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Tricks Kenyans Use to Survive Salary Delays

Not receiving a salary at the expected time is a source of stress for many Kenyans, especially for those who work with the government and casual labourers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also stalled economic activities at an unprecedented scale and businesses have had to deal with a shortage of cash flows

When faced with delayed salaries, life can be stressful since expenses must be met and life must continue. 

In this article, explored some of the things one can do to survive when your employer fails to pay your dues in good time. 


Treasury CS Ukur Yattani (right) poses for a photo at Treasury Headquarters, Nairobi on Thursday, June 11, 2020, ahead of Budget 2020/21 presentation



The importance of having a savings plan cannot be stressed enough. Saving money can help you become financially secure and provide a safety net in case of an emergency. 

If your financial situation becomes severe, that you can dig a little into your piggy bank until the situation improves. 

Since taking money from your savings is like borrowing from your future, remember to replenish the amount you used after your employer pays you.

Loan apps

The massive uptake of loans through mobile apps is testament of how useful they have become.

Loan apps are helpful for short term credit when the need arises since they take a very short time to process, and don’t require security guarantees. 

You can take small loans from these apps to cater to your financial needs when necessary. It is important to carefully consider which apps to use due to the different terms of service as well as interest rates.

Friends and family

When faced with a financial crisis, you can consider borrowing money from friends and family to help cater for some needs until your get your money.

It is advisable to negotiate for a staggered repayment plan so that when your salary comes, you don’t go broke from paying debts. 

For example, if you need Ksh10, 000 for rent, and a friend loans it to you, you can negotiate to pay Ksh 5,000 for the next two months so you can do more with the money.

Negotiate with landlord

Be upfront with your landlord or agent and inform them that your salary has, or is usually delayed but paid eventually.

This will make them trust you and consider you to be an honest person and could give you a chance. 

Playing cat and mouse games; promising to pay and yet failing because your employer hasn’t paid, will only lead to either an eviction or being locked out of the house.

It is also important to know that a large property company is less likely to negotiate terms, while an independent landlord has more leeway to change prices.

Buy in bulk

When you go shopping for household items and supplies, consider buying in large quantities which will get you good discounts. 

Also look out for deals in supermarkets that will help save money which can be used elsewhere. 

Buying non perishable food such as cereals will help push you through a long period even when your salary is delayed. 

Be personable 

Build a relationship with your shopkeepers, suppliers, vendors and mama mbogas. If you are trustworthy they can create a tab for you to give you stuff on credit until you are able to pay.

That way, you can collect whatever items you need with the promise that you will pay eventually.

If you have a boda boda operator or a favourite taxi driver, you can ask them to help you get to work even on the days you don’t have fare.

Side hustle

If the salary delays are chronic and you find yourself in the cycle of the hacks listed above, it is time to think about a different source of income. 

Think about what other ways you can make some money on the side that will help you not get into a cycle where you keep off debts and accruing new ones. 

Sometimes it may not be ideal or in line with your career goals, but with the tough economic times having an extra source of income is good.


Traders pictured in Gikomba Market, Nairobi.

Traders pictured in Gikomba Market, Nairobi.


Read the Original Article on Kenyans