On my way to work this morning, as we passed by Osborne Ikoyi my mind flashed to the monies; (43.4 Million USD, 27,800 Euros and 23.2 Million Naira) recently found stashed away in one of the apartments. After converting the foreign currency the total amount recovered from that apartment was a whopping sum of N13,291,006,087.38… *insert I don’t believe it emoticon*
Hypothetically speaking, if we have a total of 3,000 adults living in Lagos and we were to divide the money equally each person would get N4,430,335.36.
Can you imagine what you would get done with that kind of cash right now, especially in these hard times, I know what that kind of cash will accomplish in my life seeing as the effect of the recession is still biting hard.
A lot of my colleagues felt the same way too, turns out that everybody has had to come up with survival strategies to cope with the cards we have been dealt, like they say desperate times calls for desperate measures.
Here are a few of our best coping strategies below;
- I cut my hair, to save money I would have otherwise spent on weaves and hair products. Now all I have to do is wake up in the morning pour water on my hair while bathing (such an amazing feeling), comb and it’s a go.
- I discovered pork meat costs way less than beef, I didn’t even think twice I made the switch sharply. I also traded our regular croaker fish for Titus fish, all na fish.
- I needed to buy two shoes, but when I looked at my bank balance I knew that wasn’t possible, so I went to my shoe rack, picked out two of my old shoes that had minor issues took them to the cobbler and fixed them for less than #1,500. They are as good as new (or so I tell myself)
- In the past, my fortnightly visits to my barber were non-negotiable. I used to pay #300 to get a good haircut, but then last month my barber looked me dead in the eye and said “Oga, na #500 o, recession dey”. Maybe it was the defiant way he said it or maybe it was the fact that I had no extra money, but I walked back home plugged in my clipper, sat in front of the mirror and started to cut my hair. Surprisingly I did a good job (it’s amazing what hidden skills you’ll discover when backed into a corner) so no more barber for me.
- I used to drink Milo with a generous amount of milk; it was one of my guilty pleasures, but since the price of milk skyrocketed I have come to realize drinking Milo on its own is not so bad. Hopefully things will get better and I won’t have to cut my Milo too.
- After a long day at work, I usually take bikes home while others waited on buses, they were a lot more expensive but I didn’t care because they were faster. The reality of our economic palaver has forced me to seek alternatives and I found a cheaper option; keke maruwa. The average bike fare to my house is around #200, but with my beloved Keke, I pay #70 to my bus stop and walk all the way home. This means I get to save #650 every week on transportation. It may seem small but in these hard times every kobo counts.
- I have always loved MAC powders, perfect finish to a flawless look. Sadly I have had to wean myself of MAC because they cost over #15,000. I cried to my sales rep at my local beauty store and she introduced me to a wayyyy cheaper powder that worked wonders. I was skeptical about buying it but I had no choice especially as the powder cost #600. After trying it, I became a believer. I have seen the light and I’m never going back.
- I have very thick locs that required me to make monthly visits to the salon to reloc my hair, this cost me #5,000 each month but I wasn’t in the least bit bothered. Right now I have started locing my hair myself even though it stresses me out and gives me prolonged hand aches, the upside is I get to save #5,000 monthly which comes down to #60,000 yearly.
Necessity they say, is the mother of invention. What have you had to cut down to deal with the current economic downturn? Share with us in the comment section below
Written By: Jennifer Ugboh.