The cost of goods and services are soaring everyday in Nigeria, with no regard for the size of your earnings. So it naturally makes sense to starting implementing effective strategies for money-saving, while cutting down our overall spending. On the long run, such strategies will give you peace of mind; and help you develop a savings culture.
Without further ado, let’s explore proven strategies for effective money-saving in Nigeria (and beyond).
Buy Foods and Provisions in Bulk
Bulk buying of groceries, foods and provisions for the home is one of the vital strategies for money-saving. You will have the advantage of bargaining with sellers to get more quantity for less. You will also spare yourself of frequent trips to the market, thus saving time and transportation cost.
However, when it comes to food, you can only safely buy non-perishable items in bulk. It is best to buy fresh foods (such as raw meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and fruits) and consume them quick enough. You must also pay attention to the expiry date of groceries. You would not want to store a product whose expiry date is quite close to the present time – that would amount to a waste.
Learn to Cook More of Your Own Food
Rather than buying cooked food, you would save yourself a hefty amount in the long run if you prepare your own meals at home. The entire cost of eating out can be expensive, especially when you do so frequently.
In addition, cook and pack your brunch (breakfast and lunch, as is often the case in Nigeria) to the office. With your own home-made meals close by, it will reduce the temptation of buying food outside when you get hungry.
Minimize Waste by All Means
There are several strategies for money-saving that you must carry out to specifically reduce waste. And there are lot of them. Here are a few examples.
You Have a Refrigerator? Use it Wisely
If you have a refrigerator, you can cook certain foods, stews, and soups in advance and store them there. They are likely to stay fresh for up to 3 weeks (or more in some cases). When you need any such food, scoop out only what you need, and reheat it.
Don’t Waste Your Food
Learn to cook and eat just the quantity of food you need. Don’t cook more than is needed, except you want to store such food in a refrigerator.
Do Your Own Household Chores
Carry out your own household chores instead of outsourcing them. The convenience of getting a cleaner or laundryman to relieve you of doing laundry or tidying your apartment feels good. That is, until you check how much you spend outsourcing your chores on a monthly basis.
Look Out For Free and/or Low-cost Entertainment Packages
It is a wise move check out for free or low-cost fun events, outings and other sources of entertainment.
There are often free concerts and fun gatherings you can attend around town; and in locations not far from your homestead. If you are not sure which ones are available, you can check such websites as Eventbrite for a guide.
Again, istead of streaming videos, you can download and watch them later. There are also free video entertainment platforms you can patronize without paying for subscription; YouTube and Vimeo are examples. You can also stay back home and watch a downloaded (or bought) movie, instead of going to the cinema.
If you are a video game buff, why not play more of free mobile and video games at home? It will save you a ton.
Avoid Entering Public Transport During Rush Hour
It is a common Nigerian phenomenon that transport fares get hiked during the rush hours. Early in the morning, and evening time after work/school hours are times of heavy traffic and – of course – higher transport fares. It is so common in major cities like Lagos.
Unless it is absolutely necessary for you to get out at that time, learn to plan your trip. You can leave a bit earlier or later (while you can safely do so) to reduce the stress and cost.
Make Good Use of Travel Packages, Discounts and Deals
If you are planning to travel, or just go on a vacation trip, check for travel packages. You can obtain flight packages, transport deals, restaurants, hotel and vacation discounts and promotions that will ease your spending. You may liaise with a travel agent, or check on reputable travel sites for some guidance while planning your trip.
The 30-Day Rule
The urge to buy things on impulse can be so strong when you see an item that catches your fancy. But do you actually need it? One good way to control that urge is to set aside the money with which you intend to buy that item for about 30 days. You can put it into a special savings wallet.
If after 30 days you believe you still need it, then you can go ahead and purchase it. Remember to purchase more of items YOU ACTUALLY NEED, not merely want to have.
Create a Spending Budget and Stick to It
Learn to create a monthly budget to cover absolutely all your spending. That includes utility bills, rent, entertainment, food, provisions and everything else. That way, you can consciously plan to save. Once your spending threatens to exceed your budget, stop yourself from further spending as much as possible.
Other useful strategies for money-saving that you can put to work include:
- Learn to buy original goods, because they will last much longer than cheaper alternatives. If it is an electronic device, you may also enjoy warranty of a few months/years. That should cover free repair and/or replacement when it is necessary.
- Get yourself one or more insurance policies. For instance, you should subscribe to a health insurance with an HMO. The monthly amount deducted from your earnings into a health insurance package is far more affordable than the amount you will spend when a health emergency happens. Additionally, the health insurance will conveniently cover your medical bills when the need arises. Similarly, having a personal injury or car insurance will cover any medical bills when an accident occurs.
- Ideally, your annual rent should not be more than your three months’ salary. Having this in mind will help you to escape unnecessary debts and plan for other needs.
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