So, like play we are at the half year mark already. How has it been so far for you in Nigeria?
For me, it has been a lot of work and I am grateful for work.
Work is good.
But it also has meant that bills have jumped up in an astronomical leap. It is as bad as going to the market to buy garri N1,000 today and then next week, it is N1,300.
How did we get here?
Wait! Don’t answer. We know how we got here. The question is, where do we go from here?
The hunger and desperation in the land is unprecedented. Money disappears faster than ice under the hot sun. I am not here for a pity party though. I am hoping to give you practical suggestions to survive the surge of the cost of living in Nigeria.
- The biggest struggle when your income suddenly isn’t enough is that of maintaining your previous lifestyle. If you are used to paying for the premium package DSTV; you would struggle to maintain that just so that you do not feel as though anything has changed. Big mistake. Holding on to things simply because we cannot accept that life has changed is a recipe for trouble. It is like adding 10kg and forcing your body into your former size clothing. Things have changed. Accept it.
- Next, you have to downsize. If you could save a little cash before, do not refuse to save so that you can meet up with your bills. You need to maintain what you save and look through your expenditure to erase things that you can do without.
- Luxury is not important. It is fantastic to do nice things for yourself. You work so hard and you deserve it. But when things are not balancing, you have to categorize the importance of luxury in your life. Even if you experience a good inflow, don’t be so bent on blowing through it. A minimalist or a Spartan approach will help.
- Let a treat be a treat. If you used to go to the cinemas every week, cut it down. You can treat yourself. Like I said, it is hard to work without a break in Nigeria and especially in Lagos. When money comes, we want to reward ourselves. Do the math first. Don’t make treats a hobby. Let them remain special things you plan to do for yourself
- Buy things in bulk. If you can afford to, plan and stock up. I was making the mistake of buy it bits and pieces because remove a lump sum is difficult. Truth be told, things don’t seem to be coming down at all. It is not cheaper to buy smaller quantities. If you can afford to, shop for a long period. That is cheaper eventually.
- Even when you get an income surge, do not upgrade your lifestyle. Let it just mean that you are more comfortable in maintaining your current lifestyle. Upgrading will come eventually. Just don’t be in a hurry. It may be a squeeze trying to size your life to an upgrade.
- You need to document all expenditure against all income. Know how your money is spent. This will make it easier for you to see what areas of your life need adjusting.
- Buy health insurance. Walking into a hospital and getting the treatment of a private patient is very expensive. Buying a premium is better than grappling with hospital bills.
- Reduce eating out. Eating out is more expensive in today’s Nigeria. Remember those 500 naira meals that Chicken Republic had? Well they are now N1,000 each. The average meal at KFC will rarely be below N2,000. Spare the time to organize the food you will eat at home.
- Carry your own water. I know it is hard when you do not have a car. If you do, carry your own drinking water. I refill water from my CWAY bottles. A 75cl bottle of water is N100. A large bottle of CWAY dispenser refill is N650. If I kept buying bottle water from outside, I would spend over a thousand naira every week.
- If you are lucky to live in a home with a backyard here in Nigeria; please consider growing some of your own vegetables. It is fresher and cheaper and healthier to do so. I hear gardening is therapeutic.
If you have more tips, add them to the comment session. We will survive this period and even thrive.
Stay safe, everyone.
Legit hustle pays. Anything illegal can blow up anytime.
Ask for help rather than consider anything nefarious. It may be embarrassing. Also, you may get a no but you could also get a yes.
Nigeria will survive this.