10 ways to cope with the increased cost of living.
Last week, our home assistant went to the market to shop for a few ingredients. On the list was tomatoes. I was at work when I received her call and she was frantic!
‘Aunty, I cannot buy tomatoes ooo, it is 4 small pieces for N200. I am going back home!’ I was glad she went to the market herself and discovered how expensive food items have become. Infact, since that day, she has been extra careful with food wastage.
It is obvious to everyone that the cost of living in Nigeria has amplified! Bread is more expensive, tomatoes are untouchable, petrol price is double, and transport fare is up! Yet, salary is same.
Here are 10 ways to cope with this increased cost of living.
- Have a budget. We’ve talked about budgeting before on mrsceonaija. If you missed the episode, please see here.budget
- Shop smartly: Please, have a list when shopping so you don’t buy irrelevant things. Keep your eyes focused on the items you listed on the sheet not every nice new thing on the shelf.
- Reduce entertainment subscriptions: If you have a cable subscription of 100 channels, you need to check if you really watch the 100 channels or if you can go lower to a cheaper bouquet with fewer channels. There is also a lot of free entertainment- movies, music, talks and documentaries online. You can complement with these.
- Stop paying interest: Try to get out of loans you’ve taken for expenses. A loan is justifiable if the investment was made in a business or asset that is generating income that covers the loan interests. Don’t take loans to appear like a big boy or big girl.
- Space out your vacations: You may want to have cheaper vacations in Nigeria versus travelling outside. You can also space out the vacations versus going every multiple times in the year.
- Text more, less call: One key expense that gulps a lot of cash is airtime/credit. Try to reduce this cost by texting more or even chatting on the many free chat apps.
- Shop discounts: This is a good period to shop during sales/discounts period. NO shame in getting a good bargain.
- Pack lunch to work: If you can, pack lunch to work instead of eating out daily. Even if you don’t have the time for this every day, you can try it out 1-2 times a week. It will go a long way to reduce your expense.
- Car pool: If you have friends or colleagues that live in your neighborhood, it makes sense to rotate who drives/whose car is used to work. Your friends can drive with you on some days whilst you drive with them on some other days. With this, you can reduce your transport fares significantly. You can even car pool taxis or Keke.
- Live in the right house size: If you have a small family, consider moving to smaller 1-2 room’s apartment versus a 5 bedroom mansion. You will save on your utilities cost, you will have fewer guest sleep over and you will need fewer hands to clean too.
Picture credit: aderonkebamidele