Nigeria’s current economic challenges are undeniable. The significant weakening of the naira against the dollar has resulted in skyrocketing prices of goods and services. While love is undoubtedly vital in a relationship, it would be unrealistic to downplay the role of money. In fact, many individuals find themselves in relationships primarily for the immediate benefits they provide. Although no names will be mentioned, this bitter truth persists. However, if, after careful consideration of the country’s dire situation, you choose to navigate it with your partner (which we commend), there are essential tips to help you maintain your relationship on a budget. While this article primarily targets couples who are presently dating, married couples can also find useful pointers, although we hold immense respect for anyone who is married, let alone caring for children in this economy. If you and/or your partner however, are fortunate enough to earn disposable incomes that support your current lifestyle, congratulations! Please step aside for our comrades, salary earners and wage workers, to benefit from this article. And if you are single, whether searching or not, still stick around. You might like our bonus tip.

9. Have a Budget

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” If you don’t have a budget by now, it could be for one or a combination of the following reasons. Perhaps you have someone else taking care of your bills, or you live comfortably enough that you don’t see the need for a budget. The third and most perilous possibility is that you haven’t yet realized the importance of living within your means in this challenging economy and continue to spend more than you earn. Given the severity of the country’s situation, it’s crucial to assess your income and expenses and find a balance, whether on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

There’s nothing wrong with discussing budgets with your partner to determine their approach. It can reveal their level of seriousness and commitment. The significance of having a budget cannot be overstated. You can search online for personal budget templates that suit your needs. In times of hardship and scarcity, it is vital to learn how to live within your means, and it all begins with creating a budget. 

Additionally, it’s worth considering if your partner receives a weekly or monthly allowance and whether it can be adjusted to align better with budgetary goals. Undoubtedly, empathy and understanding are crucial during these trying times.

8. Cut Back on T-Fare

Many individuals underestimate their monthly transportation expenses. The costs associated with transportation can be quite deceptive, and a thorough reassessment of your spending habits can reveal the extent of it. In fact, transportation expenses sometimes rival or even exceed the costs of food and rent. 

So, what can you and your partner do to manage it more effectively? The solution is simple. Temporarily avoid services like Bolt, Uber, Indrive, or any other glorified taxi options. If your partner wants to come over, suggest taking public transportation like a ‘Danfo’ or maybe ‘Okada.’ They could also consider hiking if the distance isn’t too far. It’s a chance to get some exercise too. It wouldn’t hurt to grab some refreshments along the way to rejuvenate their bodies after a good stroll. 

Does either of you or a mutual friend, colleague or relative own a car? Fantastic! Why not carpool? Traveling in a car with family, friends, or relatives is an excellent way to save money. Just remember to contribute for petrol as it demonstrates consideration and acknowledges that nobody is your designated driver.

7. Practice Your Introvert

Normalize the idea of staying in more often and only going out when absolutely necessary. This means significantly reducing the frequency of clubbing and partying, whether you do it alone or with your partner. However, we’re not suggesting that you completely eliminate fun and enjoyment from your lives. Instead of going out and depleting your bank account, why not save money by preparing a simple and delightful experience at home for your partner? 

Home-cooked meals are still much more affordable than ordering from restaurants. Additionally, given the current situation, it’s not a crime to split the bill in a more balanced way. We’re not suggesting that you always go for a strict 50/50 split on all expenses, but what about a 70-30 or 80-20 arrangement? For instance, if your partner arranges for the food, maybe you could take care of the water or another aspect of the meal. 

Any small contribution you can make to alleviate the financial strain will go a long way in making things easier for both of you. It can help prevent frustration and minimize the potential for petty quarrels and disagreements that often arise from the burden of spending for two people in challenging economic times.

6. Buy in Bulk

Given the fluctuating prices of goods and commodities on a weekly basis, it makes sense to stockpile essential items and amenities, saving them for when they are needed. This is an area where you and your partner can play a role. Are either of you prone to wastefulness, or do you possess knowledge of where to find common items and commodities at affordable prices? 

