Survival Tips For These Hard Times… BY AGBA JALINGO

In Breaking News, Opinion

No one can deny how hot it is out there economically. I think that is one area where all the divides agree on. That country hard! Surviving here is made more excruciating daily. There are no off-the-shelf prescriptions for a panacea but you can consider making some adjustments to enable you to swim through the period.

  1. Reduce Burial Expenses:

I started from here deliberately because I consider burial ceremonies in our clime and how much they cost our people as the most inordinate manner of spending money. We travel hundreds of miles and sometimes across continents and spend a fortune to go and bury many who die in penury. There is a reason. We all want to give the departed a befitting burial. But are burial ceremonies actually for the departed or a feast for the living?  No one ever got a trophy for the best or biggest or most befitting burial. It’s simply our own desire to impress those who attend. It’s not for the dead.

It is important and human, that we all should participate in giving those who die proper burials, but as things continue to bite harder in Nigeria, it is time to reconsider what this particular budget head has been costing your income and reduce it drastically. You may consider exiting those numerous WhatsApp groups created for burial donations. You may also want to send only a part of the money fixed for the ceremony and use the other elsewhere. You may have to attend the next burial with the dress in your wardrobe and not the uniform they are selling for the burial ceremony. Etc. Anyhow you want to do it, just try and reduce this cost and use the money for more essentials.

  1. Reduce Wedding Expenses:

This is very crucial for young people who are just about to start a family. Unless you have inherited a fortune, please stop wasting money on lavish weddings. I know a young couple who got married and are now separated after only two months because of incessant fights over the wedding expenses they incurred. The vendors that offered services at their wedding are still owed money and are breathing down their throats to pay. The two kept blaming each other for incurring the debts. The tantrums became unbearable. They are now living apart and still paying the vendors bit by bit. That’s how badly they wanted to impress.

The economy is now requiring that you consider shrinking this expenditure, whether you are getting married soon or you are planning to attend a wedding. You may want to skip the bridal showers, you may want to skip the pre-wedding photo shoot, and you may want to do the religious and traditional ceremonies same day to save expenses if you must do the two. If you can invite fifty people, please don’t invite hundreds. You may want to hire a wedding gown instead of sewing a new one, after all, you won’t wear it again after that day. Just cut the expenses.

Your outfit, your jewelry, your shoes, your make-up, your transport, your gift; how much toll will they bring to your income? Can you continue to sustain it? How many weddings do you attend in a month? Can you just send support for the next one instead of your physical presence? Weddings are special days, but what is even more special is the journey after the wedding day. That is where you need to put the money.

  1. Reduce Church Expenses:

For folks that are deeply involved with religious activities, it is important to continue to give in times of hardship so that you will receive blessings too. But begin to sow strategically. Don’t throw your sowing on every proclamation from the pulpits. Even the pulpits are themselves affected by the biting economy and are targeting your wallets too. Sow as the Bible says, not as the pulpits command.

  1. Reduce Social Events Uniforms:

Every weekend, you are sewing new aso’ebi, to attend different events. How much does one cost you? How very important or essential are some of those social events and the uniforms? If any of them aren’t essential, just send your support and tighten your purse to ensure you save more for your real needs.

  1. Change The Children’s School:

Schools will definitely increase their fees. If you are struggling with it, swallow the ego and change the children’s school to an affordable one. It is more profitable to sleep and wake up with peace of mind that your kids are in school than to try to impress and nurse tension in your head because you can’t pay fees. Changing their school could help save you some headaches.

  1. Relocate To Cheaper Neighborhood:

If you are still renting a home, rents will also increase with the fuel hike. Consider moving into another secured neighborhood where rent is cheaper. You will make new friends when you get there. Losing your roof to the inability to pay rent in a posh neighborhood is more debilitating for families than moving to a cheaper neighborhood.

  1. Extra Stream Of Income:

Look for at least one extra stream of income. It is very important. You just have to. Even if it is getting a POS machine or selling something in front of your house, just something that can bring additional bucks daily. It’s very vital. Think of one.

  1. Choose Health Insurance Instead Of Emergency:

Emergencies are generally very difficult issues to deal with. Don’t wait until you or your family members fall sick and rush the emergency to the hospital. Doctors will make a kill of you and send you begging for money to pay before your loved ones can be treated. The FG has a functional health insurance scheme and there are numerous private HMOs offering the same service. The National Health Insurance Scheme, charges only fifteen thousand Naira per person, per annum for the health insurance policy. Put your family on that scheme and don’t wait until you have an emergency when you may not have money.

I think some of these may help out until anytime the economy improves, then we can return to the status quo. You aren’t obliged to do anything I have written here that is disagreeable with you. They are all just suggestions. Thank you.

Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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