Kenyans should brace for a year of tighter belts and deeper pockets, as President William Ruto's administration readies a budget that cracks the Sh4 trillion mark for the first time.

This means you'll likely be digging deeper and your wallets squeezed thinner to pay taxes, while the government digs even deeper into debt to keep the wheels of Kenya's economy turning.

The proposed Sh4.2 trillion budget for the year starting July 2024 represents a hefty jump from the Sh3.9 trillion currently in play.

To fill its coffers, the Treasury plans to squeeze an additional Sh361.8 billion from taxpayers, meaning more deductions from your salary or higher costs for everyday goods and services.

But wait, there's more! The deficit – the gap between what the government earns and what it spends,  is also set to balloon to a cool Sh703.9 billion.

To plug this hole, the government intends to borrow a staggering Sh703.9 billion, with Sh377.7 billion coming from within Kenya and the remaining Sh326.2 billion borrowed from international lenders.

So, what does this mean for you, the average Kenyan? Well, prepare for the possibility of rising prices, as businesses pass on the cost of higher taxes to consumers.

You might also find it harder to get loans, as the government competes with you for available credit.

But there's a silver lining, or perhaps a flicker of hope in the darkness.

The Treasury says it will prioritize concessional loans, those with lower interest rates, and limit expensive commercial borrowing to critical infrastructure projects.

Additionally, the government plans to tap into alternative funding sources like climate change financing and debt-for-nature swaps.

President Ruto has also pledged to crack down on corruption and wasteful spending, hoping to squeeze more value out of every shilling.

He's even ordered a 10 per cent budget cut for government ministries and agencies.

However, some Kenyans remain sceptical.

After all, promises of fiscal prudence have been made before, only to be broken under the weight of political realities.

Whether Ruto's administration can walk the talk on debt management and responsible spending remains to be seen.

One thing is certain: Kenyans are in for a bumpy ride in the coming year.

The road ahead will be paved with higher taxes, rising prices, and mounting debt.

Buckle up, Kenya, it's going to be a wild one.