Having a resourceful partner with a good understanding of purchasing power is a valuable quality. It demonstrates their grasp of financial concepts and their ability to negotiate and find bargains, which is particularly important given the deliberate and absurd price hikes on goods and services. While it’s beneficial to have a competent person with such skills on your side, it wouldn’t hurt to develop your own bargaining abilities. There’s no room for being overly naive or inexperienced here. Resources are becoming increasingly challenging to acquire, and effectively managing them to satisfy your needs and those of others can be a daunting task. 

If you currently lack strong bargaining skills, I recommend reading up on negotiation techniques online or, even better, learning from a partner who excels in navigating the market. This further emphasizes why having such a skill in a partner is a valuable asset.

5. DIY Together

While many people are complaining about the state of the economy, there is a group that doesn’t seem to mind as much: manual laborers or those in brown-collar jobs. The prices of commodities and materials may have doubled, but the cost of workmanship and labor expertise has also increased. In either case, brown-collar workers benefit. While it’s important to support local workers and contribute to the local economy, now is not the time to overly rely on others for services that we could potentially handle ourselves. 

However, it’s essential to clarify that we are not suggesting that you should take on tasks that require professional expertise, such as major roof leaks, serious electrical faults, or structural failures. But for minor issues like a plumbing problem or a wardrobe malfunction, you or your partner may be able to fix them without necessarily calling a technician. Again, we are not advising you or your partner to handle issues that require professional assistance. It’s crucial to recognize your skill set and capabilities and determine whether you have the necessary expertise to tackle the problem. If you feel you have some understanding of how to approach the issue but are unsure where to start, don’t worry, the internet has you covered. 

YouTube is filled with countless hours of videos addressing various home challenges and issues. There are few things as rewarding as successfully fixing a situation yourself when you could have paid someone else to do it.

4. Take Out a Loan but Do So Sensibly

“A debtor is a slave to his lender.” Such words have never been more true. Now, more than ever, loan apps are targeting people, and you are not exempt. They tempt you with large loan amounts and promise minimal interest. However, most of them deceive borrowers regarding the interest rates, and many have fallen into the trap of loan sharks, only to realize the pitfalls later. In fact, some relationships have been strained because one partner was listed as a guarantor and faced harassment when the loan defaulted. Trust me, it’s not a pleasant scenario, and you and your partner should avoid it at all costs. To steer clear of such situations, keep the following pointers in mind.

Firstly, only take out a loan if it is absolutely necessary, and only when you have a practical and viable plan in place to repay it. If this condition is not met, do not take that loan!

Also, instead of resorting to loan apps or loan sharks, consider personal loans from family and friends. They often come with better benefits, such as more negotiable interest rates and flexible repayment terms.

Furthermore, if you must use loan apps or any other lending service and intend to list your partner as a guarantor, it is crucial to inform them beforehand. Respect their decision, even if they refuse to be listed for any reason. Open communication is key in maintaining a healthy relationship.

3. Save. Save. Save

“Save Money and Money Will Save You.” This quote emphasizes the importance of saving for the future, contrasting the wise person who saves with the fool who spends everything they receive. In a relationship, the ability to save money has become an increasingly attractive trait. Many couples currently sustain a joint savings account together which is an admirable endeavor. Perhaps you’ve also come across blog posts or news articles about people who diligently save spare change in piggy banks, also known as ‘kolo’ over extended periods of time, only to discover a substantial amount of money when they eventually break it open. This saving practice challenges two misconceptions about saving.

Firstly, saving using a piggy bank or kolo is not childish. However, even if it were considered so, it is a worthwhile practice to navigate the current economy and gain a personal advantage. Secondly, you don’t need to have a surplus or excess before you can save. Even the small change from transportation fares, meals, or any other expenses can be saved in your piggy box or kolo. But if you feel that saving in a piggy bank is beneath you, it’s worth noting that banks accept any amount of money, regardless of the denomination. You don’t even have to physically visit the bank; remote transaction services like point-of-sale (POS) can be utilized.

It’s important to remember that you can set a target for how much you want to save on a weekly or daily basis. By employing any of these methods, many individuals have been able to achieve long-term dreams such as property ownership or starting their own businesses. If others have accomplished these goals, you can too. If your partner is struggling to save money, consider sharing your own saving techniques or reviewing this article together. I am confident that they will benefit from it.

