks ago it was a stuffy nose. One time it was an earache (I know, who gets earaches, anyway). Another time it was a headache that regular sleep and hydration couldn’t cure.

Sometimes I listen to my body and rest, other times I ignore it. Because what’s a goal if you don’t break your back trying to reach it?


Third, and this is the most important, is my change of attitude.

I realise this may read abstract but it isn’t.

Here’s a story: Nanny Viv has been having a difficult time in the mornings getting Muna ready for school. (Muna started school in January, and had just turned three, so it only seemed natural that she’d have a not-so-easy transition into her new school routine.)

Anyway, it got to a point, toward the end of the term, when Nanny Viv told me she was considering leaving my house because Muna had become unmanageable. And not just with the tantrums in the morning, but her behaviour and manners in general.

We talked at length – that day, and the day after, and the day after.

I listened to her, and empathised; Muna was also pushing me to the edge.

I told Nanny Viv she first needs to change her attitude.

She asked, “Hiyo nikumaanisha nini?”

I shared with her a truth I’ll share with you here: respond to all situations with positivity and a mind to make a positive change forward.

With Muna, for example, she should ask herself: Why is Muna throwing tantrums in the morning? Maybe she’s not well rested, so the solution would be to go to bed the night before, 30 minutes earlier. Or to make sure she gets her to nap in the afternoons, when she returns from school.

Another one, why doesn’t she usually finish her breakfast in the morning? It’s probably that she no longer likes her uji as much as she did before. So, how about we remove uji from her breakfast menu, and do more oats and more ngwace?

Maybe she needs to wake Muna up 15 minutes earlier than usual, so there’s more time to manage the tantrums and she gets to school on time.

Positive solutions to move forward.

I’ll applied the same to my own situations. Let’s take this Money Talks column. I used to write it with a different attitude. I wrote it imagining that it was only me and my editor reading it.

Until one day in mid-February, when a reader – Maurice, a Kenyan living in London – emailed with a financial pickle and asked for my two cents on it.

The game changed for me after that first email from a reader.

My attitude took a 360-degree flip. I can pick up from my reading own stories the ‘before Maurice’ and ‘after Maurice’ approach to the column.

A change of attitude means I’m growing as a person and writer.

I’m making more money. I’m learning plenty about managing money. Doors I didn’t know existed are opening. New opportunities are around the corner. I’ve been looking to go back to school but I didn’t know what to sit for. Now I know it’s professional course around personal finance.


It’s been a great start to the year, I can’t complain. (That’s how Kenyans put it when you ask them how they’re fairing. Ha-ha.)

To wipe the sweat off my brow and pat myself on the back, I’m planning to take GB somewhere nice and romantic. It’ll be a surprise, so I hope – really hope – he’s not subscribed to this column. I hope he’s not reading this as I write it.

Easter weekend would have been ideal but it’s not the best time to travel – rates have peaked, getaways are crowded.

We’ll do something small as a small family, then a few weeks after, he and I will do something grownup (wink wink).

It’ll be my treat to him and to myself. Mostly to myself.

Because what’s money if you can’t spend it on the experiences and people that are important to you?

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VIDEO: Chopper crash, Tunai pilot speaks out



The pilot of the helicopter that crash-landed in Narok County with Governor Samuel ole Tunai aboard has blamed the accident on bad weather and high altitude.

Governor Tunai, Narok East MP Lemanken Aramat and their aides cheated death on Saturday when their chopper, hired from the Mara Elephant Project, had an accident in Olkipejus village at about 4.30pm.

“There was no mechanical problem. Nobody was injured as all of us came out well. Things just happened in a blink of an eye and that is it,” said the pilot, Marc Goss, yesterday. “I have finished writing the full report on the crash and a team of investigators has instructed me not to talk to the media,” he added.

Type-Robinson 44

The chopper, Type-Robinson 44, was to drop the governor in Narok town but failed to take off in five attempts. Mr Tunai was admitted to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi although an official from the county government said he was out of danger. The governor was leaving the burial of Mzee Tompo ole Sasai in Melili.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has launched a probe into the accident. “The aircraft investigation department of the ministry of Transport Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public works has already initiated the investigation and will inform the public once the investigations are concluded,” said KCA Director-General, Captain Gilbert Kabage.

Video footage showing the final moments to the crash depict a clear sky and normal wind currents blowing through the vast wheat fields. The wreckage of the chopper Registration Number 5Y-MEP lay on the field near Olkipejus village, with its tail section cut off from the main body.

The chopper is a regular in the Mara region whenever elephants invade human settlements. Mr Goss is the MEP chief executive, which is involved in driving elephants away from human settlements, real time response to incidents of poaching and wildlife injuries in the Mara and surrounding conservancies.

