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PERSONAL FINANCE: Do you ever track your expenses?

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Have you ever tried to lose weight, keep fit, or maintain a healthy diet?

One of the highly recommended procedures that you must undertake to achieve your goal is faithfully keeping a record of everything you eat and drink.

The road to a healthy lifestyle becomes much easier if you habitually keep a close eye on the type of food you eat, including the amount of sugar, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats you consume.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy financial lifestyle, the same philosophy applies. You must keep a record of everything you spend your money on. This involves knowing where your money goes every month and turning this knowledge into a source of financial wellness.

For example, can your account for every shilling you spent in March? None the least, tracking expenses is usually easier said than done. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get it right:

What is your monthly net income?

This is the first thing you need to know. Personal finance coach Robert Kimani says that knowing what your monthly net income is will give you the benchmark figure with which you will contrast your expenditures.

“”You must have a correct net figure that shows how your money is spent on your fixed and unfixed expenses,” he says.

If you’re employed, your net income will be the amount you have after taxes and deductions such as NHIF or NSSF have been made. It might be harder to get a monthly standard figure if you are in entrepreneurship because business income is not constant. But you can get a good idea by getting the average of net income from the last few years and adjusting it on a monthly basis.

Rob Berger, a financial advisor and the author of Retire Before Mom and Dad, says that apart from your net income, you should also track your net worth. “You need to come up with a statement of your net worth. It should include a list of the assets you own and the debts you owe,” he says.

Rob also says you must not literally include every asset you own, but all debts on your statement. “Include critical financial channels such as checking and savings accounts, investment and retirement accounts, and, businesses and real estate ventures. You can track these using a spreadsheet such as the Google Sheets spreadsheet,” he says.

There are a host of mobile phones and web financial tracking applications that you can use to track your spending.

In Kenya, there are certain mobile apps that have been designed in such a way that individuals and businesses can monitor both their daily and monthly expenses. There are also apps that will give you details on where you spend your money, with whom, as well as give you added advantage such as saving calendars and programmes.

Take SpendTrack for example. This online platform will allow you to track your monthly expenses. It is subdivided into categories that allow you to examine your utilities, communication, domestic, entertainment and transport expenses.

It will also track your income; from investments, rent, dividends, salary and bonuses, as well as your general assets and liabilities.

When you set out to download personal finance mobile and web applications, it is recommended that you opt for trusted app builders. For example, when downloading apps on your phone, you can start with well-known app stores such as Google Play of Apple’s App Store.

This method will help you track and tame your expenses. To begin with, you need to identify what your expenses are.

You’ll then need to get physical envelopes, and label each with an expense. For example, you can label the envelopes as entertainment, clothing and shoes, utilities or transport. You will then put money in each envelope according to the specific amount the expenditure written on the envelope will consume.

For example, you can put Sh5,000 in the groceries envelope and Sh6,000 in the utility bills envelope.

“Your spending will stop once an envelope for a particular item runs empty. This will ensure that your money tracks itself throughout the month,” says Kimani.

source:Saturday Nation

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Diaspora

Kenyan Cultural Ambassador Emmy Kosgei lands in Atlanta for Majuu 2019 Festival

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Social media was abuzz Thursday after word went out that Kenyan celebrated gospel artiste Emmy Kosgei had landed at Atlanta’s  Hartsfied Jackson International Airport for the Atlanta Majuu Cultural festival 2019.

The musician is expected to make several performances at the Cobb Civic Centre in Marietta, Georgia, where this year’s extravaganza will be held.

On arrival, she posted the following message on Instagram:

Yaaay #atlantamajuuculturalExpo 2019 #ATLANTA#GA see you this friday 26th thru sunday the 28th! Celebrating our heritage and diversity#bringingculturealive #fashion #food #music#cobbciviccentre

The event, which  is organised by the Kenyan American Community Church, has been billed as an exceptional expo featuring a myriad Kenyan-African inter-cultures, and will also be graced by Kenya’s ambassador to the United States, Robinson Njeru Githae, among other dignitaries.

