Deola had been looking forward to this day for the past one month. She would finally see all her high school friends, take instagram pictures, eat a lavish meal and watch the wedding party. It was 6:15pm and as she made her way home she was filled with so much disappointment at how the day turned out.
Six hours earlier ….
The car clock was beeping 12:25pm. The venue had already been set and Deola was looking forward to the snapchat geo tags and the sophisticated scenery . She made her way to Victoria Island in her expensive Jump suit and beautifully done hairstyle. Little did she know that she was going to spend 2 hours in traffic.
On getting to the venue all her friends were already waiting. She quickly ordered a large bottle of large water. The waiter asked “mineral or sparkling?” She chose mineral . On bringing her order she realized it was ordinary Ragolis bottle . She quickly drank not caring about checking the price of the commodity .
The waiter served the menu list and her friends for some reason didn’t open theirs. She asked what the problem was and Aduke stated clearly “ I cannot afford to eat here, I have to think about tomorrow”. Deola obviously irritated replied “how expensive can it be?”. On opening the menu the first issue was she didn’t even understand the food , one plate of food was averagely 7,000 Naira . She knew she could afford it , after all it’s just 7,000 naira. On getting to the end of the menu she realized she will still pay VAT, consumption tax and Service Charge.
It was obvious her friends were not going to order anything .She thought about the pictures , the snaps , her outfit , the hours in traffic. She knew they were right. Even if she could pay for the lunch she will be broke by the end of the week. Deola quickly searched “eat.drink.lagos” on Instagram . She found other restaurants and convinced her friends to try another restaurant in close proximity.
Deola asked for her bill and couldn’t believe her eyes. 1 liter of Ragolis Water was 1,400 excluding taxes. The same water that is sold in traffic for 150 Naira. In annoyance she left hurriedly.
The time was 3:30pm and still no lunch, no snaps , no instagram worthy picture. Deola had already gone to four other restaurants in the Victoria Island axis with no positive result . Aduke suggested they make their way to Palms, buy their tickets and buy food from Shoprite. “That wasn’t the plan !” Deola cried out . With hesitation she made her way to Palms.
On getting there the Wedding Party was sold out . It was 4:30pm and Deola had to be home by 7:00pm. As she sat at the Food Court she wondered what the whole purpose of the outing was . She wanted to spend time with her friends but at the end of the day all that was achieved was an excursion to the exotic restaurants in the Victoria Island Axis .
Deola was exhausted and decided to drown herself in Sweet Kiwi and a large Piece of Chicken from Shoprite. As she made her way home she got an alert from Diamond Bank; Debit Alert : 5,000 Naira.
For Deola it was an exotic Lunch , to Lagbaja it might be the latest IPhone, to Ahmed it might be the latest Range Rover, it might be that house in lekki, that weekend in Lagos, that business class ticket to Dubai, that Brazilian weave.
It is important to have fun, build memories, enjoy yourself . Many might say ‘YOLO’ ( You Only Live Once), ‘ Live in the Moment’. There is nothing wrong with that, However before you bring out that Card or make that transfer ask yourself these questions;
1. Can I afford to pay for this twice?
2. Do I have savings ?
3 . Am I preparing for the rainy days ?
4. What is the purpose of this expenditure?
5. What is my ratio of income to outflux?
If we all search deeply into our hearts and answer these questions we would be surprised at how much money we waste daily. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the good things of life but it’s important to make wise decisions and plan for the future. Deola is still a student and is worried about having lunch at such an expensive restaurant; the problem is not wanting to eat there the problem is the timing. A year from now spending 16,000 Naira on food may not shake her bank account.
Everyone is aware of the current state Nigerians have been involuntarily plunged into. It is important to have goals and strive to live the best life possible. This is not the time to let go of the funds you have with you. Our minds should be wondering “How can I make my money work for me ?”realize it is not just about the moment, it’s about sustaining that lifestyle decision and securing your future.
Have a wonderful week as you cut down on your spendings ??.