Money is such an important part of our lives. It’s amazing how we manage to talk about it without really talking about it. In this article, I asked seven Nigerian women to talk about their relationship with money. Here’s what they had to say:
I like to think my relationship with money is casual. I do not spend but I also do not save as much as I would like. I wrote a book and selling it has earned me money. Sometimes I write freelance. On average, I earn about 20k monthly. I am very calculative about how I spend it. Some of it goes to school assignment and projects. I also make contributions at church. Sometimes, I support my family using a part of it. I love giving people money because I believe what goes around comes around.
I am more of a save-it-all person when it comes to money. For a long time, I didn’t know how to spend money because I was used to not having a lot of money. But in 2020, I met this man on the internet. He is about 20 years older than I am. He sends me money often depending on when I ask or how he feels. I wouldn’t call him a sugar daddy because we have never met. The amount he sends fluctuates but since I met him in June he has sent me about 3 million Naira. Now I make sure I spend money on myself without feeling guilt or remorse but I still save aggressively.
Money was always scarce when I was a child not because we didn’t have it but because I grew up in a polygamous home. My father was headmaster at a school so he earned well for his time but he had two wives who had over ten children combined. He had to do a scale of preference when it came to giving his family and my mum’s side of the family was always at the bottom of the list. Because of this, I save money as soon as I get it. I believe that if you spend today when you don’t have to, you won’t have anything to use tomorrow. I tell all my children this. Saving money has helped my life so many times.
I like my relationship with money — I think it is healthy. I’m not a big spender so when I spend money, it has to be on things that are important and beneficial to me. I save a lot because I am scared of being broke. Currently, I work as a manager for my father. I earn about 50k monthly and I have to forego a lot of things so I can save it. I also invest some of the money in a farm. I believe if I can save enough, I could get whatever the hell I want.
I grew up being comfortable. I didn’t notice class until I grew up and realized that some people are poor and others are rich. Because of how I grew up I don’t have a habit of hoarding money. My relationship with money is flexible. When it comes, it comes. I spend what I have to survive — to get through each day. I think saving money is for when you have it. I like giving out money whenever I have it because everybody needs money in this country. Any amount goes a long way. I want to always be able to do that. However, I don’t have a lot of money to give. I also hate asking people for money because I don’t want to be a bother. I wish money wasn’t so much a measure of worth — it’s the worst thing about not having money.
My stepfather died when I was 9 and my mum has had to cater for our family since then. My mum is quite strict with money so I was grateful when I met my dad at 13. I call him from time to time to ask for money. I don’t believe in aggressive saving because I feel like I could die any minute and it would all be for nothing.
I am not prudent with money — I spend a lot but I am also very generous with money. I hate the idea of anyone giving me money. I feel like it reducing my idea of being independent. I never accept financial gifts and if I must, I always find a way to pay back the money.