More than 83% of Kenyan couples have indicated that being in a relationship has had a positive impact on their financial situation. This is according to a survey done by pension administrator Enwealth Financial Services dubbed, “The saving and investments behaviour among Kenyans”.
By implication, being single could present financial challenges. The research done in partnership with Strathmore University and the Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM) further revealed that 96% of them would be interested in taking joìnt financial advisory and planning sessions with their spouses.
Even though 60% of the respondents have adequate knowledge to make investment decisions and constantly consume financial knowledge material, the report revealed that only 12% have an entrenched saving culture putting aside only 6%-15% of their monthly income.
One of the main reasons for savings being for big ticket purchases such as a car or big project. The most common saving channels were SACCOs and pension schemes. The findings come after the recent concerns over the increasing rate of single parenthood in the country indicating a strain on finances for single parents in the country.
Speaking during the event, the Enwealth CEO Simon Wafubwa said: “83% of those who do not save attribute it to recurring expenses and inadequate disposable income while 84% of the working population regularly send money to their extended family for daily upkeep such as food, transport and medical expenses. “
In response to this market opportunities, Enwealth will be rolling out innovative technology driven financial products that are based on individual behavioral attributes and age based financial priorities.
The research report has recommended to the government policy agencies for enhanced higher tax reliefs especially to the informal sector as an incentive to boost the savings culture.
Also, education institutions have been urged to introduce mandatory financial management courses in the curriculum to enhance financial literacy among the population.
“We know there is intention to want to save but our people face challenges in actualizing the behavior. We need to teach them about detrimental behaviors such as quick loans, budgeting and more,” said Naomi Mwangi, a lecturer at Strathmore University. “And education shouldn’t stop at that. And when they get married, financial management needs to be given priority in marriage counselling sessions.”