Nigeria economy is in a recession and the thoughts in people’s mind and question on their lips is how do we cope in a time like this? What are the steps we can take to keep our heads above the water and set ourselves on a path to recovery. Here are some few personal tips for us to consider.
1. Have the Right Attitude, Stay Positive
Attitude is an important force that shapes how we see and deal with problems. Rather than sit around blaming the government and others, we need to see beyond their influence and take control of our own lives and destiny. This will help us attain the right degree of calmness and levelheadedness that is required to see opportunities for progress in the midst of the recession. There is a Chinese saying, that he who blames others has a long way to go on his journey. He who blames himself is halfway there and he who blames no one has arrived.
2. Cut down on Personal and Family Expenses
Well, this is an obvious step that is expected at a time like this but it is still worth mentioning. It is time to remember your elementary economic lessons and separate your real needs from your wants. The basic principle is to focus on only things that are critical to your survival. You will be surprised at the end how much of somethings you can actually do away with. Cut down on fuel, telephone bills, entertainment, social visits, extracurricular activities, etc.
3. Be Proactive. Adjust your Lifestyle
The recession may not bite you hard at first, but you do not have to wait till it does before you start making changes to your lifestyle. Take precautions. Cut down on your spending. Increase your saving. Explore opportunities for short-term investments. Get rid of liabilities. Even if you will not eventually need it, there will be others around you who may not be as lucky as you are and would require help and support.
4. Network and Partner with Others
Since you are not the only one exposed to the economic hardship, chances are high that there are many others looking for ways to deal with the hardship too. This is not a time to be a lone-ranger. It is a time to let go of pride and partner with others on possible ways to free up more fund and cut down on some unavoidable expenses through sharing and communal living. Develop your own support network with members of your family, neighbors, work colleagues, social group members, friends, etc.
5. Explore Opportunities to Boost your Income
Explore and embrace opportunities for extra income. You may need to work harder and longer than you use to. You may need to trade off some of your time. Do not see this as a setback but as a means of riding the wave of the recession and coming out triumphant.
6. Do Not Take Your Job for Granted
Increase in job loss and unemployment are all effects of a recession. That means you have to be extra careful not to give your employers a reason to lay you off. Sometimes this may be inevitable for some businesses, but if and when it happens; it should not be as a result of not trying hard enough.
7. Start a Garden/Farm
If you have a good piece of land available somewhere, know someone who does, or have a space for a small garden at home; please take good advantage of it. You can at least plant some vegetables like okra, tomatoes, pepper etc. or even rear some household animals and birds. If you can do more than this, do not hesitate. You will be surprised at the amount of your own food you can grow. This might even fetch you some extra income on the long run.
8. Avoid Debts
Due to loss of income or purchasing power, there is a chance that many would be push towards borrowing. Do not do it except when extremely necessary. Never borrow to sustain your pre-recession lifestyle, rather adapt to your new realities and maintain a low profile as long as is necessary.
9. Be Creative. Innovate
It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention. If you maintain the right attitude during this time, you will find it easier to be creative. Be adventurous and ready to take calculated risks. Stay upbeat and be ready to row against the tide.