It coincides with 20 years anniversary of the Church.

KACC has, through such events in the past, added to the cultural tapestry that shapes the American Society which is increasingly becoming multicultural.

This year’s fete, the biggest since inception, is expected to pull thousands of guests, including other musicians from around the US.

Emmy Kosgei-Madubuko is best known for her 2009 hit song, Taunet Nelel, among many others.

“We are so excited to have her with us,” said Timothy Ndegwa, the KACC administrative secretary and proprietor of Mykenyanlink, an online platform which seeks to connect Kenyan entrepreneurs around the world. “This will be a weekend to remember as we shall also be having Gospel music stars like Wamuyu and Naomi Karanja,” he added.

“KACC has been promoting and supporting other Kenya Diaspora communities in celebrating their cultural heritage with great pride and enthusiasm,” wrote the head of the Church, Rev Dr GG Gitahi, on the Festival’s website.

For the last twelve years, the church has, through various cultural events, with great passion nurtured and celebrated cultural diversity that is exhibited in the rich Kenya-African culture.

However, Majuu festival was launched in 2015.

 There will also be – among other activities – traditional dances, children and youth cultural fashion shows, booths and huts showcasing Kenyan diverse ethnic groups’ cultures and traditions.

A poster announcing the 2019 Atlanta Majuu Cultural Festival. FILE PHOTO

“The festival seeks to inform, educate, inspire and entertain those in attendance even as it mesmerizes those who will be experiencing the Kenyan African Culture for the first time,” said Dr Gitahi.”

The event runs through Sunday night after which some of those in attendance will go on a 7 day cruise which will take them to The Bahamas and back.

We have many visitors from Kenya and around the world, said Catherine Njogu one of the event coordinators.

Other events include; Running with the champions, and a golf tournament.

Here is part of the program:

Run With A Kenyan Champion
Venue: Barrett Summitt
Address: 1990 Vaughn Rd NW,
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2019
***Volunteers report at 5AM
***Runners report at 6AM
1K Starts at 7:00AM Promptly
5K Starts at 7:30AM Promptly

Golf Tournament
Venue: Creekside Golf & Country Club
Address: 591 Westchester Club Dr
Hiram, GA. 30141
Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2019
Time: 10:00AM-3:00PM

Atlanta Majuu
Venue: Cobb County Civic Center
Address: 548 South Marietta Pkwy SE,
Marietta, GA 30060
Date: Friday 26th, Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th

For a full schedule of this weekend’s events, check the church’s website.

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Africa

Mum of multiple quadruplets struggles to provide for 38 kids

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Mariam Nabatanzi gave birth to twins a year after she was married off at the age of 12. Five more sets of twins followed – along with four sets of triplets and five sets of quadruplets.

Three years ago, however, the 39-year-old Ugandan was abandoned by her husband, leaving her to support their surviving 38 children alone.It was just the latest setback in a life marred by tragedy for Nabatanzi, who lives with her children in four cramped houses made of cement blocks and topped with corrugated iron in a village surrounded by coffee fields 50 km (31 miles) north of Kampala.

After her first sets of twins were born, Nabatanzi went to a doctor who told her she had unusually large ovaries. He advised her that birth control like pills might cause health problems.So the children kept coming.Family sizes are at their largest in Africa.

In Uganda, the fertility rate averages out at 5.6 children per woman, one of the continent’s highest, and more than double the global average of 2.4 children, according to the World Bank.But even in Uganda, the size of Nabatanzi’s family makes her an extreme outlier.

Her last pregnancy, two and a half years ago, had complications. It was her sixth set of twins and one of them died in childbirth, her sixth child to die.Then her husband – often absent for long stretches – abandoned her. His name is now a family curse. Nabatanzi refers to him using an expletive.“I have grown up in tears, my man has passed me through a lot of suffering,” she said during an interview at her home, hands clasped as her eyes welled up.

