5 ways to make some big bucks in this recession.
(To my Nigerian friends: June 2017)
A number of people have inspired me to write this. The sheer ingenuity on how some people seem to be smiling to the bank in the recession while others seem to be falling into depression, compels me to decide to share this tips that have helped me. I hope it helps you too.
- Trim your figure by trimming your domestic staff; My Indian friend and I always make fun of how much of a queen we all are, the way we live in the third world. I realised at one point how many people were employees in my house. I had a ‘security’ guard (not sure how much security he actually provided), a gardener, a househelp, a nanny, a personal trainer and a driver (Most of my friends even add a cook to the mix). I discovered not only were this people helpful in spreading my income thin, they were also helping to make me fat! (Except my personal trainer, Who would probably not even need to be there if I did my chores myself. ) So the first thing I decided was to get out my Google maps and drive myself. It was a little tough, road rage and all, but it helped me to actually master provocations and self control. I could plan how much fuel I used weekly, became conscious of car pooling, I monitored the car maintenance and in one month I spent 1/3 of my usual car expense budget. Next, went the personal trainer. I decided to spend more time playing with my children, got an active pedometer and measured my activity time. In fact my need to meet up activity time made me realise that doing some of the chores actually added more value to my weight loss than the tri-weekly kick boxing I spent a tonne of hard earned money on. When I’d scheduled my chores and it seemed there was no added value for the househelp, she was up next. Then the security man had to add gardening and car washing skills to remain relevant. Needless to say, I have not been this trim in years.
- Put down the phone and actually live. The cell phone has become a major expense for most people. The money you spend on airtime and data would make sense if it improved your relationships or transformed your life in some way. I decided that I would research and do mobile packages that gave me the best in terms of airtime and data at the lowest cost. Then I put a schedule to it. In all the social media groups I belong to, they know I don’t do Social media before 3pm. So I not only have more time to focus, but I also save money and time to do things that bring me better returns on my investment of time and money.
- No Thank you; I’ve learnt to master that awesome sentence. No matter the discounts, the added value, the Mega Sales tag on the item. I tell myself, ‘by next week will I regret not having this?’ or ‘if I had my last x amount, would I purchase this?’ usually, it’s a No, so I have less pink stuff in my wardrobe I’ve never worn! And guess what? I don’t miss ‘em!
- Thanks, but I don’t eat dinner; So I read the Joyce Meyer book years ago about breaking bad habits and building new habits. I had this strange habit of eating very healthy throughout the day, then I’d wake up in the middle of the night and binge on chocolate or nuts or cookies or something totally unhealthy for me. To break that habit, I decided to start a new habit, I don’t do dinners! Strange right? My mind is so focused on no dinner so whatever I want to eat, I end up eating before 6pm. It’s helped me stay trim and many-a-savings when I tell friends, ‘you see, I don’t do dinners, let’s do breakfast or lunch! (Most people end up doing breakfast or brunch) which actually almost always costs less than dinner.
- Cook your own food; You know what’s better than not doing dinners? Cook your own food. Preplanned menus, experiment with your boo in the kitchen during that weekend date. My teenager (she is actually preteen until December, but loves to be addressed as teenager:-) daughter and I have bonded so much over kitchen experiments I realise how little we benefitted from just grabbing a pizza and everyone going to their rooms to live on Facebook, WhatsApp or Twitter. Savings again are enormous!
Ok, I know this list is not exhaustive of the many things you can do to save some bucks in the recession, I sure hope it sure will give you a tip or two to smile again when you see how much you’ve actually saved.