Cultivate Financial Discipline and Literacy Among Youths to Beat Joblessness

The issue of unemployment among the youths has always been the talk of the town for decades. However much the government has been trying to tackle it, it has remained a perennial challenge. So ever incurring such that it results in de facto that we always have graduates joining the labor market every year, creating high population, making available jobs scarce.

Statistics have indicated that about 800,000 youths join the labor market every year. On the same note, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reports have indicated that Kenya is not generating enough job vacancies and platforms for youth employment. Further reports show that youth unemployment rate in Kenya saw no significant changes in 2022 compared to the previous year 2021, as the rankings remained at around 13.35 percent; devastating.

Among many factors that contribute to joblessness, financial indiscipline is the main factor. The big question is, how best can our youths spend and invest the little money earned?

Entrepreneurs have confirmed that for one to grow financially independent, financial discipline remains the key. It has been linked to multiple benefits that come with it. Financial discipline ranges from making informed decisions on money to prioritizing needs. It involves spending, investing, and saving while avoiding unnecessary expenditures and budgets. This further calls for frugality at times.

Financial stress among the youths is what has been pushing many to engage in crime like robbery and drug abuse. Well, financial discipline reduces financial stress by putting one in a position to control his own finances. Both researchers and entrepreneurs have shown that by avoiding unnecessary expenditures and expenses and saving and investing consistently, individuals are in a safe place to build a strong financial foundation for their future. This therefore calls for an early start for one to take advantage of the impact and magic of compound interest.

We are all aware that our students in higher learning institutions are funded by loans and grants but still come out financially unstable. This is because many indulge in wasteful activities like partying, alcoholism, and expensive lifestyles while remaining with little or nothing left to save. They forget to spend after saving and instead save after saving. Later on, they come out while under debts to be paid back marking the onset of financial anxiety and pressure.

In addition, our youths should be taught how to start and run the business properly. With the waving and ever-changing market climate, it’s unpredictable whether one can secure employment soon after graduation. Every youth should be flexible enough to look for an opportunity to set and run a business that will see him survive in this hard economy. Self-discipline and financial discipline keep in check to manage, save, and plan for the future with the little money earned.

According to a report released by the United Nations, it indicated that youth are 33% less likely to have a savings account than adults and 44% less likely to save in a formal institution. Furthermore, the reported showed that saving-account penetration rates for youth vary by geographical region, ranging from 12% in Africa to 50% in East Asia and the Pacific.

We have Saccos, partnerships, and organizations that offer savings services, not forgetting our own banks. Both of these, with an interest rate ranging from above 7 per cent to 10 percent. This is favorable when viewing the inflation rates. Youths should create a habit of joining these institutions and applying for saving accounts that offer reasonable interest rates.

Stakeholders in the market industry and financial sectors should come out in large numbers and continually create programs that target the youths in particular. This kind of stakeholder engagement will later reduce Kenya’s poor savings culture that is rated at 12 per cent, way below Africa’s average of 17 per cent.

After all these, we will have youths who are financially strong to beat any calamity that may arise like that of Corona that led to massive destruction of the economy. Let’s all have in mind that the future of our economy lies in the current youths and proper impartation of financial literacy in them, teaching of financial discipline and literacy among the youths to beat joblessness should also be a matter of priority.

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