Kenya Financial Diaries Shilingi Kwa Shilingi – The Financial Lives of the Poor

Analyzing financial management in low-income households of Kenya
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This project report aims to deepen the understanding of the financial lives of low-income Kenyans by capturing all of their transactions over the course of a year, through fortnightly visits. The project covered about 300 households evenly distributed across five areas of the country. It aims at providing a new and deeper view of how Kenyans get by on low incomes and offers new insights into how they use and think about their money. It also highlights the need for more diverse financial service options that help manage short-term liquidity and long-term investment in the face of tremendous uncertainty in their incomes and consumption needs. The paper covers the following sections in detail:
  • Background of the Kenya Financial Diaries project and methodology it followed;
  • Key findings of the project with a focus on sources of income, managing household budgets, using informal and formal financial devices, and social networks and genders;
  • Implications from the study and recommendations with a focus on addressing the gap in availability of financial services to low-income households, making banking work better for low-income households, and solutions that can go beyond traditional accounts.  

About this Publication

By Zollmann, J.