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…


  1. b like me o...no more shopping and going to the malls like b4.lol

    About thats using the bus, its a good idea too cuz of gas tho im just abt to purchase my first car!

    Then....watelse...i cant think of any now sha but generally...cut down EVERY UNECCESSARY EXPENSE, they may look really tiny and not worth cutting off but do...cut it off!


  2. My friends in Naija have a few recession busting tips.
    - No more buying of aso-ebi.Ask for colour and check wardrobe.It's bound to be there.(and if not, wear something similar, it's ur presence that counts!)
    - Ditch all the househelps and gardeners.Get ur many cousins and relatives to do the housework instead.U only need to buy them ice-cream!
    - U don't need to buy the kids the latest toys.Gather all their toys in a big basket and bring out different ones each month.They would think it's brand new!
    -No more Mr Nice Guy!Ok, I know there are some relatives that really need financial assistance but there are always some Oliver Twists in their midst.Anytime they show up, complain about UR financial woes.They won't bother u again. Can't think of anything else right now....

  3. Cut down on excessive expenditure on perishable goods. Instead of buying lots of fruits and veg and end up throwing them away, buy just enough that you need.

    Stop shopping on impulse for Clothing, shoes that are not NEEDED

    just my 2 kobo

  4. Nice post...
    I guess the only thing i can think of is cutting back on unwated expenses...eat more home cooked food and spend less on buying food out of the house.
    For people who go to clubs, they can cut down on it...will keep thinking..lol

  5. pack lunch to work instead of going to tfc, mr biggs or tantalizers etc

  6. Great ideas so far! Trying to stall on posting them because the post will b a rather long one. Now torn between posting them here and just doing another post with the comments. Will decide in a bit. Please keep it coming.

  7. Avoid Debt:With astronomical interest rates you should be very careful before you use any debt in Nigeria .

    Live below your means: If you cannot save/invest at least 10% of your income you are living above your means. To live below your means you should save/invest about 20% of your monthly income, every other expenditure should be cut off or suspended.

    Take a Health insurance and a life Insurance: This eliminates 2 major financial risks you and your dependents may face.

    Invest in Real Estate using Investment Clubs: With the proposed decline in real estate, small investments in different real estate ventures, with minimal debt would be preferable to large investments. This form of investment is usually available using an Investment Club.

    “A person in grief can sit in a corner waiting for time to take care of bitter sorrow; time won’t do anything. It is what we do with time that can heal.” - Father Arnaldo Pangrazzi.

  8. I dey o my sister. Thanks for checking up on us. Recession dey hit us but we dey kampe. Hang in there!

  9. Yaaaaaay. I can FINALLY access your blog. :-)
    Well, I no dey Naija but my tips could be applicable everywhere.

    1. Cut back on eating out, and you know Naijas loove to eat out especially Naija people in Naija. As opposed to going to Mr. Biggs, Tantalizers, Happy Bite and whatever fast food is the new thing, pack your own lunch. I have saved so much money from not eating out 'cos that's how it adds up. Now I cook for the week in advance and pack it to work every day.

    2. I like the car pool idea. If na for Yanks I for say public transportation but we all know how that goes in Naija.

    3.If you're constantly going to the movies, Silverbird them...how about doing a movie day with the girls at your house.

    4. Buy a home manicure kit and do your own nails. I pluck my own eyebrows so that saves me $7 every 2 weeks or so that I would spend in waxing.

    5. Cut back on impulse and unneccesary purchases i.e clothes, travel, weddings. If you no fit afford aso ebi let the bride know, cos for these parts some people charge some ridiculous amount for asoebi and bridal train dresses.

    If I think of any, I will be back.

  10. Just wanted to say, I went back and read a bunch of your posts. Love the blog!

  11. okay. i need to learn how to live on a budget and my perfect beau is willing to teach me. those tips may just swing me his way. its been a while


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