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Save That Money!: Practical Tips for the Single Man




 Nkem Ndem (1)

Guests Writer: Nkem Ndeh

The average Nigerian dude (not necessarily the f*ckboy) wants to ball. You can’t really judge them either, because you only live once. YOLO!
Monday to Thursday: you stay on the hustle, money must be made.

Fridays nights: back to back clubbing with the babes.

Saturdays: wedding and after party then lounge/drinking time with your bros.

Sundays: big boy brunch at Oriental and football time at the bar later in the day.

The lifestyle is the dream; however, except you have your own business or solid inheritance somewhere, this lifestyle cannot be sustainable -especially, if you are still a bachelor.

Even when they follow the best financial advice available (they work hard, spend less than they earn, save and invest) quite a percentage of single men still find they have to live pay cheque to pay cheque – with no savings.

Of course, this does not in any way imply that all the unattached men in Nigeria are flunking their finances or are in a hopeless position when it comes to money. Some men just face specific challenges, when it comes to managing their cash.

The state of the country’s economy plays a huge role in this dreary financial picture; as such, opting for just the basics when it comes to making financial changes may not be ideal.

Single dudes should consider taking on some of these hands-on money rules:

Rent must not exceed half of your monthly earnings
Yes, you want to live alone, have your own place and be independent, but you should not spend a fortune or run into debt renting an apartment. Ensure your monthly rent is not more than half of your total earnings per month. For instance, if you earn N100,000 per month ensure you do not rent a place that costs more than N25,000 per month. This means that you would be looking out for a space that would possibly cost you N300,000 per year.

It’s easy to get sold on the dream of emancipation from parents and total independence, but if it’s going to jack up your bills, it’s probably not a wise financial move. If you must rent a space, consider getting flatmates and move up from there.

Opt for hobbies that don’t require an upkeep cost
As a dude, you have a number of hobbies and activities you engage in, to keep life eventful and interesting. It could be fitness, or just games for leisure. The thing is, a number of these hobbies require ongoing upkeep costs; from club membership dues, to cost of supplies, uniforms, and even trips/get-togethers.
While it is definitely alright to have hobbies, just make sure you go for one that requires minimal maintainance, or even none at all. For instance, no matter how much you love golf, you may want to put that off for later, when you are more finically stable. Not only do you have to register to use the golf course, you have to get the outfits and the need for fresh supplies are almost endless. You may want to consider alternatives like playing music, on an instrument you already have, or even football with friends or colleagues.

Cut down on eating out
Yes, you want to join in on the Sunday brunches with colleagues; you want to prove to your girlfriend, who loves fancy food, that you are enough for her; you also want to order from ‘The Place’ like your colleagues, instead of brining something homemade or buying from the lady across the road and being the “stingy” or “low-class” one. But if you are concerned with upgrading your financial status, you will have to skip these splurges. They seem small, but actually, they accumulate and take a toll on your finances. You will be surprised to find out that sometimes, the cost of the daily take-out is what, over time, separates the rich dude from everyone another dude the wrong side of the thin money line.

Acquire cars based on reliability and fuel efficiency…otherwise, use public transport
There is the assumption that owning a car makes a dude more appealing. Before using your life’s savings to buy a car, you must at least consider two factors.
Ask yourself: how reliable is the car? How fuel-efficient is it? Answering these questions lets you know if you would be actually making an investment by buying the car, or acquiring a liability.

This is because fuel bills and repair bills are serious money drainers when you own a car. Do not just jump and buy any car just because it is cheap and it still moves. If you cannot say for sure that it is reliable and fuel-efficient, get on with public transport. And by public transport, I don’t mean Uber and Taxify.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with commuting to work in a bus or keke napep. It is actually a better option as it is incredibly faster in rush-hour traffic. It’s also cheaper when you consider the fuel, oil and other maintenance costs of running the car. You save more and you upgrade yourself financially.

When shopping, use the 30-day rule
Believe it or not, shopping is not a “girl” thing. Guys love to shop too. When shopping – online or in-store, it is important that you adhere to the 30-day rule. The rule simply implies that you wait 30 days after your first serious impulse before buying the expensive item, no matter how essential you think it is. Waiting 30-days give you enough time to do research and ascertain the impact it could have on you financially, and whether you even really want it or not. Sometimes we are deluded by brief fascination and end up spend a lot of money on something that we will never use and may not improve our lives in any way.
The 30-day rule gives you the time to come back to reality and make the sane decision.

Don’t borrow money to invest
Every financial guru will tell you to invest your money in something, if you want to be financially stable in future.
While this is great advice, you must also ensure that you do not use borrowed money (money that is not originally yours) to invest…no matter how lucrative the investment seems or how much of an asset you assume it will be.

In the case where the investment you want to make is either a fixed deposit or bond, you will eventually find that the dividends may not able to match the rate of interest you pay on the loan. Again, even investments, such as equities, that offer higher returns, can be too risky.

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