Kenyans Share Worst Financial Decisions They Ever Made

Buses and matatus pick up upcountry travellers at Nairobi's famous Machakos country bus station
  • Experts advise that the first step towards improving your finances is to avoid bad choices that come with high consequential financial liabilities. 

    You can either build or break yourself when you got money in hand and thus have to spend it wisely. 

    Funny enough, a viral TikTok meme shared around this year misadvises individuals to ‘eat that money if it cannot solve your problems’. It’s true that there are some problems money cannot solve, but better money management can help tame your spending, boost your income and make decisions that improve your financial status.

    Kenyans online opened up about poor financial decisions they have ever made. A majority regretted not listening to advice or making decisions without discerning. 

    Long distance buses at Nairobi’s Machakos Country Bus Station in a photo dated November 2017

    The thread was inspired by tweep, Timoshenko Kianangih on Wednesday, March 23. Kianangih sought to know the biggest regrets Kenyans had after making poor financial judgements. 

    One respondent recalled how he borrowed loans to invest in businesses that failed. The tweep narrated that he spent Ksh4 million investing in an electronics business he was optimistic would sprout, only to lose his fortune.  

    Others revealed that they ignored solid financial advice from relatives and ended up losing money in their new businesses. In one case, a user recalled that in 2009 a close relative advised him to buy two plots of land in Nairobi’s Githurai area but he opted to invest in a matatu business.

    “In 2009, I had Ksh450,000 and my auntie tried to convince me to buy two plots in Githurai. I refused and bought a matatu. Who cursed me surely?” he posed. 

    Another user revealed that he also ventured into the matatu business and hired a family member as the driver. He warned that this was the worst mistake he made as he never recorded his investment.

    Tweeps reiterated that the transport sector is risky and even investors in the boda boda business are not spared. One user recalled that he purchased a motorbike on loan but it was stolen after he settled the loan. He explained that the company which sold him the motorbikes reiterated that they had trackers, but he doubted if their assurances were true. 

    “I took motorbikes on loan and then rented them out, when I was almost paying off my loan, three of them were stolen. The company that sold them to me have never found them yet I was assured they had a tracking system. I have not yet recovered,” one Dante stated. 

    KOT shared how they took loans to invest in farming but the businesses turned into nightmares. 

    “Took a loan back in 2011 to do farming. The plan was 5 acres of watermelons but the farm was 300km from Nairobi. Never, I repeat never do farming over the phone. Took me years to recover,” Guru Majabu replied.

    Different varieties of irish potatoes packed in sacks in a storage facility ready to be delivered to the market
    Different varieties of irish potatoes packed in sacks in a storage facility ready to be delivered to the market

    “It was in 2017, I had Ksh50,000 as capital and I went to Mau Narok, hired an acre and planted potatoes. Phone farming went on well until the potatoes matured. Man, the time to harvest it rained and the roads were unpassable. I miss my Ksh100,000 plus investment,” another Kenyan cautioned.

    Others recalled that their businesses suffered irrecoverable losses during the pandemic and they had to shut down operations. 



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