Savings In Nigeria: How You Can Save And Spend Wisely
It is not surprising that in the current Nigeria economy, we cannot totally depend on salary alone ( that’s even if the salary is dependable).
And it is sad that so many people live directly on their salary, no back up plan and this our current Gen-Z that loves to ‘chop life’.
It’s not but essential for us to be accountable to our finances, find the loopholes and fix them before ‘sapa’ comes calling.
We then need to find the best savings app in Nigeria to use but before then, let’s first find how we spend money and what exactly we spend money on.
As a young adult that is planning for the future, even though money is never enough, you CAN be accountable to your savings.
You need to understand what exactly you spend your money on and how to save without harming yourself/ needs in the process. The next process might involve little bits of calculations and headache but trust me, it’s worth it.
Firstly, you want to get your bank statement for the past 2-3 months, which you can generate via your mobile app. Some banks even send it automatically at the end of the month. It is advisable to tell your bank to send it to your mail every month so as to make yourself accountable.
Generate your statement of account for the past 3 months or you can go to the bank to request for the print out. The cost is around 20 Naira. After generating it, you would need to study them and it will then lead to the next step.
Then, you need to itemize things you spend money on. This part might be the most tricky and boring part but trust me, it’s worth it.
Get a sheet of paper and a pen or you can open Google sheets or excel etc, ( it is advisable to use digital methods so you can check your expenses every months and see how you do and if you can keep paper and pen very well, why not)
You create 4 columns ( on the paper, draw 4 lines), you then name each of these columns into 4 different names.
Income | Fixed| Flexible |Optional
That’s how you should name your columns then let’s take each of these columns one after the other and treat them. You can treat them month by month so as to know how you are doing.
The first thing is to write down your total income that comes to your account, from your salary, your investment, bonuses, businesses etc. You have to write it down.
Let’s take an example, Mr A earns 100 thousand Naira as salary for the month of January, he also earns 20 thousand Naira from his business, got 5 thousand Naira as bonus from a friend and he didn’t get any money for business.
He also got 60 thousand Naira to help someone else keep it but because this 60 thousand is not for Mr A, it would not be accounted for.
At the end of January, Mr A got a total income of 125 thousand Naira.
You can go through your account or wherever and also calculate yours as well. After you have done this, we then move to the next step.
2. FIXED EXPENSES:
These are non-negotiable expenses, something that is fixed and you cannot negotiate e.g your house rent, utility bills, loan etc.
You cannot argue these expenses so you calculate all these expenses and know exactly the amount or percentage of these it is taking from your account.
Continuing with our Mr A, let’s assume he pays 40 thousand Naira per month on rents, pays 10 thousand Naira on utility bills and 5 thousand Naira on loan. That’s a total of about 55 thousand Naira fixed expenses for Mr A in the month of January.
With a little calculation, (55/125 × 100 = 44%), that’s a total of about 44% of the total amount of money that Mr A got for the month of January.
3. FLEXIBLE EXPENSES:
These are expenses that are also very important but they are negotiable e.g your grocery bills, data, skincare, gym subscription, airtime etc.
You see that they are as well important but they are very much negotiable and this is where you need to start cutting the budget.
If your friend buys 10 thousand Naira worth of data and survives doesn’t mean you should too, you can buy 5 thousand Naira and limit your screen time and especially your social media time a little bit.
Same goes to your other flexible bills too ( some people have a dozen skincare that they cannot maintain at all, rest sir and ma you are beautiful just the way you are).
You have to write down exactly the amount you spend on each of the listed expenses to know which you could adjust or change
Mr. A , our guy, assumes spends 10 thousand Naira on data and airtime, 5 thousand Naira on gym subscription, 8 thousand Naira on groceries and 2 thousand Naira on skincare which would amount to a total of 30 thousand Naira on his flexible bills, that’s roughly about 24% of his total salary for the month of January.
4. OPTIONAL EXPENSES:
These are nice things to spend money on but you can survive without e.g new shoes, new bag, new wig etc.
Yes, if you don’t buy a new wig, you can and will survive. These are things you need to be structurally spending money on not just wasting money unnecessarily.
Mr. A is a spender and knows how to ‘chop life’ very well and he spends 10 thousand Naira on food outside, 10 thousand Naira as giveaway to someone else, 15 thousand Naira on shopping which amount to a total of 35 thousand Naira, that’s about 28% of the total amount of money he made for January.
This would leave about 5 thousand Naira left for Mr A for the month which for me is very small compared to the actual money he made for the month.
He needs to cut his spending as he could have saved up to 30 thousand Naira or even more as savings if he spent wisely.
By now, you have done your calculations on how you spend money for the past two to three months. You have seen how much you earn and how much you spent.
This would help you cut off some unnecessary expenses and also cut down budgets on some expenses and also keep you financially inclined as well.
You might as well need some savings app and platforms in Nigeria that would help you save without stress.