My Money is a new series looking at how people spend their money – and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here, Somi Ifeh from Lagos in Nigeria, records her spending over a week and shares tips for saving.
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Somi is 26 works for a PR firm in Lagos. Her monthly take-home salary is ₦100,000 ($276, £211). A lot of Somi’s money ends up being spent on food, books… and more food.
Somi’s week: A family wedding, a pay rise and some healthy eating
I just wrapped up an event in the early hours and haven’t really had much rest. Mind you, my healthy eating begins today. My sister bought me a book of recipes which I will use this week.
My spending this week is going to be healthy. The afang [vegetable] soup cost me about ₦1,000 to make, and transport cost me ₦850 to and from work. The afang soup is good for my diet.
Total spend: ₦1,850 ($5; £3.90)
Today I spent my money only on transportation which cost me ₦800. Oh wait, I bought roasted plantain for ₦100.
I prepped my meals at home. For breakfast I had two boiled eggs, for lunch I had chicken stir-fry, and for dinner I had roasted plantain because I had to run out of the office before dinner.
I regretted running out because I was hungry and peckish most of the night, and I had forgotten to buy the tiger nuts for snacking.
I loaded my phone with ₦750 credit and I used ₦500 to buy 2GB of mobile data today.
Total spend: ₦1,650 ($4.50; £3.50)
This is the same as Tuesday, I am still healthy eating, so the food was the same. Black and green tea at 11:00, chicken stir fry for lunch, afang soup for dinner.
I left the office at 17:00 to see a friend. I spent ₦400 on getting to the office, ₦500 on getting to my friend’s house and I took an Uber taxi home, not sure how much it cost because I didn’t order it.
Total spend: ₦900 ($2.50; £1.90)
We are having an assessment in my office today. I was hoping for a salary increase – which might be a nice bonus as 2019 was a crazy year.
Thankfully it came through – I got my pay rise.
I ran late today so couldn’t prep any meals. And, I am really hungry today as it is the last day of my healthy eating.
I joined my cousin in her Uber to the Island today, so my transport to the office was ₦200 as opposed to the usual ₦400.
I spent ₦100 on bread and another ₦100 on a biscuit. And ate chicken stir-fry for lunch. I had nothing for dinner. I spent ₦400 on the journey home, met my aunt at the gate and escorted her to my other aunt’s house. I spent ₦800 on credit today.
Total spend: ₦1,600 ($4.40; £3.40)
I spent most of the day at home. I have a tonne of books in my house. I buy historical romances. When I’ve finished with them I exchange them.
I stepped out to sell some novels I had read to my customer, I spent ₦250 on biking to and fro. I made a measly ₦1,000 on 30 books I had initially bought for ₦300 per book.
I collected ₦1,000 from my cousin because I didn’t have cash at home.
I fixed my nails for ₦500, and I bought two pairs of pants for ₦500.
I stepped out for my aunt’s office party, I had to go home to pick up a selfie stick, so I ended up spending ₦550 on transport instead of ₦250 but my aunt paid for the Uber home.
Money made: ₦2,000
Total spend: ₦1,800 ($4.95; £3.80)
I got paid my December salary today, and had a logistics reimbursement [when you pay for a cab to a meeting out of your own account you can claim money back from the work account] of ₦5,000 sent to me.
I went out with my aunt to Victoria Island and from there went to eat with a friend. I had two scoops of gelato for ₦1,700 and KFC Streetwise: Two pieces of chicken with fries for ₦2,000.
We take turns to cook and tomorrow is my turn, so I withdrew ₦7,000 from the bank, joined my friend’s Uber to the market/my tailor’s to pick up my dress (made from a traditional material called aso-ebi, worn on special occasions – I have a wedding tomorrow). I bought dried fish, pepper, chicken, turkey and coconut powder for the coconut rice tomorrow. This cost me ₦4,750 including transport. I bought credit of ₦3,000, to buy data for a week (6GB) – with my phone and my love of Netflix it’s best to buy in moderation.
Total spend: I spent ₦11,450 ($31.50; £24.30) today, whew that’s a lot.
A friend is getting married today. I followed my family to church for the 08:00 mass. I am a Catholic. I stayed in church for meetings till 14:00, I took a keke [tricycle taxi] to my friend’s house in the Government Reserved Area. I had a make-up artist come to do my make up for the wedding, this cost me ₦5,000.
I took Bolt taxi to the venue [Bolt seemed cheaper than Uber that evening] but it cost ₦,1600 – way more than the estimate which was ₦800 – 1000. I reported the ride but still no response. I took an Uber home and it cost me ₦1,500.
Total spend: ₦8,100 ($22.30; £17.17)
How does Somi feel about her week?
In a week I spent ₦27,350 ($75.30; £58) and earned ₦2,000 ($5.50; £4.24). I spend more than I earn so I think I need two jobs. In our city we need a side hustle.
I only spent on transport and food so I didn’t have any big expenses.
I don’t go out much Monday to Friday. I go to work and come back home. It’s just the kind of person I am.
Total weekly spend: ₦27,350 ($75.30; £58)