‘We dey manage.’ These used to be words used to feign humility, but as of late, many Nigerians are managing, as things get increasingly expensive in the market.
The fire was steadily stoked by growing inflation, the fall in the value of the naira against the dollar, and the incredible rise in the cost of fuel.
Newly self-supporting young people now have to consider carefully before they get dressed and leave the house. Because once you step outside, breathing will burn cash.
What about civil servants? They work diligently for a monthly salary that’s poorly adjusted for inflation.
So, at the end of the day, they’re struggling to keep up with the rising costs. The situation is dire for those who run a large family.
The cost of feeding alone would put you on your knees. Staple goods seem to double in price every month, and you’re left wondering how it’s all even possible.
Despite the odds, we all continue to cope and regardless of where you fall on the survival scale – whether it’s “Oh Lord, save my soul,” or “I’m OK. Can’t complain,” there are ideal ways to manage your finances better and ensure that you stay afloat.
Buy The Essentials in Bulk
Buying in bulk will help you spend less in the long run. You’d also be able to budget better. Most items would be more affordable in bulk, especially provisions you use often and exhaust quickly (tissue rolls, for example).
Some non-perishables, and long-keeping food stuff (onions, for instance) would also cost less in bulk than in retail quantities.
If you find such purchases to be strenuous for your pocket, find someone with whom you can split the costs.
They will also help keep you mindful of how fast you burn through your consumables, because by the time you consider how far off the next purchase will be, you will try and manage what you have better.
Automate Your Savings
This cannot be overemphasized. How else would you be able to plan for future events? By not saving, you’d be putting undue pressure on your earnings at a later date when several pressing matters arise, and you’d have to bear them in addition to your normal expenses.
You may have to go borrowing then – something that many people find most unpleasant. And if you decide to borrow from a lending agency, you’ll have to pay interest.
All this can be avoided if you simply learn how to put money aside for later use.
Spread Your Branches
In these trying times, it wouldn’t do to lay all the weight on one income source, even if it’s bountiful.
By diversifying your cash inflow, not only would you be able to cater for yourself and your family comfortably, but you’d also have some residual income that you can channel toward profitable endeavors.
Find Cheaper Alternatives
To maintain your quality of life and not have to cut back on stuff you are already used to, go for cheaper alternatives.
For instance, you might consider installing solar panels and retiring your generator. If particular products have become a staple for you, rather than stop buying them entirely, you can save costs by switching to a cheaper brand.
Try To Live Well Below Your Earnings
It’s tempting, even normal, to spend away when the month’s credit alert hits your phone. Before long though, everything is spent and you start counting down again to the next alert.
It’s often hard not to exhaust your entire earnings, especially when it’s not very large and you have many responsibilities to attend to, but if you don’t start now to restrict yourself just a little bit, you might have problems later on.
Figuring out how to manage the little you have at present will set you up for greater success when you eventually start earning more.
Don’t Put Off Major Purchases For Later
The rate of inflation in Nigeria is alarming. You might go to the market today to learn the price of something you intend to buy.
When you return sometime later, you’ll find that the price has increased by a lot. The situation will leave you incredulous.
So, if there’s something you know that you’d definitely get, go for it now and don’t put it off for later. The purchasing power of the naira is fast declining.
Minimalism – Many people are not fond of the word, nor do they fully understand it. Some think it’s the equivalent of living a life of lack or denial of enjoyment, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Minimalism is simply the careful elimination of things we can do without. It’s about being intentional about the way you acquire material possessions. It goes beyond being frugal and saving more as a result.
Rather, the “disciplined pursuit of less” makes your life easier, gets you more organized, gives you more peace of mind, and ultimately makes you happier.
You no longer have to bear huge maintenance costs and the like, and clutter won’t ever be a problem for you.
Get Rid of Your Money Pits
You might have certain habits or propensities that attract considerable non-recoupable costs. Those are your money pits.
By shedding them, your finances will be better for it. You might be someone who takes sudden flights of fancy and ends up splurging.
Or perhaps you’ve acquired properties you deem assets, but which are draining the life out of you.
It could also be that you tend to eat out a lot, or that going shopping is your idea of stress release. Whatever your money pits may be, start letting go of them.
Invest In Ward Against Future Inflation
Invest, invest, invest. Make plans to invest and start investing. Let your money make you money. You don’t have to create all your wealth from the sweat of your brows.
However, you should consider carefully what you want to invest in.
While we are on the subject of wise investments, see that you don’t fall victim to scams and get-rich-quick schemes.
Before you put down any seed, make sure that you’ve thoroughly considered the venture and determined that it has a strong rooting.
Don’t leave a large fraction of your money in the bank for long, especially when it doesn’t receive an attractive interest rate. If you are not ready to put the money to work, then hedge it against value loss.
One way to do this is to convert to a foreign currency (USD or Euro) or purchase a stable asset that you can easily liquidate.
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