It seems like tough times keep getting tougher for Nigerians. With hundreds of millions of multidimensionally poor people, it is safe to deduce that a larger number of Nigerians are still striving for financial freedom. So, we went ahead to find out from some Nigerians what financial freedom means to them and how close they think they are to attaining it.
Below are the responses we received.
“When you’re not financially stable or free, you always settle for what you can afford” — Buchi
To me, it’s not about having the most money in the world. It’s the ability to afford what I want; to have options. With financial freedom, I can do more things because I have options from higher to lower. I can choose. When you’re not financially stable or free, you always settle for what you can afford, or what is available at the moment.
I won’t say I’m very close to it. Let’s say on a scale of 1-10, I’m a 5. I’m not too far from or too close to it, but I’ve made good decisions. I’m on the path that will take me where I need to be.
“Not being dependent on a paycheck to do what I want” — Emeka
I think financial freedom for me is having enough resources to live a comfortable life. Being able to get what I want, when I want it. And not being dependent on a paycheck to do what I want to do with money. [Laughs] And I can tell you that I’m not close to that at all.
“Even though my income has more than tripled in the last year, I don’t think I’m financially free” – Joy
It is being able to afford the things that I need and want without thinking too much or doing plenty of calculations in my head. Things like rent, sending money to my siblings, paying for a concert for one of my favourite artists, taking my man out, buying birthday gifts for my friends, buying things for my mum and doing stuff around the house.
It can be crippling not having financial freedom. Sometimes you just want to pack your bags and travel, or go to a hotel and order room service without worrying that you’ll drink garri for the rest of the month. These days, I even find myself getting angry when I get calls from my siblings asking for money, when in truth I’m just angry that I’m broke.
For the longest time in my adult life, I was in a place where I had to budget really tightly so I didn’t go broke too soon. Even though my income has more than tripled in the last year, it’s not enough. I’m still not financially free.
My savings may have tripled but so have my expenses. The prices of things I’ve wanted to get for the longest time are now very high. I used to pay rent of N250k and now I want to get a new place, but I fear N750k will not be enough for the total package. The income is not rising fast enough to match the inflation.
I’m not close to financial freedom, but when compared to two or three years ago, I’ve come far. But Inshallah, in Jesus Mighty name, soon and very soon. And if it doesn’t click, I’ll rest. As long as there’s food. I’ll be fine.
“If I break down right now and can’t work for a month, then I’m done” — Chris
Financial freedom, to me, means getting to that point where I will not do anything for six months and still have passive income coming in. I don’t have to move an inch before I make money. That’s when I’ll know I have financial freedom.
To be able to buy whatever I want without stress. This is where I need to get to. And I am surely not anywhere close to it. I’m very, very far. If I break down right now and can’t work for a month, then I’m done. It’s over.
“I can easily do me” — Aminat
For me, financial freedom is the ability to get up and get out. I don’t have to settle. If people are doing things that make me uncomfortable I can up and leave because I’m not financially dependent on them to pay my bills. In summary, with financial freedom, I can easily do me.
When I look at where I am now, and where I was years ago, I can say I’m much closer to financial freedom. I can live my life and spend my money on what I want. I don’t have to explain my financial decisions to anyone, or ask for help. I’m not where I want to be but I’m pretty close.