2. Increase Your Sources of Income

“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.” This quote emphasizes that true wealth lies in having diverse opportunities rather than solely accumulating financial resources. It highlights the importance of being versatile and capable of undertaking various tasks and jobs, rather than limiting oneself to a single path. 

While it is essential to maintain the security of your current job, it is also worth considering exploring additional avenues. You can venture into different businesses or explore freelance opportunities and online marketplaces that align with your skills and expertise. Capitalizing on your hobbies or talents through a small side hustle can be a rewarding endeavor. This is an opportune time to rediscover and utilize any dormant skills that can benefit you financially.

Moreover, you can even consider embarking on a joint business venture with your partner. Starting small, you can brainstorm ideas together and seek professional guidance and advice. Who knows? With dedication and effort, both of you may excel and become a formidable power couple. Realizing the possibilities of such a partnership can be truly exciting.

1. If Your Partner Loves Spending Money, Talk To Them

If you’re dating someone who consistently spends beyond their means, particularly in the current challenging economy affecting everyone, it may be an indication that they do not value managing money It’s important to have open and honest conversations about money, and if you find yourselves disagreeing on financial matters, it could be a sign to reassess the relationship.

Recall the saying, “The love of money is the root of all evil” but it can also be the root to poverty. It’s crucial to align yourself with someone who shares your vision and values, especially when it comes to money management. Assess how your partner handles money. Do they prioritize spending over planning? If you recognize that the country’s current situation calls for tightening one’s belt to prepare for tougher times, but your partner is solely focused on acquiring the latest gadgets and fashion, it may indicate a more significant issue. In such cases, it might be a strong signal to consider ending the relationship and seeking a partner who demonstrates greater financial responsibility. 

Remember, it is better to experience heartbreak than to find yourself with an empty wallet. Financial compatibility and responsible money management are essential qualities to consider when choosing a long-term partner.

Bonus Tip: Just Be Single

If, like many others, you find yourself struggling in the challenging economic landscape of the country, the most beneficial relationship you can focus on right now is with God and yourself. It’s important to understand that being single doesn’t mean being alone, and once you can rationalize this perspective, making the decision to prioritize self-care becomes easier.

I realize that this may not be what you want to hear, especially if you are emotionally dependent on others and find it difficult to live independently. However, in Nigeria’s current circumstances, there is no better time to update your relationship status to single. Drastic times call for drastic measures, and if taking such a step means eliminating unnecessary drama from your life, it can be considered a significant victory.

Normalize acknowledging that your current financial situation may not support a committed relationship at this time. It’s perfectly acceptable to wait until you are more financially stable before pursuing a romantic partnership. Have an honest and mature conversation with your soon-to-be-ex, explaining that you are unable to meet their expectations and responsibilities at this point in your life. If they are reasonable, they will understand and respect your decision. In the worst-case scenario, they may choose to sever all ties with you, which might ultimately be for the best.

Trust that in the long run, you will appreciate this decision. Taking time to prioritize your financial well-being and personal growth will set you up for a better future, allowing you to enter future relationships from a position of strength and stability.

Let’s take a moment to review, shall we? The stress caused by the current state of the economy is already overwhelming enough. Therefore, it’s crucial that your relationship doesn’t become an additional source of stress, particularly when it comes to financial matters. It’s important to have a partner who understands how to spend, manage, and save money wisely.

Ideally, your partner should possess the ability to create and adhere to a budget, reduce expenses like transportation fares and indulgences, and make sensible decisions regarding bulk purchases and loans. While these money management skills may not come naturally to everyone, it’s important to remember that they can be learned over time. So, if your partner or even you yourself lack these skills, there is still hope for improvement.

Rest assured, it is possible to make wise financial choices while maintaining a healthy and functional relationship. However, it’s equally valid to be content being single if that aligns better with your current circumstances.

We suggest bookmarking this page for future reference. If you know of any couples, family members, or friends who could benefit from this information, feel free to share it with them via WhatsApp. Encourage them to initiate conversations about improving their financial habits, particularly in light of the challenging economic times we are experiencing. By openly discussing these matters and supporting each other, it is possible to work towards a more secure and harmonious financial future together.

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