How to Live on an 80,000 per month Salary in Nairobi and Save Smartly

I’m assuming that you are single, with no dependents and this is your salary after tax. With that said, you can live off a KES 80,000 a month salary. Firstly, put aside KES 20,000 now we have KES 60,000 to work with.

So let’s break it down, starting with the big-ticket item rent.

Rent KES 20,000

Rent varies widely in Nairobi, but in real estate, all that matters is the location. The closer you are to the CBD the more you’ll end up paying, but remember that you also don’t want to live too far because the cost of transport might negate any savings you might have made. With that said, you should be looking to spending a maximum of about KES 25,000 on rent. Why? A famous economist once said you should never spend more than a third of your salary on rent, it’s simply immoral.

Here are a couple of places I found within our limit

Fare KES 5,000

Transport to and from the CBD (where I assume you work). You could be spending about KES 200 daily. So working Monday to Friday for 23 days a month you can spend about 23*200= 4,600. Let’s just say KES 5,000. (FYI you can only have a maximum of 23 weekdays in a month- now you know)

Food KES 13,000

Your monthly grocery shopping can work with KES 7,000; however, this depends on your diet and how flexible you are. I won’t include a shopping list, but if you really want one ask me in the comments. Lunch during the weekday at a somewhat decent place in town will run you about 250 each day; so for 23, it’ll be about 5750. So 7000+5750=12,750. Let’s say KES 13,000. (If you can find good “Kibandaski” you can spend a lot less).

Household Utilities KES 5,000

Your house utilities such as the water bill, electricity bill, and gas should total just under KES 5,000 (This based on my household usage).

Phone KES 2,000

For your monthly airtime/ talk time minutes, KES 1,000 will do (if you need more, I’d suggest you lose a couple of friends or maybe WhatsApp). Speaking of WhatsApp, you should set aside KES 1,000 for mobile data (but you can use the office WIFI to get your daily Instagram fix without depleting your data.

Entertainment KES 5,000

Entertainment you can pay for satellite TV (DSTV) KES [3500-5,400] or you can get Zuku for KES 4,500 for TV & Internet at home.

Health Insurance KES 5,000

Don’t forget about insurance. For those saying you don’t need it, I always like to play it safe. As the saying goes: I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. So let’s budget about KES 5,000.

So in total, we have used up KES 55,000 of our initial KES 60,000

Now you still have KES 5,000 to cater for miscellaneous expenses, treating yourself and clothing.


But remember that KES 20,000 we set aside, in the beginning, that amount is your savings, which is about 25% of your salary. Always spend you have left after saving and not save what you’re left with after spending.

KES 80,000 is more than enough because a lot of people in Nairobi live off a lot less.

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