Biodun Da-Silva: How You Can Survive This High Cost of Living

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I was in my bed reflecting on a potential project that I needed to embark on in the future. I had done a similar project about 2 years ago so I brought out the spreadsheet I had used for costs and expenses. The more I looked at it, the more I realised how the numbers have become obsolete. I sighed and said out loud, “It’s just 2 years.”

The truth is, a lot can and has happened to us in the last 2 years in ways we cannot begin to imagine. From surviving the Covid-19 pandemic, watching the war in Russia as it unfolds, elections in America to coups in Africa and all their negative impact on our already fragile economy. Our cost of living has significantly increased and inflation is on an upward spiral with no hope of a remedy in sight. Economies across the world are under attack. If there was ever a time that the saying “the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer” meant anything, it is now more profound. The poor are literally dying of starvation and frustration.

The middle-class socio-economic strata have become eroded. In recent times, you are either rich or poor. Many people are struggling with rising property prices, educational inflation, food inflation, and the exorbitant expense of medical procedures and upkeep. The uncertainty around inflation and the rising cost of living is hindering not just our economic progress, but also our personal growth and development. The question is, to what end?

A huge number of people are struggling to navigate their financial crisis while operating from a depressed state of mind. Some have been laid off due to the company reducing costs to stay afloat. Many have been forced to work multiple jobs just to keep up. Having disposable income now sounds like a myth as most family income barely covers or meets the basic immediate family needs.

The people of my generation have not had it easy but there have always been challenges since the beginning of time. Each generation has to develop tactics and strategies that fit their times and are pertinent to their economic conditions. And so it shall continue.

Invest in financial education

There is no better time to learn financial literacy than now. Depression can essentially be facilitated by being broke. Therefore, financial education teaches you when, how and what to spend or invest your money for maximum returns. When you are financially literate, your money decisions will come from a place of knowledge which makes you avoid losing your money. It is vital to hedge our funds against depreciation during recessions but without adequate knowledge about basic finance, we may end up losing our life savings.

Family planning

This is not just about child maternal, mortality or morbidity rate, it runs deeper than that. The best time to plan a family is when a man and a woman are yet to be married. They’d have the luxury of time to plan the marriage layout, the family they desire and the quality of life they intend to lead. From the number of kids, the education they want, family time, vacations, and others.

High-quality child care is expensive. A family income has to be commensurate with the number of children a couple should bring to the world to avoid misery and prevent child abuse. It is important to note that beyond the quality of life from family planning, it reduces poverty and minimises moral vices such as crime, child and teenage prostitution pregnancy and others. It also ensures more educated citizens and more importantly, the world would be safer and the population more controlled.

Reduce cost

I believe this to be self-explanatory and it doesn’t apply to companies alone. Reducing cost in a business context simply means a company reduces their overall running cost to maximize profit. We can use that strategy in our personal lives too. We could cook instead of eating out of a restaurant. Fly economy instead of business or business in place of first class. Read articles online or listen to ebooks instead of surfing E-commerce websites. There have got to be cheaper ways to live life to the fullest. We should find the ones that would satisfy our appetite and fit our lifestyle.

Strategic expenditures

Fundamentally, the basic human needs are food, clothing and shelter. Anything outside of that is basically a want that you can survive without. The line between income, basic expenses and disposable income is getting thinner and thinner. We barely have enough income left to admit disposable funds these days. So if you must spend on your wants at all, ensure it’s worth it.

Embrace multiple streams of income: Many people can now attest to the fact that a single source of income is no longer enough. One income stream barely covers the cost of running a home. The era of a man being the sole breadwinner is also fizzling out as all hands must be on deck. In this age and time, everyone has to have something to bring to the table hence the need to find more creative ways to earn a living.

Learn new skills

Learning a new skill is also a great way to enhance your career. You become a high-value individual when you know something the next person doesn’t know. Knowledge and information application are vital in today’s job market.

A business owner can design more products relevant to the needs of consumers to create additional revenue sources. There are freelancing and remote jobs you could do from the convenience of your home or office to earn more. Inflation affects everyone in the world, but there has never been a better time in the history of civilisation when there are options to combat inflation on multiple fronts. With technology, we are well-equipped with solutions to enjoy better days ahead.

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