Kenyans with disposable income are opting for savings or investments account as preferred platforms to keep their hard-earned money, most of the accounts offer interest after a period of time.
In latest findings on motivation behind savings culture in Kenya, at 19 per cent, savings to earn some interest from the bank accounts top reasons as to why those who are capable of squeezing some cash from monthly income do so.
Kenyans also save to meet emergency needs (16 per cent), education (15 per cent), house construction or purchase (11 per cent), business development (8 per cent), to buy livestock (8 per cent), and to share with family members or relatives at 7 per cent.
Another five per cent of people sampled in the survey save to purchase land, and four per cent save to buy household or personal needs, one per cent not sure what they are saving for.
“Among the minority who are usually able to save anything, such funds are put to a wide variety of uses, the three most common being general savings or investment accounts, unexpected needs, and education costs,” notes TIFA researchers.
TIFA conducted the research by means of computer assisted telephonic interviews (CATI) with some 1,500 respondents. The topics concentrated on the state of economy as experienced and perceived by Kenyans. It also covers aspects of the recently passed 2023-24 budget including the Finance Bill that President William Ruto signed into law on June 26, of which the housing levy constituted a highly contested element.
From the research, there is a correlation between monthly income and the capacity to save at the end of each month, it is perhaps not great as might expected, as even just over one-quarter those in the lowest income category report being able to do this (28 per cent), even though most twice as many in the highest income category (50 per cent) say they do so.
The survey which also looked into main household cooking fuel. From the findings, it is clear that over the last six years there have been significant changes in the use of cooking fuel by Kenyans.
“Most striking is the increase by nearly three times in the proportion of households using gas, (from 13 per cent to 34 per cent), and the decline by an even greater proportion of those using paraffin (from 14 per cent to 4 per cent).”
It remains to be seen whether the proportion of Kenyan households relying mainly on cooking gas will continue to increase following the implementation of the elimination of VAT as included in the 2023/4 budget.