With inflation biting hard at Nigerians, more citizens are saying painful goodbyes to some household expenses. Even with gainful employment and thriving businesses, the daily needs of these subjects are outgrowing their income bands at an alarming rate.

Johnson* | 33 | Digital Strategist | Lagos

Salary: 300k

I calculate every kobo before spending these days. I focus on my needs, and I’ll say foodstuff takes the hit.

I can only afford half of what I used to stock in the house in 2022. I can’t remember the last time I bought clothes. I’m constantly checking my account balance to see if it will last till the next payday. Not a good way to live at all.

Janet* | 39 | Academician | Ado-Ekiti

Salary: 180K

I’m not doing badly with my finances at the moment, but I really wish it was better. Living in Ado-Ekiti has been really helpful. It has curbed my frequency at clubs and parties  and my  impulse buying rate, unlike when I was in Lagos.

In 2021, I owned a car, could comfortably go on vacations and even jump on domestic flights . I sold my car in 2022 in high hopes of relocating overseas. But I’m using part of that money to further my studies in Nigeria. And I can’t even think of getting a new car because things are so expensive. I have to pause one need for the other every time. It’s so sad!

Kareem*| 51 | Businessman | Osogbo

Income range: 15m – ₦20m per annum

Things have been challenging. I’m sure my kids know something is wrong even though they don’t talk. My last born is still seeking admission to a government school. It was hard to tell her she won’t be attending a private university like her elder siblings. In fact, I couldn’t break the news to her. It was my wife that told her, and surprisingly, she took the news well. I hope she doesn’t hate me if strikes delay her. It was a painful but necessary decision. Business has slowed, and it will be a financial trap if I insist on putting her in a private university.

Efosa* | 31 | Businessman  | Location: Lagos

Income range : 20 – 30m per annum

My income and lifestyle have been consistent, so I can’t complain. I can afford everything I want — well, except for property in Banana Island. The whole fuel scarcity situation won’t have a lot of bearing on my finances. I’ll likely commute less to conserve fuel. Besides that, everything else will be okay. I’m quite prudent with my spending,  so no significant or unmanageable financial exposures for me. I’m also considering getting a bicycle for short runs, like to the nearby supermarket.

Davina*  | Age: 32  | Project Manager  | Lagos

Salary: 350k

Between 2021 and 2022, I could comfortably blow 100k in a month and not feel it. But if I try it now, I’ll call a Town Hall meeting; EFCC should even arrest me.

For the better part of the last two years, I ate out almost every day. But now, I’ve had to cut down on eating out. My daily spend used to be 8k per day and 5k for the weekend. I’ve reduced it to 30k per week. I’m struggling to maintain the hard limit sha. Getting paid in dollars is the goal. I sometimes pity low-income earners because there’s no way they won’t be neck-deep in loan debts to survive in this economy.

Korede* | Age: 32 | Businesswoman | Abuja

Income range: 1.7m per annum

It hasn’t been easy this year. In fact, I’m always scared of going out because of the expenses involved.

I find myself drawing a detailed budget for everything. Before, I’d go to the market once a week, but I’ve had to change that to once a month. The prices for food items have drastically changed, and I can’t afford to spend as much as I used to on food. It’s also affecting my business. I used to import nothing less than 50kg of goods before, but now, I can hardly do 20 kg due to the increase in dollar rate. I pray it gets better because there are places I’d love to go but can’t because of this crazy hike in fuel prices.

Kunmi* | 28 | Journalist | Lagos

Salary: 180k

I don’t go out as much as I’d like to anymore. The fear of taxi fares is the beginning of wisdom. I also used to buy and spend a lot more on food than I currently do. In 2021/2022, I was spending an average of 30k – 35k ordering food in a month. That has significantly reduced to about 15k monthly in 2023. I just stick to whatever is available at home. I’m anxious about how things might still change for the worst.

I’m considering learning how to ride a bicycle or scooter. I also know for sure that outings to the island will be less frequent. It’ll make more sense to go out with a group so we can split the fare. In short, just stay at home.



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