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Who decides how you spend your money?

As a teen there are a range of decisions you make regarding your finances. One lesson you will learn though is that you will not always buy what you want when you want. This does not sound sane at the moment because most of your money comes from your parents and they always appear to find money for what they need.

The truth is however, that they have made financial decisions based on a list of priorities. This means that they have placed certain needs and wants above others for specific outcomes. With time and with good practice, you will also learn this valuable skill on how to prioritise your finances.

For example, you are planning a surprise party for your friend and you need to buy him/her a cake. The cake you buy and where you buy it from will be influenced by a number of things:

  1. Your values; what do you aim to achieve by buying the cake? is loyalty your thing and you would give all to prove it?
  2. The company you keep: because your friends influence every aspect of your life including your spending habits. If it is common practice within your friendship circle to spoil each other with cake then of course you will feel the pressure to take one for the team. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it is still important to spend wisely so you don’t risk going broke to maintain friendships.
  3. The cake economy. While you may be willing to buy the cake you must still consider its quality and quantity. There is nothing sadder than spending your hard earned money on an item that ends up being of poor quality. To ensure you get value for your money is there a specific baker you prefer that does a good job? Could you get a cheaper baker for the same great taste? Do you really have to get a 2kg cake for a small party or can you get something as cool but less expensive?

And speaking of alternatives do keep in mind that any purchase you make does not only cost you money but could also cost you your peace of mind, time and effort. Consequently, there are a myriad of alternatives you can choose from and still get what you need from your kind gesture.

The alternatives (with lots of math equations) for a Kshs 4, 000 budget might look like this;

Consideration Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Alternative 3
Buying Baking Getting Ingredients and paying someone to bake
Cake (Ksh 4000) Apple Pie (Ksh 3500) Pizza Pies (250*10 people) = Ksh 2500 2 Large Pizzas at Buy One Get One Free @ 1000= Ksh 2000
A 2kg cake (Ksh 1 kg cake (Ksh 2000) 1.5kg cake (sh 3000) 10 small individual pieces. (Sh 3500)
Passion Forest Cake (Ksh 4000) Simple White Forest cake (Ksh 3850) Naked Red Velvet Cake (Ksh 3600) Vanilla and Strawberry marble cake (Ksh 3300)
Uptown Bakers (For 2Kg Passion Forest)-Ksh 4000 Delightooth Bakers- Ksh 3700 Baked and Caked Oven-3500 Healthy Cakes Shop-Ksh 3900
Delivery Fees (sh 500) Pie Delivery – Ksh 1000 Pizza & Pizza Pies Delivery-Ksh 250 Getting all things yourself-Ksh 600 Uber Fare


You will find that buying the cake takes less of your time than baking and that pizza is cheaper and more filling than cake if the latter is to be shared by a big group. Regardless, the alternatives you choose should be based on your financial capacities and not on your fear of loosing a friendship. Stay wise about your finances and you will reap big in the future.


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