Welcome to Money Diaries where we get insights into how millennials spend their hard-earned money over a seven-day period.
Lukaku is an office administration assistant who has learnt how to set and stick to a monthly budget. He shares how he spends his money in a week.

Occupation:  Admin Assistant
Industry:  PR Firm
Age:  25 Years
Location: Nairobi,

Do you have a monthly budget?: Yes, Kshs 20,000. ( This covers my fixed bills i.e utilities, food, transport, and of course rent!)
Loan Payments: None
Insurance Payments:  Luckily my employer has this covered
What you spend most of your cash on: Bills

Savings: Kshs 3,000 per month (I’m trying to develop a savings culture, so I asked my employer to deduct this amount and remit it to my SACCO account before the rest of my salary hits my account)

Day One

6:00 a.m- If there was ever a day that should never exist in life, it should be a Monday, especially if you’ve had a long and eventful weekend. Struggle has a new definition (sigh!). First, I overslept, so that meant I didn’t beat the morning rush; instead of paying the usual Ksh 40-50 for the matatu, I ended up paying Ksh 80.

8:00 a.m- Bachelors & breakfast in the house on a weekday is the same as water & oil, lol! There’s a restaurant down the road from the office that delivers breakfast (but you can wait for an hour, that delivery guy has no sense of urgency in his life). I ask for two samosas & a sausage which comes to Ksh 170. Imagine, in this economy!

9:00 a.m – Since you’re forever “shooting your shot” you must make morning calls to check up on her and make her feel special. That’s another Ksh 50 worth of airtime.

Eh, being a boy child is hard work.

11:00 a.m- If you haven’t heard it before, hear it now; it’s a thing! Having an office bae is a must. Today she wanted a fruit salad that costs Ksh 150. I almost told her I could have brought her some avocado from my landlord’s tree, but anyway, such is life.

1:00 pm “I was busy, didn’t get a chance to eat lunch.” Yes, that’s how you lie to yourself because you’ve gone over your quota for your daily spend.

That fruit salad smh!

4:30 p.m- We survived Monday! Time to go home, but being rush hour and the clouds being “pregnant” the matatus have decided to hike the fare to Ksh 120. 

Daily Total: Ksh 570

Day Two

6:00 a.m- Work should start on Tuesday; you always have that extra level of energy in you, you know what I’m talking about? It’s the day you actually respect your alarm clock and get up on time. So I did that and transport to the office cost me Ksh 50.

7:30 a.m- Didn’t have dinner last night so I needed to have a heavy breakfast. I ordered from the usual place down the road from the office. Cheat code for a bachelor is to always find a good “local” where food is cheap and sometimes they can allow you to eat on credit. Last week I was poor (read not liquid) and since someone decided to bless my M-Pesa, I cleared my Ksh 500 tab from last week and my breakfast this morning was Sh200.

Eh, what is this life. Sponsor anyone?

11:00 a.m- I’m out of the office doing some client deliveries and I before I get back I decide to run one more errand (read say hello to Jenny from the office up the road)  and I stop to buy chewing gum on the way for Ksh 50. Need to show up breathing freshness into the world.

2:15 p.m- Back from ‘errand’, full of energy, with a spring in my step. Time to gain back those calories. Luckily there’s this lady who delivers food to the office and that sets be back Ksh 300.

4:00 p.m – Home Time! Tomorrow’s another day. Why do they call it “Rush hour” and nothing is ever in a rush? Anyway, fare comes to Ksh 120.

6:00 p.m- Don’t you hate that text “Uko”? You want to lie but you can’t. Anyway, found myself at the local with my guy; we decided to catch up, plus I need to update him on my “errand”. Two beers & the bill comes to Ksh 400.

8:00 p.m -I really need to start cooking, anyway, I’ll start “tomorrow”. Some matumbo and ugali from my butcher for dinner sets me back Ksh 300.

Daily Total: Ksh 1,920

Day Three

6:00 a.m -Yipee! It’s Hump Day! Midweek excitement slaps different. I was up early today and that means transport to the office was only Ksh 50

8:00 a.m – I was craving a “Spanish omelette” – yeah, by the way Kenyans have a very different idea of what a Spanish omelette is (Okay, I’m not that posh, I learnt it from my Spanish workmate, lol!).  You need to google what the rest of the world defines it as. Anyway, Rodgers, the delivery guy from the restaurant down the road delivers it and slaps me with a bill of Ksh 200.

Imagine, all that for two eggs and some nyanya’s (tomatoes) for that money.

10:00- Bought some airtime worth Ksh 100 to catch up with Jenny. It’s always good to earn some points for checking up.

