Who else can relate to that wave of brokenness that hits you right after you graduate? Put your hands up in the air, I’m so sure I’m not alone.
When I was at Uni, I was a big girl and yes! I mean big girl; I never really had a broke phase because money was always just one phone call (and begging) away. I honestly thought after school too, things will be smooth but NO! it’s not, Life is hard.
I don’t get as much credit alerts as I used to anymore, everyone just expects me to woman up and learn how to stand on my own. This transition hasn’t been easy especially because I am not interning anywhere. I had some opportunities after grad, but I just didn’t take them because they weren’t things I wanted to do and I honestly felt I wouldn’t be happy (PS: Everyone thought I was being silly). Just so you know, I’m not lazing around, been taking courses, exploring and basically just learning new things.
Managing my finances hasn’t been easy, funds are going out more than they are coming in so it’s just been a heck of a job. Anyways these past few months some things have actually helped me so this is me sharing what I’ve been up to lately based on my logistics finances.
SAVE SAVE SAVE
Saving is something that we all find really hard to do but then it’s very important and is a really good habit to pick up. I find it hard to save but these two points below have helped me.
- I opened a second bank account, here I save money from all my small businesses and when I get ‘free’ money, instead of just dumping it into my account, I split and save some here. The logic behind this for me is that I’m so used to my old account, it’s connected to pretty much everything — Uber, apple ID, blah blah…and because I’m learning to be disciplined I hardly touch the other account unless in a case of an emergency.
- I opened a piggybank.ng account; this is an online savings platform that works just like the local daily savings or the wooden savings box. A certain amount of money is deducted weekly and saved to my piggy bank account, this way I’m saving without even making any effort plus my money is secure. The way it is structured, I have my withdrawal dates and if I do not adhere to my date I’ll be charged 5%. Because I don’t want that I have no choice but to ‘close my eye’. Oh, shoot! I almost forgot, there’s a safe lock option where I can transfer money to my account and lock it, it’s like normal bank fixed account but with better interest rates and the cool thing is interest is upfront. It’s pretty simple to use, so here’s a link –> HERE
I LEARNT TO SAY NO!
The moment you learn to say No to friends, yourself and bad habits you have made it in life. These past few months out of school have though me that discipline is key in life. I still make some bad spending decisions but I’m way better than what I used to be. Master the art of saying No and life will just be better for you.
I FOUND CHEAPER OPTIONS
I barely took public transport while in school, I preferred cabs because they were just more comfortable plus I just wasn’t used to entering buses. I tried calculating how much I had spent on cabs and I’m even too embarrassed to say it. Let me give you an insight, in a week I spent nothing less than 5k on cabs, I was in school for 5 years, do the math. Ever since grad, I’ve taken more buses than I did throughout my stay in uni. I still take my cabs though, but only when I really want to look crisp and fresh to where I’m going. This switch has actually saved me a lot of money.
Another cheap option I’ve explored is thrifting. The mentality people have of thrifting or “Okrika” like we’ve always known is that it’s for poor people. Thrifting is fun and amazing, the prices are just too good and with a good eye, you get really good and unique pieces. I still shop at stores once in a while, but it just has to be really amazing and wardrobe complimenting before I purchase it.
CHOOSE MY HANG OUT AND EVENTS
There are a lot of cheaper ways to have fun in Lagos without breaking your bank account
- Attend Festivals. Lagos is gradually turning to abroad, there are fests all the time; from food fest to hair fest to football fest blah blah. All these gatherings are fun especially when you go with friends.
- Free Events!!!! Ignorance is a sin, don’t say you didn’t know. Ever since I followed @nothingtodoinlagos I have been getting info on really good free events line up, you should follow them on IG. They even host picnics and movies at really cheap and affordable rates.
- Split The Bill! Biko, It’s ok to split the bill it doesn’t show poverty it’s just you being sensible. If you decide to take a cab with me, I’m not paying alone or if we go to eat we are splitting that bill.
- Know Where I’m Going To! I’ve developed this new habit of calling or checking the price list online before I go somewhere If it’s a place I can’t afford I just switch to a cheaper option and wait for someone to take me there lol (it’s sweet to spend other people’s money)
- Still, On Cheaper Options, find the same fun but in a cheaper option. Let me give you an instance, I love going to the beach, wearing bikini and playing in the water. Back in school, due to all our “connects” Illashe beach was the place to do all that due to its privacy, the other cheaper options around were either too rowdy or dirty. Due to my financial status, I’ve found a cheaper option which is Takwa Bay and when I go there its just as much fun. When big money enters, I fit go illashe or inagbe. But when people offer to take me, I’m down oh! Who no like better thing!
BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET.
I feel it’s important to set spending limits for yourself and stick to it! I did a calculation on how much airtime I use up weekly and once again I’m too embarrassed to tell you, just know it’s a lot. This pushed me to set limits for the various things I need money for in a month. I make a conscious effort daily to try not to spend above my budget. This past week I actually cried because I didn’t adhere to this and my bank account was just frowning at me.
I do not have large sums of money to invest in something big so I’ve started small. In May my small business startup is going to kick off, and based on financial projections it’ll give me “small small” income. And by Gods grace I’ll save and keep investing and making more money, I have big plans for myself.
It is a good thing to cultivate good financial habits and I really do hope this post helps someone out there. I don’t have my whole finance structure all figured out but I believe these small conscious efforts I’m making will go a long way.
The Black Writer
IG: @The.Onographer ( photography and art page)