How do I invest when I can’t afford to invest?

It’s easy to say this when you’ve lived through 2016, it’s the end of the year, and you’re flat broke. You’re more concerned with surviving and maybe saving … how do even start to think about investing?

Here’s the thing though. As long as you’re stuck in the cycle of surviving, that’s all you’re ever going to do. And the only way to break the cycle is … well … there are lots of ways to break the cycle. You could get a raise, or rob a bank, or join politics, or find a rich spouse or …




All the above needs planning. And luck. And probably a few virgin sacrifices. So while you’re regrouping and strategizing, here are a few things you can do to set the investment ball rolling. First, let’s get a few things clear. What exactly is investing?

Well, investing – in the simplest terms – is using money to make more money. Hence Vera can invest in her hair, Mariga can invest in his shoes, BM can invest in his camera, Larry can invest in his passport and etc and etc.

For the regular person that’s not necessarily famous or drop-dead gorgeous, you could choose to invest in land, business, or financial assets (stocks/shares/t-bills/unit trusts etc). Which goes back to the question … how do I do that when I can’t afford it?




Most people approach investment from its rear end, pun intended. You think that in order to invest, you need to have some spare cash lying around. And since most of us will never have spare cash lying around, we will never invest.

The way I approach investment is to have it as one of my bills. So when I am paying for electricity, water, gas, bus fare, school fees, internet and so on, I add an investment to the list. It doesn’t have to be a lot. You can invest as little as 1,000 bob a month. I’m sure you use more than that on data bundles and airtime.

You can do a lot with 1,000 bob. You can buy 50 Safaricom shares. You can buy 10 bob tops from Toi and re-sell them at 100 bob. You can buy flower or vegetable seedlings and start a nursery. You can buy wholesale herbal sticks and distribute to online friends.



Learn the ABCs of investing at Abacus Money Academy. Join us for the introductory class and start your journey to financial success today. Check out the course outline and next intake dates on the Academy website.


Abacus is the result of over 10 years market experience and is licensed as a data vendor by the Nairobi Securities Exchange

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