Just in case you haven’t heard it yet, Nigeria is officially in a recession.
First things first, ‘recession’ is not just a word, like the Minister of Finance claims.
Min of Finance @Mrskemiadeosun: ‘The diversification agenda is not a rhetoric.’ #Economy #Diversification #Nigeria pic.twitter.com/ljI945DxQv
— [Johannes Tobi W.] (@Johannxs) August 24, 2016
‘Recession’ has a real meaning, and it is not pretty at all. We’re going to explain what ‘Recession’ is to you in very basic terms. A recession happens when there’s a decline a country’s trade and industrial activity over a period of time (usually a few months) and the economy experiences negative growth. It is usually identified by a fall in Gross Domestic Product.
If your reaction to all that has been said above is:
Simply put, Nigeria is broke and we are all in trouble.
Before you start panicking, crying and shouting everywhere, we have a few solutions to help you cope during this trying period.
Here are 10 tips to help you survive during this recession.
1. Stay in your house.
Now is not the time to go out every weekend, or pop bottles in the club every Friday, so you might want to make your home a little more comfortable for yourself because you would be spending a lot of time in it. If you absolutely need to go out to have fun, consider going to parks or the beach rather than malls or expensive restaurants.
(Photo: Flagstaffhouse Flickr)
2. Cut down on unnecessary expenses.
Make a list of all your current expenses, and try and cut out those things that are not crucial to your survival, and save money. For example, you can go without cable tv and watch movies on your laptop instead. You can also substitute expensive products with cheaper, organic alternatives. For example, instead of buying expensive soaps, you can try African black soap.
If you absolutely need to change your wardrobe, or desperately need a fashion item, you should consider thrifting instead . You would be surprised at the amazing results. The best part is, it is super affordable and your inner fashionista doesn’t need to die of starvation because of the recession. You can check out this thrift store on Instagram.
4. Buy in bulk.
When you go shopping for foodstuff and household items, buy in bulk so you can save cost and get better deals. Don’t forget to look out for items on sale and bargain!
5. Set a budget.
Set a monthly budget ( remember to cut out on all unnecessaries) and stick to it. Do not make any expenses outside of what you’ve included in your budget except it is extremely important. Discipline is key.
6. Cook at home.
Cooking at home will help you save a lot of money, and be healthier too! There are various Nigerian meal ideas and recipes online to help you build a menu. If you don’t know how to cook, you can watch YouTube videos and check for recipes online.
Moving around is quite expensive, and even if you have a car, the price of petrol is not exactly encouraging. A brilliant way to save cost is to subscribe to ride sharing services such as Gomyway or Jekalo. This would help you to reduce the amount you spend on the commute to and from work daily, by a large amount.
Bring out that old piggy bank or wooden box and start storing away loose change. It’s going to come in very handy.
9. Do it yourself.
Every time there’s a problem to be fixed, or you need something new made, the first thing you should do is find out how to do it yourself and try your hands on some D.I.Y projects. These days there guides to do practically everything online. All you have to do is research! This will help you save money and get new skills.
10. Get a side hustle.
Now is not the time to tie your income to one stream, try as much as possible to get a part-time job or use your spare time to work on something that will earn you a little cash on the side. Avoid risky businesses or taking loans.