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How to budget on a N300,000 salary

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Earning as high as N300,000 in Nigeria today sure puts you in the top echelon of salary earners.

According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics NBS, Nigeria’s minimum wage is N30,000, so a N300,000 salary puts you at least ten times above the national minimum wage.

To put this more into context, we may consider the current civil service pay structure. According to statistics from the Lagos state government Harmonized Public Service Structure HPSS, a grade 14 state worker earns between N325,518 to N457,952.

These are top government officials and earnings anywhere in the region of these salaries definitely puts you way ahead of a lot of civil service and private sector workers.

While these numbers suggest that one can live a lavish lifestyle with N300,000, the reality is far from that.

In today’s Nigeria, N300,000 per month would actually let you live on average and failure to plan or budget properly might plunge you into financial trouble.

Perth Partners infographic, shows the reality of living on N300,000 per month and the realities are indeed appalling. For instance, after spending conservatively and saving for rent, a worker would be left with no more than N15,000 for miscellaneous expenses.

The most worrisome part of the data is the fact that investing was not factored in. Apparently, a worker earning N300,000 can save, pay for their rent, bills, transportation etc. without putting anything aside for investing and still live from “hand to mouth”.

Little wonder, many workers who have worked for the statutory 35 years in civil service leave with almost no investment on the ground.

It is clear that thriving and surviving on a N300,000 paycheck requires a thorough and well-calculated plan to eventually escape the proverbial “rat race”.

How much is enough? Will a pay raise help my financial situation? Can one eventually kiss financial struggles goodbye?

Unfortunately, a very good percentage of workers experience varying degrees of financial difficulty. CNBC statistics show that about 70% of Americans feel financially stressed.

That is, seven out of ten Americans experience financial problems of one sort or another. The problem can be linked with financial literacy.

According to Credit Donkey, only 32% of US households prepare a budget.

This goes to show how many people have a spending plan as against spending on impulse. Spending without a budget only works when one has substantially more money than their needs and wants and definitely not in a case of scarce resources like a N300,000 salary earner.

Hence, it is not only advisable but indeed necessary for salary earners to not only draft but commit to a budget.

How to budget on a N300,000 salary

  • Understand the reality of the situation: Some salary earners are yet to realise the severity of the prevailing economic situation in Nigeria. For example, the NBS economic report for August put inflation figures at 24.08%. The cost of petrol has surged year-on-year by 216%. The reality of the matter is that the purchasing power of the same salary earned a year or two ago has drastically reduced today. Hence, more financial prudence must be applied. Understanding the reality of the situation makes the individual see budgeting as a necessity and not an option.
  • Assess your net income: Do you know how much you take home on average every month? For some, these numbers are not steady as allowances and other benefits differ at different times of the year. However, to create an effective budget you need to get a very specific amount you expect every month and work with this number. Assuming ambiguous figures or expecting more than is available may lead to budgeting errors.
  • Create a spending limit: Admittedly, it is difficult these days to allocate exact amounts to expenses because the prices of everyday items fluctuate wildly. The other option on the table is setting a cap on your spending. For example, you may cut off unnecessary spending once your expenses cross a certain threshold.
  • Cut off impulsive spending: Living off a N300,000 salary invariably means some expenses are off your reach especially if your goal is to avoid financial ruin. Unplanned expenses should be avoided. Only make expenses that have been planned beforehand. Avoid the urge to impress people with your spending or trying to “keep up with the Joneses”
  • Cut costs as much as possible: Creating and sticking a budget may be nearly impossible if you do not cut existing costs. For instance, experts recommend that your rent shouldn’t take more than 30% of your salary. However, instead of renting an apartment that takes up 30% of your salary, you may opt for a lower-tier property that costs way less or choose apartments in low-cost areas.
  • Seek professional financial help: For some, the solution may require them to see a financial counsellor. The job of the counsellor/ advisor is to help identify financial problems and proffer solutions. A financial advisor may identify bad spending habits or unrealistic savings expectations as the reason for the budgeting difficulty and help you with practicable solutions to help you improve.