“All my time has been spent looking after my children and working to earn some money.”Desperate for cash, Nabatanzi turns a hand to everything: hairdressing, event decorating, collecting and selling scrap metal, brewing local gin and selling herbal medicine.

The money is swallowed up by food, medical care, clothing and school fees.On a grimy wall in one room of her home hang proud portraits of some of her children graduating from school, gold tinsel around their necks

.“Mum is overwhelmed, the work is crushing her, we help where we can, like in cooking and washing, but she still carries the whole burden for the family. I feel for her,” said her eldest child Ivan Kibuka, 23, who had to drop out of secondary school when the money ran out.

TRAGIC STORY

Nabatanzi’s desire for a large family has its roots in tragedy.Three days after she was born, Nabatanzi’s mother abandoned the family: her father, the newborn girl and her five siblings. “She just left us,” said Nabatanzi sombrely, as some of her ragged children played on the dirt floor while others did chores.

After her father remarried, her stepmother poisoned the five older children with crushed glass mixed in their food.

They all died. Nabatanzi escaped because she was visiting a relative, she says. “I was seven years old then, too young to even understand what death actually meant. I was told by relatives what had happened,” she said.She grew up wanting to have six children to rebuild her shattered family.

Providing a home for 38 children is a constant challenge.

Twelve of the children sleep on metal bunk beds with thin mattresses in one small room with grime-caked walls. In the other rooms, lucky children pile onto shared mattresses while the others sleep on the dirt floor.Older children help look after the young ones and everyone helps with chores like cooking.

A single day can require 25 kilograms of maize flour, Nabatanzi says. Fish or meat are rare treats.A roster on a small wooden board nailed to a wall spells out washing or cooking duties.

“On Saturday we all work together,” it reads.Having endured such a hard childhood herself, Nabatanzi’s greatest wish now is for her children to be happy.“I started taking on adult responsibilities at an early stage,” she said. “I have not had joy, I think, since I was born.”

source:standard.co.ke

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News

Cyclone Kenneth to be felt in Nairobi, Coast spared

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Kenya’s capital Nairobi is one of the regions set to feel the impact of cyclone Kenneth, a devastating strong wind expected to sweep through parts of Tanzania and Mozambique from Thursday.A statement from Kenya Meteorological Department indicates that Nairobi alongside other counties will feel the impact though such will be in forms of rain-not strong winds.

“We may experience the effects of the cyclone in the form of enhanced rainfall over parts of Isiolo, Western Kenya, Samburu and including Nairobi. Stay with us for updates as the cyclone evolves,” statement reads

However, the weather forecast body has alleviated fears that the cyclone may hit the Kenyan Coast. It adds: “It is false that cyclone Kenneth will hit the Kenyan Coast. By the laws of physics, Cyclones cannot come this close to the equator. Landfall will be northern Mozambique as shown in the satellite image.”

Relief

The Meteorological Department said that the current rains will ease the biting drought in dry areas.It noted: “There is like hood of the heavy rainfall between 25th -30th April 2019 in parts of Isiolo, Samburu, Narok, Kajiado, Trans Nzoia and Nairobi counties which may cause flooding in some parts of the low –lying areas in these counties.

”Yesterday, Accuweather warned that the cyclone would sweep southern parts of Indian Ocean stretching from Tanzania all the way to Mozambique.

“Landfall of Kenneth could occur as early as midday Thursday near the border of Tanzania and Mozambique. If Kenneth tracks slower and has more time to strengthen, landfall may not occur until Thursday night,” read the Accuweather report.

The French national meteorological service, French Meteo, on Tuesday rated Cyclone Kenneth as a moderate tropical storm.The new cyclone is set to smack the Indian Ocean just over a month after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe killing over 1,002, injuring 2,513 people and displacing several others.

source:standardmedia.co.ke

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