In January, NYSC allowance was increased to 33,000. For a lot of Nigerians, this was seen as a major change from the previous allowance of 19,800. We spoke to 10 corpers about how they spend this allowance: their expenses breakdown, bill payment, savings plan. The answers are enlightening.
Abayomi, corper in Ibadan.
When the alert comes in, I transfer 15k out of it for savings. It remains 18k. Then I remove 2k for my contribution to house cleaning, electricity bill, and the rest. I take 5k as my transport fare to PPA and weekly CDS for the whole month. 7k goes for food stuff, and 4k for things like sachet water, soft drinks and the likes. State allowance is 5k, and that covers data. I like flexing, but I have not flexed since I moved to Ibadan for NYSC. That was in December 2019, nearly five months now. I miss it, but I have adjusted to the situation. I know it’s temporary.
To me, the allowance is not enough, but at least it is better than the previous 19,800. This 33,000 has reduced my worries of how I will sustain myself. And I commend the federal government for that. Besides, if they pay us 50k or 100k, our needs will still increase and we will complain that it is not enough. I plan to save 200k by the end of my service year. It’s 5 months now and I am 25% close to achieving this goal. I believe I can do it.
Tunmise, corper in Port Harcourt.
I don’t even see the 33k most of the time. About 80% of it belongs to Ope from Cowrywise. The rest is donation/upkeep money for other people. My savings budget is for end of the year, not end of NYSC. I want to go to Bali. That costs about 600k. And I want to have money when I come back, so I’m targeting about 1m or thereabouts. So far, I’ve saved about 250K.
Temitopeoluwa, corper in Lagos state.
Let me break it down for you:
53k enters my account monthly. 33k from federal government, 20k from PPA.
Tithe = 5,300.
Offering = 1,500
Transport = 8,000
Other transport fare (Saturday rehearsals and SAED trainings) = 4,000
Cash sent to parents = 5,000
Subscription = 1,000
Recharge card = 1,000
Sanitary pad = 750
Total = 26,550 – 53,000
Grand total = 26, 450.
I planned to save 10k every month, but so far I’ve been able to do 5k each because of the debts I owed. I should have a lot more than this, but I’ve been payng debts since. This past March, I paid 20k for SAED training. And my first allowance went to my parents and siblings. It was hard to do, but I did it anyway. Actually, it went to my parents who told my siblings to call me for their own share.
My total plan is to save at least 250k at the end of NYSC. Right now, I have 20k. Where there is life, there is hope.
Maryam, corper in Ibadan.
When I receive the alert, I send 10k home. That leaves me with 23k. From this one, 15k goes to foodstuff, provision and toiletries. I make stew every Monday that will sustain me for the whole week, and then I take out my transport fare. Everyday, I spend about N150.
I plan to save about 50k at the end of service year. The state government has started paying me, so I should be able to save 5k monthly. Yes, the NYSC allowance is not enough, but then again, no amount can ever be enough to satisfy human need. Besides, saving isn’t important if you have important things to do with money. In life, anything can come up, you know? I’ll try to save, but if anything serious comes up (and I mean something very serious), I won’t hesitate to spend the savings.
Ire, corper in Ogbomosho.
I’m able to save and manage my expenses. 33k from the federal government and 8k from my PPA. That’s 41k per month in a remote village. Technically, I’m doing well. I don’t send money home, but they send me money when I exhaust my budget. My goal is to save above 100k at the end of this NYSC. Right now, I still have about 70% to go.
Favour, corper in Ibadan.
When I started NYSC, I had plans of using the allowance I receive in the first three months for settling down and all other things. Now that I’m settled, my NYSC allowance does not last at all. In 6 hours, I have spent it all. I use 15k for food, 10k for necessities, and the rest for flex. All of my savings is based on my PPA allowance. That one is 40k. I save half from it and I depend on it to carry me till the next pay day. On a regular, I have about 10k in my account to hold body. Nobody sends money to me from home, but I sometimes send money home.
At the end of NYSC, I hope to have saved 200 – 300k. I haven’t started, but I have it all mapped out. In the remaining 7 months of NYSC, I’ll save 40 – 50% of my income per month. I am confident that I can do it. The first 3 months has given me that confidence. And besides, you please to displease. Everything works together.
Toluwani, corper in Lagos.
Well, I save 10k. It remains 23k. Food, clothing, transportation, outing, miscellaneous to work monthly and other things, those ones take roughly 15k. Data takes at least 8k monthly. That’s how it works. Not enough, but we have to work with what we have, right? Anything I earn from my PPA goes to payment of debts and completion of other projects.
Every week, I have ordered Cowrywise to deduct N500 from my account. I am saving for an iPhone 11. That’s 300k. So far, I have saved 30k. My plan is to save 100k and steal the rest. When the judge hears my story, he will show mercy. Okay, that’s a joke.
I’m still very far from my goal, and sometimes too, I just tell myself that I have only 1 life. If I die, I die, why not just spend? Besides, once this Corona is over, a lavish YOLO (You Only Live Once) attitude will pop up. Savings about to be spent since we didn’t die. Funny thing is this: I might end up chanelling my savings for something else. Something like a driver’s license, because I need that too. I’m also likely to save more than I expected and that’s why I have a realistic figure in mind in case the worst comes to worst.
Funmbi, corper in Abuja.
Lmao. My 33k doesn’t spend 2 days in my account. Data takes 15k per month, the remaining I use it for food. I serve in Abuja and I buy lunch everyday at work, plus I eat at night. I save my PPA salary. That’s 30k. They don’t send me money like that from home. In January, my dad gave me 40k and that was it. Abuja is expensive, so I slay on a budget and I don’t go to places I cannot afford. Also, here and there people dash me money. A regular dash is about 5 – 10k. I have plans to save after NYSC, but right now I’m saving up to use the money for something. Maybe when that is over, I’ll consider something else.
Hasssan, corper in Ogun state.
Each time the 33k enters my account, I save 20k out of it. The remaining 13k goes for fare and food. Flex money comes from my other source of income. They stopped sending money to me since 2012, but I send money home to my siblings. I do this occasionally, and based on their requests too. I plan to save 200k upwards at the end of NYSC. Right now, I am at 104k. That’s because I had help from side hustle. By the end of service, I should have reached my goal.
Firdaws, corper in Jigawa.
I save 10k monthly from my allowance, send 15k home and take care of myself and miscellaneous stuff with the remaining 8k. Sometimes, I end up spending 4 – 5k from this 8k, while I save the balance. I have two bank accounts: my personal account and the NYSC account that we opened in camp. I do my savings in the NYSC account. As soon as I got the ATM card, I just threw it somewhere. My plan is to save 140k by the end of NYSC. The state pays 5k monthly and I don’t touch that. I have calculated it: by October when service ends, I will have 100k from the federal government and about 50k from the state government.
It pays to be a village corper, I tell you. I don’t have to spend unnecessarily, and foodstuff happens to be cheap. The foodstuff I bought in January just finished two weeks ago. You can say that it’s because I’m the only one eating my food, that’s not a lie. I hope to buy another foodstuff that will last me till June/July.
There’s a lot of discipline needed though. If I don’t have budget for anything, I don’t spend my 8k for miscellaneous stuff. As at now, I have 30k in my savings account. It wwould have been 45k, but I spent 15k on a new phone. Gradually, I know I will reach my goal.
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