By Jaiyeola Johnson
Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics last week, officially confirmed that we are in recession. As expected, most of us have started panicking. A friend of mine hit me up last week and we got chatting, I remarked “its been a while oh” and he responds with “yes now, haven’t you heard that were in recession?”. I kid you not, recession is fast becoming the new way of saying “hi”.
Seriously tho, I know things haven’t been easy for us financially, so here are a few tips on how we can save money whilst having fun.
Make a budget/spending diary – this one is basic economics and common sense. If you’re not making a budget, you need to start doing that now. Make a list of the expenses you intend to incur even before your salary arrives. Trust me it makes more sense on paper. And if you have a spending diary, it’s easier to learn from past mistakes regarding frivolous spending.
Buy in bulk – it’s cheaper in the long run to buy in bulk, most especially for household items that you’re sure to make use of. Don’t go and be shopping for clothes, weaves and shoes in bulk oh. It’s more applicable to groceries, washing soap, toothpaste, detergent, powder, disinfectant, etc.
Bargain, Bargain, Bargain – trust me, there is no shame, whatsoever in this. Make sure to bargain for the best price, when buying things at the market. If the vendor, is still smiling when you’re done bargaining, start all over again.
Pack your lunch – whether you’re student or a worker, it will greatly help your savings if you pack your lunch from the house as opposed to buying food outside. Most times, you already have food stuff stocked so it will cost you little or nothing to prepare a quick lunch.
Unsubscribe to email deals and sales alert – I’m sure ladies will relate to this one more. You order a dress from an online store, and the next thing your email is flooded daily with enticing deals on various fashion items. Darling, flee from temptation by clicking that unsubscribe button below.
Buy used stuff – not everything you purchase must be brand new. Buy fairly used clothes, gadgets, equipment’s and even shoes. The truth is nobody really knows as long as you’re looking good and neat. And even if they know, why do you even care? We’re all in recession.
Drive less – Going by the recent increase in fuel price, this one is a “no-brainer”. Walk over short distances instead of driving. You call it trekking, I say it’s Exercise. This is a good time to invest in a bicycle too, keep fit and save money. Evaluate the places you’re going to. Before you start up your engine, ask yourself “is this bringing money”, “is it worth my time?”.
Don’t be a “yes man” – I know a lot of people who are guilty of this. You just don’t know how to say no, when people ask you for favours, when they try to sell something to you or even invite you for an event. It might seem like you’re being nice, but it’s costing you money in the long run. Learn to politely decline. Stop doing freebies (free jobs). Prior to setting out for an event, ask yourself if it’s that important, or if the distance to the venue is reasonable enough from your home.
Skip meals – Eat twice a day, instead of three. By doing that, you not only save cost on a third meal, but you’re much hungry and less picky when eating.
Reduce spending on airtime – We may not notice this but the average Nigerian spends over 5% of their income on recharge cards. That wouldn’t be a problem, if you’re having business related conversations that will bring in money. But if like most people, you’re having meaningless gist, you need to stop that now. Thanks to technology there are cheaper ways to keep in touch. Invest in a data plan and use a chat messenger instead; nowadays you can even make phone calls on these chat platforms.
Get rid of junk – Make an inventory of everything you own and discard items you no longer use. This will create more space in the home for you and you will also feel more peaceful. If you’re lucky, you can even sell some of these items and make some cash.
Get exercise –Exercising is free most times; you don’t necessarily need to enroll in a gym. Take a walk, jog, run, do sit ups and other form of exercises. This way you feel healthier and prevent unnecessary spending on medical bills.
Unplug electric devices when you’re not using them – not only is this a safe way of preventing accidents but you can also save up on your electricity bill if you use a prepaid metre.
Switch to a bank that respects you – when a bank keeps charging you for ridiculous maintenance fees, alert charges and stuff you don’t even understand. I think IT IS DISRESPECTFUL. I recently changed banks for this reason and so can you.