5 Nov 2014

101 Ways To Spend Less Cash In Nigeria (69-84)

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PARENTING
69.  Use old fashion washable cloth nappies instead of disposable diapers: I know it is more time consuming and dirty to be washing nappies, but if our mums didn’t die changing our cotton nappies, then we can save more by going their way too.
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70.  Buy your children’s school materials long before school resumes: shopping for the school season should be done ahead of the season to beat demand, and save you some bucks. Also do most of their Christmas shopping ahead, leaving only few items till the holiday season proper.



71.  Reduce your children’s allowance/pocket money, and challenge them to find alternatives to what they presently spend money on. If you really want them to start being financially intelligent you can start by giving them financial exercises to do like this tip above. One of the ways of teaching your kids how to survive financially in the real world, or how best to better manage their money is to put them in real life money-challenging situations while they are still dependent on you. When they succeed, they will be glad you taught them a life lesson. And even if they fail, it is better to fail while still being a student under you, than to fail as a parent when they are on their own. Moreso, you get to either keep the difference, or save it on their behalf in an interest-bearing account.


BUSINESS, SOCIALISING, RECREATION, PROFESSIONAL BODIES

72.  Pay your professional dues as at when due to avoid penalties: It is self explanatory isn’t it?
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73.  Register your company in a tax-friendly state. In America, people take advantage of differing states’ tax laws/breaks by registering their companies in particular states, or even outside the country in Caribbean countries. It might be cheaper for you to have an offshore account or to have your ‘head office’ in a tax-friendly state/country. (Though many will argue that Nigeria is generally a tax-friendly state because you can get away with tax evasion). Find legal ways to defer tax payment by working with a good tax consultant.

74.  Consider starting your own business/branch of that business: if you discover for example, that your company and all its branches consumes a lot of stationery and you buy it all from an external source/another company, then you might save more if you start a department specializing in supplying or producing stationery. That’s the reason why you sometimes see a state government start a construction company when it has a lot of construction jobs to carry out which will be more expensive to outsource all to an external contractor.

75.  Sometimes it is the opposite to the tip above that saves you money though –when it is wiser to close down a department because it has become cheaper to outsource to an external consultant than to pay salaries monthly to in-house consultants/staff. If you are an entrepreneur who pays someone monthly for work or project that your company only does once or twice in a year, then it will be cheaper to close down that office/dept and outsource the project.

76. Source for things yourself, whether it is your pension fund managers, or your new house/shop, or a new equipment you need in your business, hiring someone to do it for you will definitely cost you more. This also applies to buying things from someone that you can otherwise get if only you leave your office to buy it yourself, thereby saving you the extra charges the middleman has put on the cost price. You get to spend your time though. Alternatively, if you know anyone who regularly goes to buy that thing, you can just send him/her to buy for you.

77.  Join your workplace cooperative, where you are encouraged to save more simply by seeing other people save too.

78. Change your church if you're attending an expensive one: If your church celebrates the best dressed couple, the trendiest single, the member with the most expensive car, and the likes, you might be tempted to spend more in order to feel among, or also clinch the award. You may be shocked but some churches in Lagos give such awards, and even those who don’t, use subtle methods to encourage showmanship. My sister once went to church and sat in a particular seat every Sunday because she wanted to observe the latest fashion other women were wearing to church. Don’t be deceived, not everyone spends for the sake of spending, some do it to oppress their fellow neighbours. And if you feel intimidated, you might give in to the temptation to compete by spending more. I also hear there are churches where you sit according to how much you pay in tithes.

79. Stop membership of any club, association, society or professional body membership whose costs to you far outweigh the benefits: For example, after you pass your ACCA exams up to nine (9) other professional bodies including ICAN will ask you to simply pay without sitting for their exams and become their paid member. What that means is a yearly subscription for each. Multiply that by 10 (including ACCA) and you know how much you will be spending annually. Not to talk of your alma mater’s annual dues, and then neighbourhood landlord/tenant dues, add church dues to that, and you could be paying a whole lot in dues annually.

80. Be wary of meetings and parties: with the membership of associations come meetings and (if you are from/reside in the south,) partying, partying and partying. Be wise with these so that they don’t cost you more annually.

TRANSPORTATION
81. Use BRT if you are in Lagos. If you go by public transport, consider using BRT. Also use a bus instead of a cab. It's cheaper most times. If you are travelling by road too, it is generally cheaper to go by bus rather by car, though it may be a little uncomfortable in some cases.

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82. Go in a friend or neighbour’s car, leave your own at home: generally in Nigeria, it is cheaper to not drive/own your own car only that it becomes less convenient. Using another’s car will save you the cost of fueling, repairs or Police/Road Safety hassles should you encounter them.

83. Check out many petrol stations then buy regularly from the one that sells the correct quantity every time, and don't be distracted while they are selling you fuel: It is not news that many filling stations dispense/sell less quantities of petrol than their pumps display. It is up to you to know which petrol stations around you are culpable and which of them conduct their business with integrity, and then make your decision which you will buy from regularly. If I were you, I will stick to the latter group to save money in the long haul.

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  I also read in a national daily that petrol station attendants defraud unwary customers at filling stations by selling less fuel than paid for simply because the car owner is distracted or not paying attention. Beware so that you don’t pay more for less. Always come down to check what the pump meter reads while the petrol/diesel is being sold to you.

84. Always have your change with you when using public transport: Many people complain bitterly of always forgetting their change with the conductor. Some people have paid N1000 for a N100 bus fare only to forget their N900 change- effectively paying ten times the fare. Make it a habit to always keep change aside if you regularly use public transport.

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