What Kenyan Parents Can Do To Survive Latest Tax Increase

  • After President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Finance Act 2021 on June 30, 2021, one thing was clear – life was bound to get harder for the common mwananchi.

    Other than taxes on bread, fishing equipment, and motorcycles that were rejected by members of parliament, all other taxes in the bill ook effect from July 1. This means that the price of basic commodities went up.

    Gas, up, airtime, up, internet, up and not to mention the cost of fuel which is at a record high. Unfortunately, as the prices shot, the number and nature of responsibilities remained the same.

    Kenyan students heading home from school

    Kenyans have now been forced to come up with ways to survive during hard times and in particular, those with ‘extra’ responsibilities. Here I not only target parents but specifically those with school-going children.

    How? Financial expert Nicholas Gichara has answers to your question. The Somakazi CEO had the following pointers on how parents in Nairobi with school-going children can cut costs during these hard times.

    Move Children to Public Schools
    Private schools in Nairobi are very expensive. On average, the fees per term in private schools in Nairobi ranges between Ksh30,000-Ksh70,000. He advised that parents should consider moving their children to public schools which are more affordable.

    He asked parents to change their negative attitude towards public schools as they were not as bad as people make them appear. This is supported by a parent who chose to remain anonymous.

    “I worked for a telco company, making good money, but both of them went to public schools from baby (class) to class 5. It enabled me to save for their high school education.”

    Take up Medical Insurance for Your Children

    Children are prone to getting ill owing to the fact that they are constantly interacting with others. Parents have been advised to take up medical insurance for their children to reduce the chances of being combated by abrupt financial expenses from medical emergencies.

    Frequent out-patient visits end up costing more at the end of the month compared to those that require admission.

    Give them Packed Lunch

    Parents have also been advised to pack lunch for their children. Schools charge lump sums of money to provide children with lunch. The figures range between Ksh5000 to Ksh12000 per term.

    These figures are bound to increase with the increase owing to the excise duty. Notably, this can only be used in schools that allow for such a provision.

    Take them to Schools Nearer to Home

    The cost of transportation services offered by schools and private entities is ridiculously high due to increased fuel costs. On average, it costs about Ksh3,000-Ksh7000 depending on the school, company, and distance. Having children closer home reduces these costs.

    Avoid Going Shopping with Children

    Research shows that parents who go to the supermarket with their children cannot stick to a budget or shopping list.

    Children often force parents into impulse spending thus adding unnecessary costs.

    Customers queueing at a supermarket in Kenya
    Customers queueing at a supermarket in Kenya