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The majority of Kenyan women (51 per cent) do not seek financial advice and those that do rely on friends and family, with only 31 per cent seeking help from a bank. The rest are said to either consult a financial advisor, an insurance company or a stockbroker, a recent survey reveals.

The survey conducted by Consumer Insight for Global Payment Solutions Visa, also revealed that most Kenyan women spend the biggest proportion of their money on food. This could perhaps be because most families are now sharing costs between the man and the woman in order to make ends meet. Most men will take care of the heavy bills like rent and utility bills while women take care of the food expenses.

The survey also shows that majority of women invest as much money in beauty and image boosting products as they do on school fees for their children.


The survey, published by the Business Daily, sought to identify areas where women put themselves at financial risk.

“We want the report to identify areas where women are putting themselves at financial risk. This brings about an awareness of the problems and allows women to protect themselves accordingly,” said Visa country manager for Southern and East Africa, Jabu Basopo.

Savings were reported to be higher among women with majority of the savings being from women above the age of 44 years who had an income of Sh50,000 or more. Most women opted to put their money in banks and chamas. Mobile money accounts were found to be more popular (23 per cent) modes of savings among Kenyan women compared to micro finance institutions and pension schemes.

Banks took the lead (44 per cent) on sources that Women mainly relied on to borrow money, followed by friends (39 per cent) and Saccos (28 per cent).

According to the survey, which sampled 2,069 women across the country aged between 25 and 55 years, 64 per cent of women would buy a house or land if they had the money but only four percent see the stock market as a viable investment option.


In another study released last month, also by Consumer Insight, entitled ‘Africa Consumer Insight: Macroeconomic Drivers and Spending Patterns’ that sought to establish the spending patterns of Africans, food still took prominence in African consumers’ expenses.

“Spending patterns are determined by disposable income per capita. There is generally quite a strong negative correlation between the proportion that is spent on food and overall prosperity levels. Currently, food dominates African consumers’ spending, but this will gradually change as incomes rise”, read the survey in part.

Education came second to food expenses based on a quarterly survey dubbed REJA by the same firm to study consumer shopping patterns. The study revealed that after food, which 80 per cent of the population spends the most on, education comes second with 65 per cent of the respondents spending more compared to the previous year.


With the current inflation rate that has seen prices of even the most basic products escalate, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see huge chunks of a person’s income going to food. Gone are the days you would walk into a supermarket with a Sh1,000 note, fill your shopping trolley to capacity and even get a few shillings change. Nowadays the amount of foodstuffs you can purchase with the same Sh1000 make just a handful at the bottom of the basket!


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