12 reliable budgeting tips For Nigerians Amid the financial crisis


By Daniel Asikpo Aug 10, 2023


Creating a budget plan is one thing, sticking to it is another, especially for those who find the financial system tedious. The current Nigerian economic situation calls for rapid adjustment in order to cope. Here are a few tips to keep you going.


A woman and some jars with name tags on them representing essentials for allocation funds


One needs to allocate funds to various categories like housing, food, transportation, entertainment, savings, and more if need be work on forgone alternatives as it may imply during budgeting. With the minimum wage in Nigeria not enough to wage the weight of piled-up expenses to be made on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis, there is a need to revisit the drawing board or if none create one. Though I must say budgeting needs a bit of financial intelligence, discipline will keep you on track.


I must say, during the cash crunch due to the naira redesign the masses lost a lot to a few selected beneficiaries adding up to the premium motor spirit (commonly known as petrol) hike still at that time. Indeed loss seemed inevitable as it looked like a game of survival of the fittest. Yes, you survived, Congrats.


Nigeria has faced many economic challenges due to insecurity, poor fund mismanagement, naira depreciation and many more to count on the list. The latest would majorly be the removal of petrol subsidy which has hiked petrol price to its brim. High cost of living changes to a higher cost of living just like moving from a frying pan to a fire. 


Nevertheless, I have compiled 12 reliable budgeting tips to cope with this situation as you await ease soonest.


Review financial situation:  First, make an assessment to review your current financial situation with income, expenses and savings included. This helps to identify where you can cut back with strategized forgone alternatives.


Review debts: Make a list of persons or organizations you are indebted to and the time range to pay off. Get the total amount in figures and focus on paying off high-interest debts first. You may be wondering why pay off debts by this time? Simple, debt destabilizes and how sure are you if things at the current state will get better or even worse? One who pays off debts under challenging times has a greater chance to soar as the economy improves or remain calm if the economy worsens.


You can put up calls to your debtors for favourable time extensions with clear explanations with respect to changing times. Certainly, not all will understand you but some will and a few are very important to help you set your payout target and range. Avoid taking on new debts during challenging times.


Create a New Budget: Especially for those who already have one. Develop a new budget that reflects your reduced income and adjusted priorities. Allocate funds to essential categories first and then allocate any remaining funds to discretionary spending


Prioritize Essentials: Primary needs should be first on your list. Essential expenses such as housing, utilities, groceries, and healthcare go first. Discretionary spending on non-essential items should be trimmed. Unnecessary Parties and entertainment should be avoided. Identify and eliminate unnecessary subscriptions, memberships, and services that you can temporarily live without.


Negotiate Bills: Contact service providers and creditors to negotiate lower interest rates or payment plans. Some companies may be willing to offer temporary relief during difficult times.


Reduce Transportation Costs: The current Petrol price of over N600 calls for consideration when stepping out somewhere. Carpooling, using public transportation, or even working remotely if possible to reduce transportation costs is better. The transport fare itself has doubled, but I would still advise you to prioritize places before you go. It's better to put a call through to address specific issues with clients or friends rather than board a vehicle. It will save you extra bucks.


Cook at Home/Bulk Buying: Especially for parents with lots of mouths to feed. Cooking meals at home is often cheaper than eating out. Plan your meals, buy in bulk, and opt for affordable ingredients. One needs to be acquainted with how to get better nutrition using locally available resources too.


Shop Smart: In such times, one would say 'quantitative quality matters'. Look for sales, use coupons, and compare prices before making purchases. Consider buying from reputable brands that still manage to keep prices affordable yet have standard products or services to save money.


Emergency Fund Building: Create an emergency fund account where access is out of reach or procedural to access. One needs not to be unaware of unexpected expenses. As difficult as it may seem while adjusting your budget, strive to save a portion of your income in an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses.


Expand your means: As the saying goes 'it is better to hold onto one and not let go of another'. Learn to explore additional income streams. Look for opportunities to earn extra income, such as freelancing, part-time jobs, or selling unused items. Don't hesitate to discuss business ideas with friends and colleagues at work. You never can tell an idea that could add up to your stream.


Practice Simplicity: You need to practice frugality. Avoid fake life to please the masses. I'm not saying you should live rough but you need to be sure of what your means can afford. Learn to find satisfaction in simple pleasures. Conscious choices will save you extra bucks.


Monitor and Adjust: Make a weekly review of your budget and track your expenses to ensure you're staying on track. As earlier stated discipline is key, especially for newbies. Even if you are unable to keep up at the end of the week, don't terminate the budget. Adjust your budget as needed based on changes in your financial situation. Soon it will be easier to do with.


Budgeting is not inherited, it is practised. Anyone can do it depending on how important you find it to be and add to your life, especially in the current economic situation.



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