My Money: A wedding, a pay rise and some healthy eating

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Somi Ifeh

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.

We’re looking for more people to share what they spend their money on. We’re particularly keen to hear from disabled people about the extra cash your disability costs you. If you’re interested, please email

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.

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Somi Ifeh

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Somi’s lunch – chicken salad

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.

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Somi Ifeh

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.

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Somi Ifeh

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)