Kenyans New Year resolutions will revolve around money, according to a new survey by the research firm Consumer Insight.
Most of the 560 people interviewed said they plan to expand their businesses, invest and save more, educate their children and build a home. The survey was commissioned by the Daily Nation.
It is not surprising that money and the economy are central in the intents of Kenyans given the financial squeeze that many of them experienced in 2015.
Four out of five of the 560 people who participated in the poll said they usually keep their New Year resolutions.
This year has been dogged by a slow jobs market, a freeze on salary increments, a decline of the shilling against the dollar, high inflation and rising bank interest rates.
A third of respondents interviewed for the Festive Season Poll, 2015, said they would resolve to expand their businesses, invest and save more.
More than half of the rich also said they would undertake to expand their businesses in 2016. However, only 29 per cent of the upper middle class said they would do the same. A third of the lower middle class and the poor also plan to expand their businesses.
Young people aged between 18 and 24 showed the least interest in growing their businesses.
Two in five people in the lower middle class, especially the men, said they intended to invest more, as did people between the age 40 and 44 and 25 to 29.
The rich and middle class made up the largest share of people who plan to increase their savings, with two in five saying they would do so in the New Year.
This is probably because they have more income at their disposal compared to the poor.
PEACE AND STABILITY
Young people aged between 18 and 24 were the least interested in saving. Only one in eight said they would purpose to save more in 2016.
The low interest is a reflection of the fact that many of them are still in school and some have no source of income while others have just started their careers.
Education also ranked high on the list of things Kenyans want to do in the New Year. One in four of the people interviewed said they expect to take their children to school.
People aged 40 and above constituted the largest share of those who intend to take children to school, with a third saying they would take their children to school in 2016. The cost of education in Kenya is high, especially in private schools and requires financial planning.
On home ownership, one third of the people interviewed said they aspire to own a home this year. A third of those who said this was their aspiration were middle class and people aged 35 to 39. Four out of five of the 560 people who participated in the poll said they usually keep their New Year resolutions.
The telephone survey also indicated that most Kenyans, were wishing for peace, a stable economy and good governance in 2016.
Overall, the top 10 wishes relate to the economy, governance and wellbeing.
Two out of five Kenyans are hopeful that the economy will be stable and peace will prevail in the New Year, while one-third of the participants said they were hoping for better governance, an improved standard of living and to live in a less corrupt country.
This year, corruption scandals involving government officials and business people, were prominent in the news, with the Sh791 million NYS and Eurobond scandals easily coming to mind.
Some of the scandals culminated in the firing or resignation of six Cabinet Secretaries in 2015 alone. While some officials have been charged, others are still under investigation.
One in four people said they hoped for better security while one in five are hoping for better health, while one in seven Kenyans said they are expecting a promotion at work or better job.
Most of the expectations and hopes of Kenyans were the same as two years ago, except for the wish of a peaceful country that topped the list this year. This is perhaps an indication that Kenyans are feeling a lot of turbulence in their lives as the 2017 general election approaches.
Narok County was hit by ethnic clashes that left three people dead last week. Hundreds were also displaced.
In 2013, a better living standard was the top wish among Kenyans with half the respondents in a similar survey saying they were hoping their lives would improve in 2014. This year, a better living standard was ranked fourth in the hierarchy of hopes and wishes.
This year, 37 per cent of the respondents wished for a more stable economy in 2016, two per cent higher than two years ago.
The survey clustered the respondents in four groups: The rich, upper middle class, lower middle class and the poor.