What's your money superpower?

We Asked Nigerians To Start Some Uncomfortable Money Conversations

uncomfortable money conversations

A while ago, PiggyVest asked Nigerians on X (formerly known as Twitter) to share their unpopular money opinions, and we got a lot of interesting answers. So, we decided to ask them about the money conversations they are reluctant to have.

The quotes were unsurprisingly full of insightful responses, so we gathered eight opinions that caught our attention. Here they are:

1. “Thinking “monetising” and “profit” at every opportunity we have to solve a societal problem is why we are mostly poor and hardly ever solving any problem.” — @ekesunvictor

Are you even Nigerian if you haven’t seen this play out in society? Area Boys hampering the construction of roads so contractors can ‘settle’ them? Government workers requiring bribes to perform their duties? Our politicians, in general? 

We have antecedents that show how Nigerian systems work together to suffocate businesses and individuals trying to solve these widespread societal problems. So, it’s perhaps prudent to conclude that most Nigerians see no point in trying. With inflation and unemployment being our most pervasive problems, the average Nigerian would take any chance to put food on the table over the long, ‘unprofitable’ journey of fixing society. 

Nigerians may be systematically disadvantaged, as strife trickles down from the top and worsens as it reaches the lowest classes. But our heightened survivalist instincts have caused more harm than good, so all of us must find a way to beat the odds and bring positive change, or risk the further decline of our society.

2. “We spend very inefficiently because we can’t organise. e.g. thousands of homes buying single generators instead of pooling to get far cheaper, constant power.” — @Doziev

The previous point sheds light on this avowedly penny-wise and pound-foolish mentality. Call it trust issues, but Nigerians will enter survival mode when there is a chance that they could be duped. To make matters worse, it is not the citizens’ duty to generate their power.

Nigerians have exhibited, on many occasions, their ability to unite. Take the unanimous support for Nigerian chef, Hilda Baci, when she attempted and was awarded a Guinness World Record, or the 2020 EndSARS protests, for instance. It may be unfair to conclude that Nigerians can’t organise. For a worthy cause, we have, and we will.

3. “Money is not just to make you comfortable and happy, it is supposed to work for you and create wealth for you.” — @SirLeoBDasilva

An out-of-touch take will be to assume Nigerians are living comfortably to begin with. Many Nigerians live from hand to mouth. 133 million Nigerians wrangle with multidimensional poverty daily, so comfort and happiness are luxuries that many cannot afford. 

However, for the few exceptions who are fortunate enough to have money left over after paying bills, do not be carried away by the excess. If financial freedom is in your purview, investing your money is the foolproof way to realise your dreams. 

As you prioritise future financial independence over present comforts, ensure that you follow the golden rules of investing to avoid making grave money mistakes.

4. “If you don’t learn to save when you earn 10k, you won’t save when you earn 1m.” — @ose_certified

This might be a bit of an overstatement because ₦10k is only one-third of the country’s minimum wage. You can’t save or budget your way out of poverty, not with the current cost of living. Except your parents are bankrolling you, a family on a ₦10k income cannot be bothered with saving money. 

Even then, low-income individuals still set money aside by making thrift contributions (Ajo) or using Piggybank.

However, the lesson to glean here is that you must exercise financial discipline, especially when you have little. Your responsibilities will always grow to match your income. So, if you can’t set money aside with a lower salary, don’t expect discipline to fall from the sky when you have more. 

5. “The answer to “how can I earn more?” shouldn’t be “start a business.” If everyone becomes an entrepreneur, who will be the customer?” — @Ada_TheDiva

The basic characteristics of entrepreneurship include the need to provide value and solve problems. A true entrepreneur aims to make an economic impact and change lives. This is why only some people have the entrepreneurial bone in them. Like every path, you will need passion and a hunger to succeed in entrepreneurship, especially when the profits are down. So, yes, while starting a business is one way to make more money, it’s not the only way. Here are some varied ways to make more money online.

6. “It is normal for close relatives, close friends, even colleagues to be in the dark about one another’s income.” — @ade_mek1

Depending on how you look at it, one of the banes of the black man’s existence is Black Tax. As several Nigerians have commented, being open about your earnings will only breed entitlement and make this obligation harder to fulfil.

A great way to curb the excesses is to be discreet about your income to your extended family or colleagues. Your partner in a tight-knit family unit is the exception to this rule. Make your partner privy to your financial status and goals to keep everyone on the same page. This way, it’ll be easy to get the family affairs in order in the case of an emergency or death.

7. “Many of us are a sickness away from extreme poverty. People don’t understand what having systems that work really mean.” — @AishaYesufu

“Health is wealth.” A healthy body and mind are your greatest advantages and should not be taken for granted. The cost of good health, especially in these economic climes, can rapidly deplete your finances.

This quote only shows the importance of a good health insurance package. Find one if your employer does not have you on a plan. Those small monthly contributions can save you from an unbelievable hospital bill if you fall ill.

8. “Nobody makes logical money decisions all the time. Nobody.” — @zikorx

Anybody can make bad money decisions, regardless of your level of financial know-how. Having an entire column dedicated to sharing the money mistakes of Nigerians, we understand this all too well. 

There are many instances where this can happen: Being financially disadvantaged can blind you to obvious scam red flags. People you trust wholly can trick you into making terrible money mistakes. Standing as a surety for or loaning large sums of money to friends and family can easily change a person’s life for the worse. Potentially ‘good’ investments can turn bad. Even impulse buying is an illogical financial decision that is not talked about enough.

Financial literacy can help you better identify good and bad financial decisions. Take advantage of the internet to find resources, like our blog, that can help improve your financial awareness.

The Better Way To Save & Invest