It’s been a rough couple of months for many people. Between Inflation, declining markets, and a truckload of other things, quality of life has dropped, and things have generally gotten more challenging for many people.
Amidst all this, people are still striving to do well for themselves, their businesses, and their loved ones. While it’s gotten super hard, It’s great to see people tougher than the times.
We spoke to some people about their experiences and how they’re hanging in there; here’s what they had to say.
As a business owner, I spend a lot of time working on pricing my products. Usually, I try to make future inflation projections and include that in how I price them, so I don’t have to change prices too often. It works pretty well on a typical day, but in times like this, when things are double their prices, I can’t even know to include such a projection. It’s become quite tricky because, while it’s not my fault, it’s tough constantly explaining to customers that the last price they’re used to no longer applies.
However, one way I’ve used to tackle this is making our operations very lean; I’ve been able to cut out areas of excess spending. So far, this has helped the business.
I’m pleased I bought enough cooking gas to last me the entire year because this is the one that has shocked me the most. I can’t explain how the price keeps going up. In times like this, cooking with charcoal is beginning to make sense again. Also, I was trying to buy plantain a few days ago – usually, I buy it for N800 so imagine my surprise when I was told it now costs N2,000. That’s over a 100% increase! The other day too, when I had to get things from the market, my budget was N20,000; it was a fair budget because that’s what it would typically cost, but I ended up spending N30,000.
Honestly, the only way to navigate things like this is by focussing primarily on my needs and not things I want to get because they’re nice to have.
I live where the cost of living is relatively low, so it was very easy for me to notice when things went to the roof. The first indicator was transport fare. Transport is normally very cheap here, but it’s almost doubled in the last few weeks. With things like this, it’s easy to haggle prices with the drivers, but I can’t even do that anymore because I know that it’s not their fault, and they’re also trying to adjust to the market conditions. I can’t even enjoy some of my favorite snacks anymore because I have to keep cutting down these things; I no longer eat out as much. I don’t even think there’s a middle-class in Nigeria. Right now, It just seems like it’s just the rich and the rest of us are poor.
I love a good meal. If it is excellently done, I usually wouldn’t mind paying extra. However, things are so expensive now. Without an increase in my income, I cannot eat out as much as I would like.
I had to learn to live within my means and be content. I take myself on treats from time to time because, in the end, I work hard for my money.
What keeps me going is that my best life is still ahead of me, so it’s okay to cut some things down for now.
In times like this, people are looking for ways to hedge their wealth against inflation. One of the best ways to do that is by saving and earning interest in dollars.
So there’s not really a lot of stuff I used to buy that I can’t still buy, but I’m spending a lot more on essentials. Individually, the price changes don’t seem like a lot, but that extra ₦50 here or ₦200 there adds up, and at the end of the month, an extra chunk of my salary has disappeared even though I haven’t made any unusual purchases.
On navigating it, it’s really just been vibes, deep sighs, and telling myself “tough times never last, tough people do” every time I hear the new price of an item. That, plus making sure any savings I have doesn’t stay in Naira and instead goes to a dollar savings plan that pays me interest in USD or keeping my money in stable coins.
Everyone has an inflation story, but we can work to make this better by preserving our money and ensuring that it’s far away from the reach of inflation.