Recession 101: Personal Budgeting
One of the things you will be compelled to learn in the West is effective personal budgeting. You plan your spending according to your earnings:
You plan how to pay your house rent, electricity bill, water bill, gas bill, living expenses and may be charity (What some Africans give to their Pastors as tithes). Any attempt to live above your earnings will create a deficit in your finances and you may go begging or borrowing.
In the West:
A worker is considered irresponsible if he starts soliciting for money to meet his day to day needs. Truth be told, they have some loan facility (contract) where you can pick a new phone, laptop, new car etc and spread the payment for a period of one to two years. Even with that, if you don’t plan your spending, you won’t be able to pay and that will affect your credit rating. The phrase “dash money” is not applicable in this society. You work for every penny!
Life in Africa is somehow different. In Africa, you don’t live in isolation. We practice an extended family system that you have to include one or two persons in your monthly spending. Although we don’t have an effective loan (contract) facility, we have cooperatives and thrift associations formed by a community of people for their common financial benefit.
The problem, however, is that in Africa (especially Nigeria), people live above their income, they try to show off what they don’t have, and most times they end up begging to survive. Personal budgeting is one thing we hardly practice in Africa. People who budget and adhere to it normally survive even in periods of recession because they continue cutting down their expenses as things get worse.
Most of the people living relatively comfortable do not have much money but they plan their monthly spending and adhere to it. If you are working in Africa, you will have to “dash money” out in some way. You can label this money, “monthly charity” and you can decide to budget 10% of your monthly earnings for it. So while people give their pastors 10% of their monthly earnings, you can use yours for charity. Once you exhaust the money budgeted for charity, you should be bold enough to tell someone begging you for money that you don’t have. The Nigerian society may call you stingy and wicked but you have to act this way else you will also go begging before the end of the month.
Coming soon: Recession 101: Birth Control
I am Stephen Akuma
Founder of: Sacs945