With the recession in the country pinching hard, many Nigerians are finding ways to adjust and one of these is by being frugal. Here are 7 ways people are practicing frugality in these times:
1. They’re budgeting. This is the very first step for people who have been used to spending money as it comes in. People have dedicated budget jotters and Excel spreadsheets now, and they’re tracking their spending and separating wants from needs.
2. They’re saving power. Some people have done this for a long time, while some of us are just catching on. First, you switch to prepaid meter. Then you check your credit regularly and manage it wisely: lights off if there’s nobody in that room, TV off if nobody is watching it, air conditioner on only as needed, etc.
3. They’re eating less. Yep, there’s no way around this one. People who are being frugal are not eating out as much, and they’re eating only what they need to eat. None of that unrestrained buying and snacking.
4. They’re opting for cheaper alternatives. Ah, that word cheap. Okay, let’s say less expensive. Kelloggs has since given way to Nasco in many cornflakes-eating households, and lovers of noodles are choosing Mimee, Golden Penny, and other brands that don’t cost as much as Indomie. There’s a good cheaper alternative for everything, from diapers to vegetable oil, and they’re finding it.
5. They’re buying second-hand clothing. I had to see this to believe it. I stopped by the home of a very fashionable friend some weeks ago to pick her up for an event, and there she was in this hot ensemble which she told me cost little over 1k at Yaba. I was speechless.
6. They’re taking shop discounts seriously. Every bonus point, every voucher, every buy-one-and-get-one-free offer, goes a long way. A friend of mine recently got a 7000 naira voucher from a shop she often goes out of her way to patronize for their affordability. I was elated to walk into Medplus last week and come out with something I didn’t hand over cash for, thanks to my loyalty card points. Last year, I didn’t redeem my points. This year, I didn’t need a reminder. It was small money, but it mattered.
7. They’re staying at home. I asked a friend how she was coping with the recession and she said “I’m staying at home.” We both laughed about it, and agreed that although it isn’t the solution to everything, it does at least save fuel, and it certainly helps not to be out and seeing stuff that scream “Buy me!”
What are some tips that have helped you cope with this recession? Please share in the comments.