Human settlements

They have been using the chopper since 2015 and have expanded its operation area for rapid response to poaching, injured wildlife and conflict areas in the 4,000-square-kilometre region.

 “It supports our monitoring efforts by marking the collaring of risk elephants to be safer for both the animals and support team. It also helps us collect important data, like herd size and health,” said Mr Goss.

Despite having plans of procuring another chopper, the accident is a big blow to the project with elephants facing eminent danger from poachers, he added.

“Although MEP has rangers on ground, the helicopter provides them with aerial support in difficult human-elephant conflict situations. We are able to locate the animals faster and provide a much-needed distraction from the elephant while our rangers on the ground guide them to safety,” Mr Goss said.


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Mystery murders, abductions baffle families, police



When Thomas Ochieng, who runs an eatery in Kisumu left work to meet a caller about two weeks ago, he was optimistic that he would strike a business deal.

The 41-year-old father of five, commonly known as ‘Chuks’, confided in his friends that the caller wanted him to provide catering services for his 40 guests for three days.

Mr Ochieng hired a boda boda rider, to take him to a hotel in Milimani where he was to meet the guests.

He asked the motorcyclist a friend, to accompany him to the hotel, where they met three people.

Later, they went to a night club in the Central Business District and parted ways after agreeing to seal the deal the following morning.

On Wednesday at 8am, Ochieng left his house to meet the clients.

Recovered from the lake

His family and workers were looking forward to seeing him later in the day.

Little did they know that Ochieng would join the statistics of people who have mysteriously gone missing only to be found brutally murdered days later.

The mysterious disappearance of people in the region has baffled security agencies as no suspects have been arrested. Several people have gone missing, including a teacher and his driver who are yet to be found.

About three days after Ochieng’s disappearance, the body was found lying at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary with deep cuts and some body parts missing.

The body was taken to the mortuary by Kenya Coast Guard Service officers after they recovered it from Lake Victoria.

The family has started burial plans for the businessman even as they plead for justice.

The deceased’s cousin, David Guya, said they now live in fear as they do not know the motive of the killing of the man who led a peaceful life in Dunga.

“We do not know why our brother was killed. We are only hoping that his killers will be brought to book,” said Mr Guya.

But the family is not alone, a few metres from their home the family of a teacher who was also brutally murdered and dumped in a sewage lagoon is yet to come to terms with his death.

The decomposing body of Joseph Onyango was found floating in a sewage lagoon a few days after he mysteriously went missing from his home. The body had deep cuts and the family suspects he was tortured before he was murdered.

When the Sunday Standard visited his home yesterday, the widow, Mercy Otieno, was attending to their five-year-old child.

“He was our sole bread winner and his murder has completely destroyed our lives,” she said as she battled tears.

Onyango was a primary school teacher in Nyakach sub-county.

“He did not have any issues with anyone and we are still wondering why he had to die that way,” she said.

In the past one month, three cases of people who have gone missing only to be found murdered have been reported in the region as pressure piles on security agents to bring perpetrators to book.

Other cases have been reported since the year began, including the brutal murder of a 42-year-old NGO worker in Riat.

Caren Anyango’s body was found in a pool of blood in an office block where she worked as a support staff and caretaker for Community Initiative Action Group (CIAG-K) and Transparency International (TI).

Yesterday, Chris Owala, a colleague, said no suspects have been arrested.


A nurse, Ferdinand Ongeri, 40, was abducted by unknown people at Riat dispensary. His body was later found dumped in a forest in Nandi, several kilometres away.

A post-mortem report indicated that he died due to excessive bleeding after his throat was slit and mouth slashed with a sharp object.

In August, the body of a teacher who went missing a few weeks after she was interdicted was found dumped by the roadside at Tido.

And as concerns grow over mysterious deaths, several families are also struggling to find their kin who have gone missing.

In Nyamasaria, the family of Enock Odhiambo, a primary school teacher, is yet to find him and his driver, more than a month after they left home to attend a burial in Migori.

His car was found abandoned a few metres from Sondu. Yesterday, his wife Milka Oyoyo pleaded with police to help locate her husband.

“My children have been asking me where their father is, but I do not know what to tell them,” she said.

Spent a fortune

The family said they have spent a fortune in an attempt to locate the two.

Activists have challenged police officers to resolve the cases and ensure justice is served to the families.

Yesterday, County Commander Ranson Lolmodol said they were yet to arrest any suspects as investigations continue.

“We have already launched investigations into the murders. In the case of the missing persons, we have opened a file and we are doing our best to trace them,” said Lolmodol.

On Friday, activists led by Audi Ogada presented a petition to security agencies in Kisumu to push them to bring the perpetrators to book.


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