Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Surviving the recession

I have had a lot on my mind recently (yeah, what else is new). The thing that most occupies my mind is this global recession and how it affects me. I have tried to talk about it with some of my friends but find that a lot of people are not even sure that we are in a recession and a few others that do know think that they can keep living their lives normally until economic forces force them to adjust (pardon the pun). I find that the typical Nigerian behavior is reactive rather than proactive and what this means is that we wait until a simple challenge has turned into a complex labyrinth before we start working our way out of it. I am guilty of this too. After all, I am Nigerian.

However, I have decided that on this particular issue I have no choice but to be as proactive as possible. I am no expert but the way I see it, there are 2 things I can do.

1. Cut back on all unnecessary expenses. Frugality has to be the watchword. 

2. Find a source of income other than my salary. (I used to have one but kind of abandoned it   when I changed jobs).

I have even started reading some frugality blogs in the hope that I can learn a few things. Most of the tips don’t apply to us here in Nigeria. [However, this may interest owners of gold jewelry]. I did manage to find some tips here but some of them are much too extreme for my taste. This is the list I really like.

So I am throwing it open. If you have any ideas that are relevant in Nigeria, please put them down in the comment box and I will update the post by putting up a list of everyone’s ideas.

Let me get the ball rolling by putting up a few ideas of my own.

      1. Car pool. That way you save on cash spent on petrol. Also use the staff bus if that option is open to you.

      2. Draw up a budget every month and follow it. If you have a spreadsheet allocating money to specific expenses, it easier to see if there is an unnecessary cost or a cost that can be adjusted so that you can save money. I recently saved about N62, 000 after adjusting my daughter’s after school schedule. My spending is now more cost-effectively done since I started using a spreadsheet for budgeting.  

Over to you…