Currently, the country’s economy is marred by sluggishness. Economic indices bite deep into the pockets and finances of families, business owners and organizations.
Soaring commodity and currency prices are making life difficult for many people. Unfortunately, those who do not have a job or who have a pay cut are not exempt from the market price pinch. The situation, according to economists, has led to a worsening of the poverty situation in the country.
Former Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive and Economist Dr. Muda Yusuf highlights eight inexhaustible ways for individuals, families and organizations to cope during this time.
Adjust spending priorities
There are a thousand and one things people need money for. So it’s hard to give up some things we love, but the current situation requires serious adjustments in the way people spend.
The Economist says, “The focus should be on the essential and basic needs that a family or an individual needs to survive. When we talk about basic needs, we are talking about food and health care, especially for those who have health and transportation problems. Basic needs must therefore be prioritized in terms of expenditure. He also advises that aside from personal needs, paying bills and expenses should take priority.
Reduce the purchase of luxury items
It’s not that luxury items are inherently bad, but as the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. The present time calls for a reduction in the purchase of luxury items. If these are necessary items, if possible, buy an undesigned or expensive model that will still be effective.
Yusuf advises, “Now is not the time to spend on luxury items because a friend is buying an item. Now is not the time to buy aso ebi (formal attire) and other things. People have to face their realities and not worry about what Mr A or B will say.
Avoid imported items
It is clear as day that imported items will be the first to be affected by any rise in the US dollar. However, the increase also affects other products. To manage this, Yusuf advises, “Avoid things that are imported as much as possible because imported goods are more vulnerable to shocks due to the exchange rate situation.”
Buy food in bulk
To manage the stress of high market prices and panic when visiting the market next time, the economist adds that buying in bulk can save the day.
At the family level, Yusuf explains, “When you buy things in bulk, you can better manage the household economy rather than buying in pieces. The more you buy in bulk, the better you can negotiate and the cheaper the things you buy. People can get together, buy things in bulk, and share.
Be open to other family members
Being open about current economic realities to other family members will help foster understanding and reduce less necessary demands and expectations.
This situation requires a lot of sacrifices on the part of the actors involved, hence the need to communicate with the main stakeholders on the situation.
Avoid Ponzi schemes, loans
Due to the dire state of things, the temptation is great to engage in a Ponzi scheme. Recently, there was a report of an employee who committed suicide after apparently placing a bet with his colleagues’ salaries given to him by the boss, hoping to replace him after winning.
The economist warns: “A lot of fraudulent things are multiplying now. Some people can’t stop dreaming of how they can break through when they haven’t worked for it. But these schemes are too good to be true. So the temptation to get involved in these things is something to be defended against.
Also, with the zeal of trying to keep up with paying bills, the urge to borrow can be high.
In this regard, notes Yusuf, “as much as possible, one should avoid going into debt, unless there is a clear capacity to repay the loan. If you have to borrow, you need to know what you are borrowing for and what type you are getting into, because the interest rate on some loans is so high and it will put you under pressure. Use a lot of discipline and avoid Internet lending companies. If you are an employee, borrowing from your company’s cooperative is understandable.
Rethinking the use of expensive products
The price of diesel has tripled. Yusuf advises small business owners and owners who use diesel generators to switch to smaller, non-diesel generators. Yusuf says, “Overall management of energy costs is vital.
Prioritize health, manage emotions
Yusuf advises to prioritize health and manage emotions and not let the current economic situation escalate into a medical problem such as hypertension.
He added: “At the family level, we have to be understanding. Sometimes, because of this, some spouses can be intolerant and this can create tension in the family. People should show love even in these difficult situations. It won’t last forever.