In conclusion, living on a N300,000 monthly salary may require you to adopt a prudent financial plan.

The scarce financial resources require tact, discipline and flexibility to stay on top of your finances, invest and have enough savings for the rainy days.

Business

Local airlines will soon start flying directly to South America, says Keyamo

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Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation, says the country is looking to commence direct flight operations to South America.

The minister made this known on Saturday during an interview with the statehouse media.

On March 20, Air Peace, Nigeria’s flag carrier, commenced its Lagos-London flight services.

Keyamo said more indigenous airlines would soon commence flight operations to other routes.

“We are looking at the American route, we are looking at the South American route,” he said.

“They are not even flying the South American route at all but something is in the offering for us to start that route now so as to help the Nigerian flying public to bring down their prices.”

He said this is one aspect of helping local airline to enforce Bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA).

According to the minister, this will also ensure “you tell the countries that this is our flag carriers, present them as your flag carriers and so they respect them as Nigeria’s representative not as just private businesses in Nigeria”.

Speaking further, Keyamo said in the 2024 budget, there is provision for a master plan for the ministry.

The master plan, he said, is not to redesign the terminal buildings at airports but to modify the electropolis.

Keyamo said it would be done in all airports, starting with the five international airports.

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Business

FAAN warns airport users against offering bribes, encouraging extortion

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has warned airport users against offering bribes and encouraging extortion this Sallah season.

The authority gave the warning on Friday in a statement issued by Obiageli Orah, its director of public affairs and consumer.

According to FAAN, any staff or government agency operating at the airports found guilty of accepting bribes will face punishment.

“The MD of FAAN Mrs Olubunmi Kuku, at a recent event had sent out a severe warning to staff as well as all government agencies that operate at our airports that FAAN will ensure that whoever is culpable is punished,” the authority said.

“Do not give bribes or encourage extortion.”

FAAN also assured Nigerians of seamless travels through its airports this festive season, adding that the authority has consistently upgraded its security measures to ensure the safety of travellers and their property.

The authority advised all travellers to arrive at the airport early to avoid missing their flights and to reduce the rush.

“International travellers must be at the airport three hours before departure, while local travellers must ensure to arrive about two hours to flight schedule,” FAAN said.

“Please ensure that you pack your luggage by yourself. Do not leave your luggage unattended.

“FAAN has expanded the screening area in order to give passengers a better flying experience.

“Keep an eye on your valuables while passing through screening.

“Respect rules and regulations in respect of carriage of prohibited articles, liquids, and gel.

“We have information desks at all our airports to assist you. Please make use of them.”

FAAN also advised travellers to park their vehicles properly in the car park to avoid towing, urging them not to use the services of touts.

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Business

Naira depreciates against dollar at parallel, official markets

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Naira appreciates to N1,419/$ at official market

The naira depreciated in the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Friday.

At the Lagos street market, currency traders, also known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, said the naira depreciated to N1,485 against the dollar.

The black market traders put the buying price of the dollar at N1,460 and the selling price at N1,485 — leaving a profit margin of N25.

This represents N5 or 0.34 percent depreciation compared to the N1,480/$ reported on May 10.

At the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees official foreign exchange (FX) trading in Nigeria, the local currency depreciated by 0.44 percent or N6.48 to N1,482.72/$ on Friday — from N1,476.24/$ on May 13.

The dollar traded as high as N1,490/$ and as low as N1,390 during trading hours.

The daily FX market turnover stood at $183.47 million.

At the current FX rates, the gap between the official window and the parallel market is N2.28.

On June 5 Fitch Ratings, a global rating agency, projected naira will end the year at N1,450 to a dollar.

Gaimin Nonyane, director, Middle-East and Africa sovereigns, at Fitch Ratings, said despite the volatility experienced by the naira since its floating in June 2023, there are expectations that the fluctuation will reduce by the third quarter (Q3) of 2024.

Nonyane projected a gradual depreciation of the naira in 2025, adding that this depends largely on the foreign exchange reform’s momentum.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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