In the month of February, I didn’t make a single unnecessary purchase outside those agreed in Part 1 of this series. In a surprising turn of events, the very people who accused me of unnecessary spending, and those who I told about this experiment now claim I’m going overboard with cutting down my expenses. So far, in February, I’ve been told: “You are embarrassing me with this saving thing o!”; “You know you can afford it, just buy it” and my favourite, after I’d declined making a purchase “But you’ve never bought anything from me! OK, you may even pay me what you have now, and balance later”
Social media encourages materialism. We have a barrage of online retailers selling everything from clothes to hair, and every other thing a person can possibly desire. We see memes poking fun at how we spend our wages so quickly and we feel better, because if everyone else is doing that, then it is OK right?
In Nigeria, almost no one admits to having disposable income – we all are *managing. So who then are these people buying things often? An older friend explained it to me. He said ‘ all young people need validation. Some people have worked out that they can make money off this need for validation. Lifestyle businesses are on the rise in Nigeria because some people are (building their longer term goals) by supplying validation.
*Managing – a term to say you are just getting-by when questioned about your finances or lifestyle.