Saving alone might not be the gateway to financial freedom, but it sure does provide security on a rainy day. We spoke to different Nigerians to find out if they’d had one of these rainy days, and how their savings came through for them in those dire times.
We chronicled their responses below.
“After my boyfriend asked me to leave his place in September” — Onyi
My savings came through for me last year, after my boyfriend asked me to leave his place in September. Since the January prior to that, I’d been putting away ₦10k a month, so I had about ₦100k saved up. My boyfriend had been feeding me while I focused on transporting myself to work, and now the responsibility of transportation and feeding fell on me.
Luckily, I had a friend that let me stay with her. But this new place was much farther and was almost double the transport fare, so this money went a really long way. I had some peace knowing that I had emergency funds to support myself under such harsh conditions.
“Insecurity was on the rise then, so I immediately started looking for a car to buy“ — Ifeyinwa
I chose to start saving after I paid rent in 2019. Omo, my account was red! I couldn’t afford to be as comfortable as I usually was, so I had to go back to the drawing board. I knew what my income was, but I wasn’t tracking my expenses. So I created an Excel spreadsheet with my expenses: hair, nails, groceries, black tax, internet and everything I could think of. I now knew what was frivolous and what wasn’t. Then I created a second column for leftover money. This was nearly 50% of my salary.
That was how I started moving a bulk of my money into one of my bank accounts that had no ATM cards or bank app. If I needed money, I would have to go to the bank. Then I switched to PiggyVest at some point, and I was able to save automatically and constantly at the end of the month. And I was able to save about ₦1.6 million in a year.
Insecurity was on the rise then, so I immediately started looking for a car to buy. I finally found a Toyota that fit my budget, even though I had to add some extra money to complete the funds. I was glad to have a large chunk of it handy. Saving helps me a lot — I just deny myself present pleasures to save for future ones. I’ve also saved to travel, and I want to travel more. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that in the second half of 2023.
“I needed to buy stuff for the house” — Lilian
Two years ago, I started saving up for a course that cost around ₦180k. I was at ₦100k, then boom, my company transferred me from Abuja to Ibadan. Though they gave me accommodation allowance, it still wasn’t up to the amount I needed. Especially since I needed to buy stuff for the house. This meant I needed to dip my hand into my savings.
Now this one may sound vain, but you only live once, abeg. This year I wanted something extra special for my birthday so I started saving last year for it. I had a photoshoot idea in my head, so I saved up for it and did it! I felt so good, and I had one of the best birthdays ever.
“I attended a family event where my phone was stolen” — Oluwatobiloba
I always save money. Even without any specific goal in mind, I don’t play with my monthly PiggyVest autosave. In a bad month, I lock away at least ₦200k; I aim for more in a good month. This is also aside from my different target savings, so I have my money for rent and other big purchases available when due.
Last year, I travelled home in December and attended a family event, where my phone was stolen. Till today I can’t even tell you what happened, because I’m not a careless person. One minute I was dancing and the next I was sweating and panicking. I had to hang in there till the 31st to withdraw and buy a new phone. I don’t like unplanned expenses, so removing ₦600k from my savings still hurts my chest to this day.