Girding yourself for more rainy days


A friend sent me an economic forecast from a summit recently concluded as it affects the on-going down time in Nigeria. Estimating from facts and statistics that the recession may not get better until 2019. First impression, honestly, was fright. But then, fear will not solve anything. What do I do with the information I have in order to be self-sustaining until the recession is over, I asked myself.

Of course, this is nothing peculiar to Nigeria. It happens all around the world and I strongly believe that until this generation learns to live within their means, we will always cry of recession. Needless to say that the stability of any economy is never guaranteed.

In an economic crisis, only those that are both smart and persistent will survive. People who have certain innovations and the service deliveries that people generally can’t resist will be on top of this trying times. You might want to check out some of the businesses that will always thrive no matter the state of the nation.

However, if you are going to survive a recession, there are some factors you need to keep in mind:

  1. Get more sleep. I know – it sounds weird. It’s like someone saying to you when you’re losing money that all you need to do is waste more time. But really, who did worrying ever help? Having a regular, reasonable bed time is good for you in any case. Look at it this way, it will lower your monthly expenses :). You will use less electricity, you won’t do any late night snacking or drinking, hence spending more on feeding, talk less of the health benefits of avoiding unnecessary illness from worrying. Make sense now?
  2. Cut back on food. Women can relate better on this. All those little spending on fridge, pantry, kitchen stocking can run into hundreds of Naira if you actually sit to calculate it especially if you are the type who is keen on keeping your family well fed at all times. You have your husband and children going to the fridge every other minutes especially on weekends. Bottom line, a major expense for most income earners is food. Other than rent, water, and other bills, food is something you spend money on daily. If you can cut back on that, you will have more savings left over. You can cut back on expensive food as well. Do a lot of cooking yourself, instead of eating out too.
  3. Work your mind into the saving mode. You can do without new clothes for now. In recent times, I have questioned why I keep letting my sisters talk me into giving them my beautiful shoes and clothes and bags. Then I find I’m left with little for myself or I’m forced to have to buy replacements. If I were to consider my age and years of working, I ought to have enough to last through the recession. Lesson – keep what you have now, do away with unnecessary buying. As it applied to Nigerians, aso ebi is another thing that’s totally not compulsory as well. You need that money to go into other important monthly expense. Visiting online stores, will have you buying things you might not need at the moment or you find you are buying things in actuality that isn’t as was posted. Return policy or method of returning them might be tedious and you end up wasting money. If you really have to buy something, then you should go down to the stores and markets to get them. You will surely spend a lot less, plus the thought of an actual market and the stress might show you that you do not really need to purchase that item. Sticking to your budget is another way to save money. Hopefully you have one you have drawn out.
  4. Extra income. Every other quarter in the year now, you hear that people are being laid off work/paid employment. But there are always jobs for people who are ready to work hard. If you pay attention to what you love to do, perhaps you might find a creative way to make money from it in addition to your paid employment. So you might want to look at ways to earn more income while you have the stamina.
  5. Cut your hair short or go African natural. Not the kind of expensive natural hair growth women are going crazy over these days. I don’t get how keeping a healthy natural hair has become a fortune, investing in organic this and that. I would have advised to get wigs if you can’t maintain a natural hair but everything about the modern woman has become overly expensive.
  6. Cut down on unnecessary phone calls. Restrict your airtime to calls with purpose (work, business). There’s no need to ask your friend what he/she is eating or staying on a call for an hour discussing what nail polish color to wear to an event. There are tons of instant messaging services. Embrace them.
  7. Get rid of your grey charges. If you don’t regularly check your credit card and bank statements, you should really start. Additional minor charges, small fees, subscriptions, renewals and other charges that many of us don’t notice actually add up to hundreds of Naira each year especially if it happens across several accounts.
  8. Active living is cheaper living. The more you spend working on your health and fitness, the less time you’ll have to shop, go out to eat, go clubbing, go to the movies etc. these things make you spend otherwise. Not only will you save money, you will be healthier with a better body to show for it 😉

Have I been able to give some helpful tips? I hope I have.

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