1:00 p.m- Told you Wednesdays are divine eh. One of the partners at the office offers to buy lunch & that means my pockets have some saving grace!

7:00 p.m –  I’m working late today, so that means the office will buy me some dinner & cater for my cab home. Working late has it’s perks sometimes.

11:00 p.m- Double win today! Done with work, time to head home, I request for the office cab, tomorrow’s another day.

Daily Total: Ksh 350


Day Four

6:00 a.m- One more day to Friday! We got this! Despite getting home late, surprisingly  I managed to wake up on time today so the matatu fare was only Ksh 50

8:00 a.m- My guy Rodgers brings me a sausage and a Mandazi that has more air in it than substance. The only reason I still order from this guy is that his prices are more reasonable than most places around here, (okay, and also because I can’t wake up to make breakfast). Ksh 100 gone.

10:00 a.m – It’s always good to shock your body once in a while and show it that you care; bought a fruit salad for Ksh 150 just to make myself feel good.

1:00 p.m -Having those fruits made me hungrier than I was before. Time to head over to the restaurant down the road to grab lunch. Some “pilau”; don’t know why they call it that, since there’s no meat; they just add food colouring to the rice and add a pinch of pilau masala (sigh!). Sets me back Ksh 300.

4:00p.m- We need to break down this myth. How is it that Matatu touts can see rain drops before they even condense and then increase the fare? They are worse than those people who raise the price of ‘warus’. Anyway, transport home today is Ksh 150. I should just start walking at this rate.

8:00 p.m-I had my weekly quota of healthy food with the fruits earlier. Time to have some sinful fries for dinner; that’s usually Ksh 150.

Daily Total: Ksh 900

Day Five

6:00am- TGIF! Today I even woke up without the need for my alarm, let’s go finish the week in style. The matatu fare as usual is Ksh 50.

8:00am-  Rodgers today will have to find someone else to “scam” with his prices; I’ll just have the samosa which costs Ksh 50. I need to tell Jenny good morning and wish her a lovely day. Who knows, plans for the weekend might just materialise; bought some airtime for Ksh 100.

1:00 p.m- There’s this Kibanda that Jack the official “plug” for everything at the office told me about. This guy knows every deal in town; he should have just been a broker. Lunch here is Ksh 100. I almost hugged the waitress when she brought me the bill.

2:00 p.m- That lunch was just out of this world, it needs something to wash it down. Nothing tastes better than a cold Coke on a sunny day. Ksh 80.

7:oo p.m- Office bar is open! It’s the little things that count and it’s also a great way to unwind before we break out for the weekend.

12:oo a.m –  Friday at midnight, the bar is closed, time to go freshen up & meet up with Jenny, I promised to take her dancing tonight.

Sleep is for the weak!

Daily Total: Ksh 380

Day six

9:00 a.m – Eh, how did I even get home? That’s how you know it was a good night. I call my butcher down the road to deliver some soup sprinkled with some chilli and some ugali. I’m telling you, that thing works wonders. My hangover breakfast costs about Ksh 300.

10;00 a.m –  My cleaning lady is around, the heavens bless her. The things she has seen in this house, I’m sure she prays for me every Sunday lol. Her usual fee is Ksh 500.

1:30 p.m  -Time to go “evaluate” what happened last night with the boys & watch some football. I hail my usual “nduthi” guy (for our non-Kenyan readers, that’s a motorcycle cab). That’s costs me Ksh 100.

1:45 p.m – Some choma fry with the guys at the local to “set the foundation”; If you know you know. Sets me back another Ksh 700.

3:00 pm – Now that we are full, time to wash it down with a couple of drinks. My team just won and I’m feeling generous; I throw a round of shots at Ksh 800.

Eeeh! If you saw me that was not me, that was my “twin” lol!

7:00 p.m – I was dropped home at about 7:00 pm lol

Daily Total: Ksh 2,400

Day seven

8:30 a.m – Time to go repent my weekly sins. To atone, I did not even take a cab, I walked to church, it’s also not too far from the house so that’s a plus.

10;00 a.m – Yeah, I’m one of those believers of “you give to receive more”. I gave my Church offering of Ksh 200.

12:00 p.m – Passed by one of the locals near the house and got some takeaway lunch of Ksh 100. I really need to sleep.  I also bought some Ksh 100 airtime to catch up and patch things up with Jenny. She’s still not over the fact that I decided to spend Saturday with the Boys watching football rather than take her to get her nails done.

Who will tell her? lol

3:00 p.m -Got some Ksh 200 Fanta, I need to get my sugar levels back up & recover properly from yesterday. Tomorrow’s the start of another week.

Daily Total: Ksh 600

Next week we do it all over again.