I read the article about Nigerian men and how much they want to earn before they get married. This inspired me to ask Nigerian women the same question. This is what the six women I asked had to say.
“I don’t want to depend on someone else for basic things.”
— Sandra*, 24
I have to earn at least ₦1m per month, that’s the least amount. I don’t want to start off struggling in my marriage. Life is hard, but money makes it easier. Also, I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want to depend on someone else for basic things. No matter what men say, I think it leads to resentment. I’ve seen the older generation of women ask for money for things like gas and groceries, and I think it’s because they don’t earn enough. I just want a soft life, the bedrock of which is money, kudi, ego, you get me?
“I don’t think it’s okay to earn less than ₦500k because you’ll eventually bring children into this world.”
— Chiamaka*, 24
I have to earn at least ₦500k – ₦600k after taxes and deductions. There are women who earn less than this and get married, and I sincerely wish them the best, but I don’t think it’s okay to earn less than ₦500k because you’ll eventually bring children into this world, and they are expensive. You don’t want them to suffer. Also, the cost of living is high, and the country as a whole is hard. If you’re not earning enough, don’t get married.
“I should have ₦10m in savings, or the dollar equivalent.”
— Yinka*, 23
I don’t want to earn less than ₦500k. I’m not sure it’s realistic with the way Nigeria is today, but that’s what I’d like to earn before I get married, hopefully, in the next two years, and I know that on my career path as a lawyer, I won’t have achieved a senior role by that time, so that’s most likely what I’d be earning. I also want to have a side business to support my earnings. I should have ₦10m in savings, or the dollar equivalent — since it seems safer to save in foreign currency with the alarming inflation rate in the country. That amount in savings won’t be hard for me to get because I’ve been saving money since I was in secondary school. I’m sure I’ll even pass that amount by the time I’m ready to get married.
“I need to have enough money to take care of myself and my household too.”
— Tamara*, 33
I’m not suffering in my mother’s house, so I can’t go to my “marital home” to suffer. Monthly, I have to earn at least ₦400k – ₦500k, and my savings cannot be less than ₦5 – 6m.
The major reason why people divorce, apart from infidelity, is financial issues. Two people coming together as one means they should combine their efforts to build a family. I need to have enough money to take care of myself and my household too. Also, anything can happen. For example, my husband could lose his job (God forbid). There has to be another source of income to fall back on. I’d also want to send a regular allowance to our parents and live a soft girl life too.
“For the married life I’ve always envisioned, an upgrade to €70,000 and above will do it.”
— Kemi*, 25
I currently earn over €40,000 a year. For the married life I’ve always envisioned, an upgrade to €70,000 or above will do it. I want to live the softest possible life. Nothing extravagant or ridiculous, but the best we can both afford. I want to have a luxury apartment in a good neighbourhood, and a good car. Not necessarily luxury cars like Porsche or Benz, but not cars from 2002 either. I want to be able to afford the best possible life for our future kids as well.
“I’m a simple person. I don’t ask for much.”
— Mariam*, 25
I want to earn at least ₦250k – ₦300k monthly and have at least ₦1m in savings. I’m a simple person. I don’t ask for much, and I believe in growing with my partner financially. As long as my career grows and my salary increases over time, I’m good.
*Names have been changed for anonymity.