If it is any comfort to you, most people struggle with the challenge of how to manage the home budget in Nigeria.
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That’s because our economy always appears as if it is in distress. And most often it is, for reasons that many people think is political. We have to go beyond politics to deal with the issues. Everyone does that, especially those who do not earn enough to provide for all their needs and very little of their wants.
Here are our best 10 suggestions for getting this done
- Create and stick to a family budget
Before drawing up your budget, ensure that you have a list of the income available to you or your family. Thereafter, list what you have been spending money on and things you buy on credit. The goal of family budgeting is to spend less than you earn. Family budgeting helps us spend money wisely on the things we need, otherwise known as our basic necessities. Basic necessities include things like food, clothing, transport, house rent, and education. Making a budget will immediately show whether your income is enough to cover the basic needs.
- Save from the budget for emergencies and wants
There are two things you need to set money aside, just in case. The first is for unforeseen expenses – things that go wrong and require money to fix. It could be home equipment that malfunctions or your car that suddenly breaks down. The second is for things that you like to have but are not in the budget, which is basically your wants. Your wants are all the things you like but can do without. You can use the money to buy items on sale or those advertised as discounts.
- Create and use a family menu plan
There are many benefits to creating a menu for the family. It helps to ensure that we include all the things that will give us a balanced diet every day. Secondly, it helps to ensure that we eat only the things that we eat healthy. And finally, it helps us draw a shopping list that reduces the desire to spend money accidentally when we go shopping.
- Adults in the house can eat twice a day
From a budget point of view, eating twice a day saves a day’s meal. Thus, you save for a three-day meal plan every two days. Surprisingly, it turns out that eating twice a day has health benefits too. Experts say there is no health benefits to eating more. Specifically, eating less is healthier because it helps people to burn more calories, lose weight, improve blood sugar control. Find a way of serving the children snacks or light meals in between, since they need it go grow.
- Do bulk purchasing for the household
There is always the joke that rich people know how to manage home budget better than the middle class in Nigeria. Consequently they spend less money on food than those who are not so rich. This is only true because the rich have money to do bulk shopping, and things are sold at a discount when they are bought that way. So, what will an average income earner do? The easiest way is to form shopping groups of 10 or more to contribute money to buy and share bulk-purchased items. These days, people buy cows, goats, chickens, rice, beans and whatever else they need to share in this way.
- Watch out for discount sales
Retail shops offload their stock every now and then by doing discount sales. Watch out for such opportunities and use the budget or emergency money set aside to buy them. There are also online Discount markets where one can buy quality items at discounted rates. The Enugu Metro Discount Market, for example, is a platform where Enugu residents can purchase quality home and office used items that managers are selling. You will also find discounted and newly arrived products sold by individuals and retailers.
- Grow food around your home
The easiest excuse that people give for not going into container is that they do not have space. But there is space in every home. And container gardening makes weeding, watering, and harvesting easy. These picks are the easiest to grow if you’re limited on spaceThere are many food crops that can be grown in the house including tubers such as yam. Here is an example of how to plant yams in sacks in your backyard. There are other DIY videos on YouTube about how to manage the family budget by planting other tubers and roots such as potato and cocoyam. If you have a limited space, you can still grow yams that will last a family for three months in a year.
- Sell used items to earn quick cash in emergencies
Look around your house every now and then for things that you need to put away. You can give them away to people who need them and gain great relationships. Or you can sell them to get quick cash to help your family cope with the economy. The choice is yours. If you decide to sell used items for quick cash to solve problems, there are many online platforms where you can advertise them for sale, including Enugu Metro Discount Shopping mentioned earlier.
- Grow fruits and vegetables indoors
Growing veggies in your home is another good example of how to manage the family budget. It is a lazy excuse for anyone to say there is no space in their homes to grow fruits and vegetables. You can only say this if you have never heard of container gardening. With container gardening, one can grow lettuce, pepper, tomatoes, peas and so forth. Unlike regular fruit and vegetable farming, container gardening makes weeding, watering, and harvesting easy. Look around your home and see all the spaces that are being allowed to waste. Here is an example of someone who creatively used the spaces around his home to grow vegetables and fruits. And he used the pastime to grow great relationships with his neighbors too!
- Make DIY Organic Meals
There are many items you buy at retail shops that you can actually make at home. For some of these items, you require to attend a workshop or training programme to learn how to make them. Or watch YouTube videos to learn and practice how to make them. One can easily save on the home budget by learning how to make things like liquid soap, Quaker oats and many other cereals. Needless to say that many home managers prefer to make oats from local corn and millets.
You need discipline to pull through
It’s good to know that there’re best ways on how to manage their home budget in a distressed economy. Even when the economy is good, it’s also healthier to adopt a minimalist lifestyle and not waste the home budget. Money saved from the home budget can buy us the things we like to have but do not need. Additionally, they can also be used to help other people who struggle much harder to make ends meet. Consequently, saving money from the home budget for use in this way gives good people personal satisfaction and joy.