How To Survive Never-Ending January On What’s Left Of Your December Salary

January 11, 2019

Remember how you were paid your salary super early in December and you proceeded to use that salary to paint the town red all month long, forgetting that the world wasn’t ending on the 31st?


Of course, you do. Thanks to your commitment to the “treat yo self” philosophy last month, we’re not even yet halfway into January and your bank account is almost empty.  You are so broke, your December bank statement email from your bank ended with a laughing emoji. Yes, your pitiful account balance gave the bank people a good laugh.


Don’t worry though. I’m here to show you how you can successfully survive on what’s left of your December salary so you’re not left holding a sign like this by the end of January.

You know why “stuff” is in quotes on that sign. Don’t pretend.

Quit eating out.

Don’t go with your coworkers to that fancy restaurant for lunch. Avoid that fast food joint you keep thinking about because you’re craving meat pies and ice cream. Your mantra needs to become “there’s rice at home”. The only exceptions are when you’re invited out and the invitee offers to pay for you. Either that or you invite someone out with the promise of paying for them but then when you’re done eating, you escape through the toilet window, leaving the gbese of the bill on their head.


Will a stunt like that kill that relationship forever? Yes. But would you rather have friends or starve?

Go ask your parents for money.

Swallow your pride and act like you’re just there to visit because it’s been a while and you miss them. Gain points by doing chores and even spend the night so you can keep them company. During this time, remind them how good they have it that they have you as a child and not some chronic alcoholic with a growing meth addiction. Then when it’s time to leave, casually mention that you need a “loan”.


Feel free to throw in a few tears if it looks likes proceedings aren’t going your way.

In the event that things don’t go your way in the scenario described in the last entry, steal from them.

The game is the game. Take any useful thing you can find. Stray cash, foodstuff, cooked food etc.  They’re your parents and they’ll forgive you eventually.

Find a way to reduce transport costs.

Now is the time to break out your hitchhiker’s thumb so you can solicit for free rides from other commuters with cars going your way and hope to God they’re not crazy. Because if you get murdered while hitchhiking, all the blog posts about your death will read like the first 4 minutes of every horror movie ever.


A sad cliché.

If you fall sick, just wait out the illness.

Have you been to a hospital lately? Consultation fees alone are insane. Tack on the fees for treatment and you’ll see that it’ll be cheaper to just keel over and die. No matter what illness befalls you, just get plenty of rest and lots of fluids. There’s an 18% chance you’ll be fine.

Ladies and gentlemen, the trick is to find ways to get the things you need without having to pay for them. Like a wise queen once said:

The wise queen was Lil Kim.

You'll like this

January 6, 2020

Tell me about the beginning of money for you. It has to be when I was 12. I lost my mum, and I suddenly felt responsible for my younger siblings – I’m the firstborn of my mum.  I’m very sorry about your loss. Did you have any other guardian?  Thanks. Losing our mum affected everyone […]

April 28, 2019

If you’ve been reading this every Monday, you know the drill at this point. If you haven’t, now you know that Zikoko talks to anonymous people every week about their relationship with the Naira. Sometimes, it will be boujee, other times, it will be struggle-ish. But all the time–it’ll be revealing. When do you first […]

Astor George

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.


Now on Zikoko

May 30, 2020

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 31-year-old heterosexual woman who’s been cheating on her husband for the past year. She talks about their total lack of sexual chemistry and why she feels no guilt. What was your first sexual experience? Does masturbation count? It should, right? Yeah, it does.  Ok. I think I […]

Recommended Quizzes

are you ready to get married
February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to, we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out:

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

More from Money

May 27, 2020

Creative/kriːˈeɪtɪv/adjective. relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something. nounINFORMAL a person whose job involves creative work. Creative is a broad term that covers a wide variety of things. Basically, anyone who brings an original idea to live, regardless of medium, qualifies as a creative. I gathered a […]

May 22, 2020

“How do I even calculate this Zakat?” If this sounds like you, you are in a safe space among friends. Welcome. First, the basics. Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam. It simply means you donate a percentage of your yearly income to those in need. No long stories. There are many spiritual benefits […]

May 19, 2020

“A Week In The Life” is a weekly Zikoko series that explores the working-class struggles of Nigerians. It captures the very spirit of what it means to hustle in Nigeria and puts you in the shoes of the subject for a week. The subject for this week is *Kunle, a firefighter. He walks us through […]

May 15, 2020

With the shutdown of the holy city and the uncertainty of this year’s Ramadan, we spoke to three Muslim health workers. They tell us about juggling Ramadan with working on the frontline. A Special Kind Of Ramadan. Aminat (Nurse)  Ramadan hasn’t been very hard. The only difference is that I don’t get to eat what […]

May 13, 2020

If you’ve ever taken an online course, then you know how hard it can be. And this is you as an adult who knows the importance of these things, let alone a child who just wants to watch Nickelodeon in peace. Curious about how learning has been outside a classroom, I asked Nigerian teachers how […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.
September 24, 2019
A group of Zikoko staff go on a road trip to every mainland country in ECOWAS West Africa
May 5, 2020
For the second season, we put an even more diverse motley crew of young Nigerians in front of a camera and asked them random questions about love, school experiences and more.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

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