Many can agree that while living in an expensive city such as Lagos, it is difficult to live within your means.
The phrase “live within your means” simply means to spend less or only as much money as you’re earning in order to avoid exceeding your budget or going into debt. For many people, this is a lot easier said than done especially when you live in an expensive city. It is difficult but achievable.
The following are ways you can be debt free even if you’re a low income earner in Lagos:
Track your finances
The first step to take in living within your means is to keep track of your income and expenses. It is very important to know what is coming in and what is going out. That way, you can know when you begin to spend more than you earn.
Save on Accommodation
Don’t get an accommodation bigger than what you need at the moment. Get an apartment you can conveniently pay the rent. Your friend lives on the Island doesn’t mean you have to move to the island as well. You can get a decent and affordable accommodation on the mainland and then furnish to taste. Don’t get a house you will struggle yearly to pay for.
Save on transportation
Transportation is one of the things Lagosians spend their money on the most. You don’t have to use Uber or Taxify to everywhere you’re going. You can use the popular danfo as well as Bus Rapid Transit(BRT). There are new BRT buses operating in Lagos which are equipped with Air-condition, USB charging port and even CCTV cameras for security purpose. Using danfo and BRT is very cheap and will save you a lot at the end of the month.
Cut down unnecessary bills
Bills will definitely arise in different forms most of which are inevitable. Be smart in your spending and cut down on expenses when you can.
I. Don’t put your kids in expensive schools, rather put them in schools you can conveniently afford because expensive schools doesn’t necessarily guarantee good results. Just make sure they attend a good school.
II. Having an expensive cable TV when you don’t earn much is quite unnecessary. Go for a more affordable cable and upgrade as your income upgrades. For example, you can go for GOTV instead of DSTV. Most times, you end up watching the same TV stations anyway ?.
III. Don’t spend too much to eat fancy meals. A lot of eateries now sell meals that are pocket friendly. You can get a Refuel meal (Rice, chicken and a drink) for as low as #500 at Chicken Republic. You can also get a mini pizza with a drink for just #600 at Domininos.
You can enjoy and quench your appetite without tearing your pocket ?.
IV. Don’t spend too much to have fun. There are parks in Lagos where you can hangout with friends and family for free.
Muri okunola park, Johnson Jakande and Tinubu Park, Ndubuisi Kanu Park as well as Rafiu Jafojo are examples of free parks you can visit in Lagos. You can go to the cinemas on certain days when there are discounts and price slashes.
You can have your desired fun without spending too much or spending at all.
Living within your means also involves you not engaging in unnecessary competitions with friends, family or even neighbours. Don’t follow trends, especially fashion trends because you want to look better than people around you. Yaba market can be your go to store for affordable clothes with good quality. Wear clean and ironed clothes, you will still look good. Don’t try to live a fake life in order to impress or meet up with the standard of the people around you. They may be earning more than you do and in a bid to shadow their lifestyle, you might end up over doing yourself.
Learn to Save
You should prioritize your needs over your wants. Know the difference between your wants and the things you really need. It is okay to spoil yourself once in a while but don’t make it an habitual thing. There are some problems that doesn’t just show up. You may not own a house but you knew you would still have to pay rent. So it’s not an emergency. Learn to save so you would have extra cash for when inevitable issues come up.
It is important to live a debt free life to avoid unnecessary stress and embarrassment. Don’t go broke trying to be lavish in this Lagos or anywhere in the world at that. By living within your means, you can live a good and fun filled life irrespective of your pocket.