Considering recent announcements regarding the removal of petrol subsidy, the floating of the naira and the hike in electricity tariffs, Nigerians might need new ways to make money, learn new cost-saving habits and seek practical personal financial tips. So, we asked Nigerians to share some of the tips they live by and got some great responses.
We’ve highlighted five of those responses below.
1. “Always have emergency funds for at least six months saved separately. Also, buy stocks, pay significantly towards your pension and invest.”
— Tony, Trading Operations Specialist, Lagos.
One of the ways to plan for the future and its uncertainties is to strive to have at least six months worth of savings in your emergency funds. We know saving can be a luxury, so this tip works best for those with cash to spare in the first place.
Think of the liberation you feel when you have six months of earnings tucked away in your Safelock. You can decide to take a sabbatical, change jobs or career paths without fear.
You should also start to save towards retirement. If you are in the corporate world, your employer has likely put you on a plan. Target savings are also an excellent means of saving towards unique goals, retirement inclusive.
2. “Cook in bulk! I cooked in bulk last weekend, and now I have a stock of three square meals of different kinds of food. I have not spent a dime I didn’t plan for this week. I even still have noodles from two months ago.”
— Naza, Screenwriter, Lagos.
Bulk-buying or cooking can be a privilege for many, as many Nigerians live below the poverty line. But, with reports of electricity supply improving across the country, there’s never been a better time to stock up your fridge.
Apart from cooking, you can also do this with non-perishable foods, ingredients, and condiments. Large families opt for bulk purchases from rural markets; some go up North for purchases and then utilising innovative means to preserve their foodstuff.
3. “For me, I don’t spend anything outside of my budget. If there’s an impromptu hangout, I either decline or spend out of my miscellaneous funds. People will call you stingy o; they’ll probably not invite you out as often. But as a salary earner, that’s the only way I’m able to stay out of debt, pay my bills, and support my family. No shame in that, abeg.”
— Kenneth*, Graphic designer, Kaduna.
If there’s one thing to learn from Kenneth’s advice, it’s that learning to say no will save you. Sometimes, the fastest way to financial freedom, aside from constantly increasing your earning power, is living within your means.
Another takeaway is that budgeting will remain one of the best financial practices to help optimise your earnings. It’s also a great way to build financial discipline. Learn more about creating an airtight budget here.
4. “Health insurance! I know that the way Nigeria is, this is a luxury for more than half of us. But this is the advice I give everyone, because one ailment can dry up all your savings just like that. Find a good plan and contribute towards it monthly. You’ll benefit from it even if you’re only treating malaria.”
– Chima, Digital Marketer, Abuja.
There’s no debating that health is wealth. Nobody hopes to fall ill, but it happens more than we like. A good HMO is a solid low-cost investment that saves you a lot in healthcare costs, especially in the case of an emergency. Many employers will put you on a health plan, but it’s always a good idea to sustain your payments whether or not you are still employed.
5. “Don’t borrow what you can’t afford to give away. My eyes have seen shege in the past.”
– Kems, Ghostwriter, Oyo.
According to a recent tweet, a lady loaned her friend ₦500k in 2020 and he hasn’t returned the cash to this day. In that time, he has bought a car and gotten married.
Such deeply unfortunate incidents have led some people to only give sums they can let go off. Let’s face it: Given the state of the economy, there’s probably nothing quite as unpleasant as losing money.