Coping With Cash Crunch, In Homes

By Ijeoma Opara   |   22 November 2015   |   3:44 am  

nairaThe Nigeria economy is going through tough times, as prices of items have gone up, in addition to lowering incomes. Put together, this has affected the economy and women also bear this burden, as they have to ensure that their families survive and live healthy even in the mist of lack.

According Mrs. Maria Elugwara, “It is just the grace of God, things are very expensive and my monthly salary now gets finished even before the end of another month. My kids in school now have to manage with the little I get. Items are so expensive, when you buy something today, the next time you go for it, the price doubles. Most times, you find these items to be fake or do not last. At least being sure that the children’s fees have been paid, we now eat from what is left.

She however noted that she has been able to manage her home financially, by ensuring that she overlooks her material wants. “I ensure that I manage what I have. In cooking nutritious foods, I go for vegetables; they are not so expensive, then get to the meat seller and buy some fresh meat; at the end of the day I make a nutritious pot of soup.
“I ensure that as a civil servant, I buy the necessary food items I need in the house, which is key in the home, for clothing and other household items, that is done based on critical need, but for food, it has to be available because feeding is key.”

For Mrs. Cecilia Onweazu, the cash crunch doesn’t stop her from eating and feeding her family although she laments the hike in food items sold. “If you look at what a bag of rice is sold for, it has increased, the last time we bought it was for about N8, 000 now you get it for N10, 000 and we don’t have a choice, we must eat rice, they only thing is to cut down on the meat or fish. However, I have witnessed sellers who end up selling below cost price because there are no customers and that is how bad the cash crunch has gone and is has affected our economy; there is no money in the system.

Mrs. Motunrayo Martins, Lawyer, noted that cash crunch comes with its challenges, which are not so easy to manage especially for most women with large families. “You will discover that one of the best methods to tackle this is to buy your food stuff in bulk, that way you have the opportunity to manage it in such a way that you can spread it for as long as you want, but then if your income is such that you can only buy in retails, then that rarely creates a problem because on a daily basis, you will have to manage the little that you have.

For most women like myself, it is more of the support that I receive from members of my family; husband and my children, the understanding that we have, recognizing that we are passing through a phase and we simply have to manage. Managing of course, means that we also have to avoid wastages and we try to make the best of the little that we have. It does not necessarily mean that we reduce the quality of food, but that we rather add a bit of care and caution. We just hope and pray that this phase goes away quickly,” she added.

Mrs. Maureen Uwadia a civil servant said, “These are trying times, funds are scare. “We are hoping that the Buhari government will do justice to the hike in items; when you go to the market to shop, you end up buying fewer items than you budgeted because of the cost and when you decide to adjust and go back prices go up again. It is so disheartening, but then we must eat and there’s nothing I can do about it. My children however must also eat healthy foods because it is key to growing both physically and intellectually and that is all I care about for now. Clothing can always come later at least they are not naked,” she said.

While Mrs. Ogechi Nnaji, an educationist noted that, things are not the way they used to be in the family, she said substituting is key. “I like certain Beverages which are more expensive, now I settle for less expensive ones, at least I am sure I get the same nutrients, the only difference is in the brand name. I also try to draw my scale of preference and for me food is paramount. I don’t buy all the Aso-ebis that come my way. I also try to trek to not so distant, places instead of using transportation, that will not only save cost but also make me healthier.”



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