Planning for unemployment in Nigeria should not begin only after you’ve stopped working. Ideally, it should start the moment you start earning. And not only does it help you attain financial freedom faster, it’s also an umbrella if the rain of unemployment decides to fall.
You can survive unemployment in Nigeria by creating a new budget, bulking up your emergency funds and by taking your health seriously. You can also find ways to reduce your spending and seek out new income.
Losing or leaving a job can be one of the more stressful times in a person’s life. Aside from your loved ones constantly moaning about your out-of-work state, the hassle of tailoring your CV to match different job applications, and the unending rejection emails, there’s also the trouble of your dwindling financial resources. So take the five actions below to help you navigate a financially uncertain season of unemployment.
1. Create a (new) budget
A typical budget is made up of income and expenses. But with your income being zero, or close, this is the perfect time to make a new one.
Your new budget should be made to suit your lifestyle. A bachelor’s budget, for instance, will look different from that made by a father of two. Now armed with a brand new budget, you can do away with non-essential expenses and track how much money you have left.
2. Bulk up your emergency funds
You need a solid emergency fund to survive unemployment. But this requires financial discipline. So, as you work, don’t neglect your savings and investment portfolio. Make it a habit to save before you spend. When the chips are down, your savings will save you.
3. Take your health insurance seriously
Medical emergencies have a way of depleting your savings when you least expect it. These days, many employers provide health insurance for their staff, but what happens when you lose that job?
It is important to save towards paying for or renewing your health insurance, so that if you fall ill at any point, you won’t have to dig a deeper hole in your emergency funds.
4. Find ways to reduce your spending
Your current lifestyle may not be able to survive months of unemployment. Cut costs by eating in, reducing your outings and actively fighting the urge to spend on impulse. You can also terminate unimportant subscriptions and actively seek out discounts and thrift sales.
5. Seek out new income
Studies have shown that the percentage of unemployed Nigerians will rise to 40%. For context, a healthy unemployment rate is anything from 3-5%. But this isn’t the case in Nigeria, where, in 2023, nearly half of all its employable citizens will be out of work.
There’s indeed a small demographic of people who are unemployed by choice. But whether you’ve taken a sabbatical or are actively job hunting, getting a new full-time job can take a while.
For job seekers, there may be other jobs you can do in the interim. Short-term gigs (like freelancing on Fiverr), work-from-home options (including online businesses that pay daily), or part-time employment may be your best options while applying for full-time roles. These jobs may not flow in the same direction as your career, but you’ll earn some money to keep you afloat until you find the role of your choice.
There are also several ways to make money on your phone in Nigeria and these include great options like social media influencer marketing and content creation.