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We Asked Nigerians To Share Life Hacks That Save Them Money

What is saving? — How much money should you save?

Some time ago, on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter), PiggyVest asked Nigerians what life hacks have saved them some money. As you might expect, many of the responses were helpful. We’ve read through the bulk of them and picked seven gems just for you. 

Here they are:

1. “Changing my money to mint. I find it very difficult to part with my mint. I just love to have them at hand. As ridiculous as that might sound, it helps me spend money only when there is no other alternative.” — @FeranmiBamisaye

This is a somewhat unconventional one, but it’s far from ridiculous. People are still entranced by the feel and smell of new notes — enough to hoard them. The feeling fades as you grow older and realise that the value of a ₦1,000 note does not increase to match its crispness level. But there remains a certain compulsion to spend older notes first, while saving the best (fresh note) for last. For Feranmi, that’s a life hack. It helps her save money until she absolutely has to spend it. Hey, if it works, it works!

2. “Have a financial goal for the future and stick to your monthly goals to achieve it.” — @buzzedison

Every time there’s a conversation about money — saving, spending, investing, financial discipline or even financial freedom — the topic of budgeting always comes up. The reason for any budget is to meet a goal: a spending goal, a saving goal, creating wealth. 

Little drops of water that make an ocean. You need to make smaller, realistic and attainable goals to get to that ideal future. Breaking down that big goal into monthly, weekly, and even daily money goals keeps you in check and helps you spend wisely and save more. That’s financial discipline 101!

3. “10% of salary in a 4-year Safelock, then spend the interest.” — @fresh_fisherman

This is a genius hack: Use your money to make money at zero risk. Safelock is PiggyVest’s version of a personalised fixed deposit; it helps you lock away money until an agreed date. This user has a point: If you’re going to lock your money for four years, you probably be living it up with our upfront interest.

4. “Moving back home. Big life hack.” — @ebi_sineh

If you’re one of those who practically fled home to preserve their mental health, feel free to move on to the next hack. Stick around if you don’t belong to that group. 

It’s okay to admit that you’re struggling to make ends meet. Rent and utility bills are no joke. One way to cope is to move back home with your family. It might be the money-saving life hack you need. There are no brownie points for living as a pauper just because society says you’re old enough to live alone. If you have a big ego, it might sting. But it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Living with family does wonders for your finances, especially when trying to save up for a big project. 

5. “Buy things in bulk. Save before spending. Track how/what you spend. Don’t oversave.” — @pixelKeem

Here we have the infallible trio: bulk buying, saving and budgeting. With 133 million Nigerians living in multidimensional poverty, these hacks may only apply to those who have the privilege of spare cash.

That said, let’s talk about the most curious part of this hack. Oversaving. Is that even a possibility? 

Well, this user went on to explain what it means to oversave: “Ideally, you should save 30% or 20% of your income using the 50-30-20 rule. Where 50 = need, 30 = want, & 20 = savings/investment. Saving 50% of your income will make you go broke before the month ends or require you to spend from your saved funds.” 

It’s a 10/10 insight. The truth is that, while you should save before you spend, setting money aside should not be a priority when your basic bills need attention.

6. “Buy quality no matter how expensive (buy cheap, buy twice). Measure a purchase’s value by how significant it would be to your life routine by next week. Check for and use coupons and discount codes when shopping.” — @ThetundeT.

The cost of poverty is high, meaning that low-income individuals tend to incur more expenses — often more than just monetary ones. Quality is a luxury, but the expensive (read: quality) stuff is always cheaper if you can afford it. Knowing how to shop is an underrated money-saving skill. Also, to save money shopping online, you must learn how to hunt for the best deals

Another way to save money is by gauging the immediate value of a purchase and how it positively impacts your daily life. Buying on impulse is often a way to appease your emotions, so let some time pass between when you feel the urge to make that purchase and when you actually pay for it. 

 7. “Never having FOMO.” — @chiorrama

FOMO sucks. The fear that you’re missing out on a life-changing experience can make you go places or make purchases you can’t afford. That fear has deepened since the rise of social media. Comparing your lifestyle with the picture-perfect lives of other social media users with expensive lifestyles and trendy items can leave you feeling down. 

It can happen even in your immediate surroundings — having friends or family members who can afford to live luxuriously may cause you to start living above your means.

But you should be able to resist. Save money by learning to say no when an outing or expense goes beyond your budget, without feeling too bad about it. It’s not easy, we know. But it’s worth it. Real ones shouldn’t care how much you’re worth anyway.

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