For some young Nigerians, a savings culture is a mindset instilled at a young age, with many parents encouraging their children to put money aside for rainy days. Others weren’t so lucky, having to learn about saving alongside every other thing adulting throws at you.

I was curious about the saving culture among young people so I asked 7 people about their relationship with savings. Here’s what they had to say. Read below:

Shox, 24 – Saving isn’t the problem, rent is.

Personally, I think I save enough money. Usually, I save about 70% of my income so I don’t think I struggle on that end. The problem is depletion. I spend most of my savings on rent. Finding an apartment that isn’t an embarrassment to humanity and is within my salary range is nearly impossible. In all, I just think I have to earn more.

Mimi, 26 – I save alright, but black tax wants to finish me.

Saving isn’t really the issue. I just think I don’t earn enough money. I certainly used to earn a lot less when I was in Nigeria, but I had fewer responsibilities. Here, I have to think about rent, food and the almighty black tax

I had a good savings streak until my brother died. I had booked a flight to Nigeria to see him when he was ill, but he died before my travel date. I spent more money to reschedule the flight for his funeral, but I missed that as well. Then my father needed money for his business and I had to take a loan for that too. I’m hoping my finances stabilise in the coming months.

Enejo, 21 – I don’t know how to save

When we were younger, my mother used to collect any money we got and saved it for us. It was done with our knowledge but we never actively participated in saving. Now, I’m not very good at saving money by myself. The money my mother saved for us is still in a trust fund and she occasionally deposits more money in it. Still, my saving skills suck.

Mo, 29 – I have three different saving portfolios

Personally, I don’t think it’s hard to save. I started saving when I was in secondary school, at the age of 15. It’s not like I was earning a lot then. It stemmed from wanting to be able to buy stuff without relying on my dad or my sisters and after that, it became a hobby.

Now, I have three different saving portfolios. I’ve been slacking though. I stopped working since I had my baby last year and my side business isn’t moving much. I strongly believe in saving because having an emergency stash is highly invaluable.

Molly, 29 – I haven’t touched my salary in almost 3 years

Me that I save anyhow? I haven’t touched my salary in about 3 years and I have N5.7m saved. I’m a lawyer, so I survive mostly on money from my private practice. I also get money from different sources, like my Dad. Generally, I don’t touch my savings for just any reason. I just save towards a target, like buying a piece of land or a car.

Tswaggs, 24 – I’m learning how to save

Omo, on God, I save as often as possible, although that’s a recent development. An emergency made me realise the need to start saving for rainy days. If I receive 10k, my brain automatically deducts 2k for savings and the rest is for balling. To be honest, it hasn’t been easy. Sometimes, you think you could use the money you’re saving for something else, but you really need to be disciplined.

Deola, 24 – My Mom does my saving for me

I’m not really a savings person like that because I always have my mom if I need emergency cash. Last last, she gives me the money and I repay her in instalments. 

When I started working, my mom ensured she collected a percentage of my salary at the end of every month. When I was earning 45k, she would collect 10k. Now she has made me join an ajo (cooperative society) and I remit 20k monthly to it while I save 10k with her monthly.

The bad part is that always end up spending the money on other people, on emergencies or give it to my family whenever they need it.

If you enjoyed this and want to learn how to save, check out 8 Simple And Effective Techniques For Saving Money.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.