Life as a Nigerian student can be pretty difficult and tedious, having to combine education and also having to deal with the economic challenges bedevilling the Nation.
It is only reasonable and necessary for you to find or devise a means to cut costs at all means.
While many may have wealthy parents who provide everything from handouts, foodstuffs, clothes, recharge cards, some might be struggling to survive as they provide their basic needs for themselves.
However, this does not mean you have to be inflexibly strict or harsh on yourself.
If you limit yourself to the extent that you no longer enjoy yourself or your lifestyle, you are likely to go back to your previous attitude of overspending and lackadaisical lifestyle.
Instead, you have to strike a balance between being financially knowledgeable and having a good time or as students say, “flexing” from time to time because you only live once.
Every student should imbibe the culture of saving, even the students with parents who provide everything for them. Your parents or guardians become proud of you when they find out that you are economical.
It gives them a sense of satisfaction knowing that their child or ward is now maturing into adulthood and becoming more responsible.
Table of contents
How to Save Money in Nigeria as A Student
Here are practical tips on how to save money in Nigeria as a student;
- Keep Track of Your Spendings
- Avoid Credit or Debts
- Cook Your Meals Yourself
- Learn A Skill
- Get A Job During the Break
- Taking Good Care of Your Possessions
- Have/Own A Piggy Bank
- Avoid Unnecessary Relationships
Saving can be very rewarding as it gives one a sense of responsibility and the art of managing little resources.
A skill many adults are still trying to figure out in the real world. Below are means or ways with which students in Nigeria can use to learn the culture of saving:
Keep Track of Your Spendings
Nothing kills a man or in this case student faster than overspending.
As a student, especially those who do not stay in the vicinity of their parents, you might have the unending urge to buy unnecessary stuff.
It might be snacks, fashionable pieces of clothing, jewellery and other pieces of vanity.
As a student who is trying to save, cutting off unnecessary items is the way to go. It saves money, builds self-esteem etc.
Always have a scale of preference. Buy stuff that is only needed.
Learn to keep track of your purchases as you might feel overwhelmed with having a large amount of money (your monthly allowance) at hand.
Peer pressure might also affect the way you spend. You should know your priorities and set them. Have an independent mind devoid of peer pressure or influence.
Never spend in other to impress people, it will always come back to haunt you.
To avoid peer pressure, you can try moving with people who have the same ideology or attitude towards finance as you.
Avoid Credit or Debts
There is something about debts that tempts you to keep spending even when you can’t afford payments.
If possible, avoid borrowing from friends and family members. It reduces your chances of saving.
Debts can deter you from your goal as they set you back and keep you from reaching your financial goals.
The money you are supposed to spend on your needs will be used to settle outstanding debts and the cycle continues.
Borrowing can also be addictive. It makes you comfortable spending above your budget since you know you have someone to always run to for help.
Debts can lead to unwarranted stress because it keeps you worrying and thinking about how you are going to make your payments.
Stress from debts can lead to mild to severe health problems such as migraine, heart attack, high blood pressure and even depression.
Cook Your Meals Yourself
It is very important and helpful as most students’ allowances go into feeding.
Home-cooked food is always cheaper compared to food sold in restaurants and by roadside food vendors.
Even though the cost of foodstuffs is on the higher side these days, it’s usually less expensive.
Cooking your food is also more hygienic. Since you are the cook, you already know the content of the meal and the environment it is prepared in unlike the ones made in restaurants.
If you are a student willing to save, you should learn to make decent meals yourself.
Learn to buy your foodstuffs in bulk as it reduces cost and time. Learn to shop for them in the local market close to the school.
If possible, avoid patronizing vendors on the campus as they tend to sell overpriced produce with less quality compared to the products sold in the market.
Learn A Skill
A skill is an ability that you have through training.
Not all skills require a huge amount of capital to learn.
Technology has made this very easy as almost every piece of information can be accessible within seconds with a single tap.
Social media platforms such as YouTube has a variety of videos on different skills that can be accessible for free.
After learning the skill, you should try to put them to use as they can enable you to survive on your own without any help from your parents.
Aside from learning a skill, one can also engage in petty tradings here and there to help yourself.
A student can engage in the buying and selling of some commodities, especially those noticed to be in high demand in the school area.
This line of business can especially be profitable in student hostels as there is always something students desire but cannot have easy access to buy.
Get A Job During the Break
Most universities in Nigeria allocate at least two (2) months for the session break to enable students to relax and cool off after a long year.
A student who wants to save will use this opportunity to look for legal means to make money which revolves around finding a job. A student in the university can look for a job as a teacher in a primary school.
You can also do menial jobs such as cleaning houses, washing and drying cleaning clothes, opening a car wash.
You can also be self-employed by selling stuff needed in the area you live.
You can also involve in the trade of clothing items or foodstuffs depending on the needs of the people around you.
Knowing the dynamic and the type of businesses that people are interested in your surroundings goes a long way in helping you succeed in your trade.
Also, citing your business in a location without vehicular and human movement is the fastest way to kill your establishment.
Always establish your business in a commercial area, the more the movement, the more the transactions taking place.
Taking Good Care of Your Possessions
Taking good care of your stuff will increase their durability thereby reducing the need to often replace them and by so doing, save you some expenses.
If you don’t have to spend your money replacing items all the time, you will be saving more money.
Have/Own A Piggy Bank
A piggy bank is defined as a money box usually in the shape of a pig usually used in saving money.
It is made locally from wood and has a small hole where one can put money to save keeping.
A piggy bank is cheap to make. Any small box with a small opening can be a piggy bank.
A student can develop the habit of dropping a fixed amount of money into the box daily or weekly.
It is surprising how much one can save once one is consistent. This method of saving is very helpful for students who find it hard to save money.
The money cannot be retrieved from the box unless the box is broken.
Avoid Unnecessary Relationships
Relationships can be financially draining, either romantic or platonic relationships.
To go into a romantic relationship at this age and time, you will need to go out on dates, give out gifts. This stuff needs money.
A student trying to find their path financially should try as much as possible to avoid this kind of relationship, especially relationships where one will be doing all the giving.
Another type of relationships students who are aiming for financial freedom should avoid are those of irresponsible friends.
Friends who spend their money partying and buying irrelevant stuff should be avoided as friends tend to influence your decisions, knowingly or unknowingly.
As the saying goes, show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.
In conclusion, one should try by all means to save as much as they can while in school as it is a very tough world outside.
Having some money saved after school can give someone a headstart in life after graduation.
If your dream job is not forthcoming, one can start a business with the money saved and skills learnt while in school.
Even with a job, one can still have a business to do as a side hustle.
It paves the way for a better life financially, and who wouldn’t want that.
The time to start is now, while still under the care of your parents or guardians.
Saving from now will help cultivate that habit and it will be very helpful later in life.
The importance of saving cannot be overstated and overemphasized. It doesn’t matter how little you save, just start now.