period of economic distress when businesses eliminate personnel, and stock market prices fall and remain low is known as an economic downturn. It is a period of high inflation where prices of products and services keep going up and there is not enough money in circulation in the economy for the everyday man to get by. Also, it is a period (as witnessed in Nigeria presently) where the exchange rate of the dollar against the naira is outrageously in its all-time high, the type that had never been witnessed before, and it keeps getting higher by the day with no end in sight.
Although to some, it may appear unbelievable and unachievable but, building wealth during an economic downturn is perfectly achievable. According to experts, recessions might be one of the ideal periods to increase your personal fortune. How does one go about doing that?
In no particular order, I present to you the things (for the common man) to do to get by during an economic downturn:
Avoid unnecessary celebration
I know for a fact that if there is anything Nigerians cannot do without is to celebrate an occasion – be it weddings, birthdays, naming ceremony, an anniversary of some sort, a promotion at the workplace, funerals (yes, you heard me right!), you name it! There is always something to celebrate about in Nigeria and if you had ever been to this part of the world, you would really understand what it means to celebrate. Major roads are blocked on a weekend with giant tents lined up on a busy street to celebrate a deceased who was a prominent figure in the society. Simply put, marking an event (celebration) is imbibed in our culture and tradition.
From the Yoruba in the west to the Igbo in the east; the Ibibio, Itsekiri, and ijaw in the south-south region; to the Hausa in the north, their attitudes and viewpoints surrounding festivals, events, and celebrations are one and the same – it is a lifestyle.
With that said, avoid spending the little you have on trying to bring people together to make merry with you during the period of economic recession. A simple way to mark that memorable moment, say birthday, is by word of mouth. Take a picture of yourself (with your smartphone), post it on any social media of your choice with the caption “Happy birthday to me”. By so doing, the money you could have expended in throwing a party will remain in your pocket for a more productive venture in the near future. And, if you are looking to get married during the recession, the intending couple could walk up to a priest accompanied by their witnesses (parent/guardian) and get the thing over and done with. What is most important here is the two of you (the couple) and matrimony without a guest is equally as good as the one with flocks of the crowd.
Avoid borrowing to throw a party
It is a common sight for people in this part of the divide (Nigeria) to borrow money to throw a party especially in the case of the unforeseen (death of a loved one) happening suddenly. It is a norm to perform some funeral rite as the custom demands and such always comes at a cost – throwing a party to celebrate the life of the deceased (mostly, if the deceased happened to be an elderly); kinsmen of the deceased are known to come together, hold a meeting with the deceased’s immediate/extended family, and each and every member are “taxed” (billed) on what to provide in cash, in kind and commodities too before the laying to rest of their beloved.
This common practice cuts across all tribes in Nigeria and as such, people go as far as borrowing and/or sell properties just to raise money for such cause.
But during an economic downturn period, anyone who happens to find himself in this position has the option of bailing out by putting any expense-laden party on hold till when the economy curve starts spiraling upward again. Or, do the least they can by dialoguing with those concerned so as to cut out the cost of whatever celebration to the nearest minimum.
All in all, borrowing money for any event or occasion will only leave you frustrated as soon as the event comes to an end. At that point, you would start to ask yourself if it was all worth the borrowing especially when there is interest accrued to the money borrowed.
Old and unwanted material should be disposed-off for quick cash
Selling off outdated or unneeded items around the house is a good approach to get some money during a downturn. This might include anything from electronics to out-of-fashion clothing and antique furniture. An excellent period to sell is during an economic downturn because of the lack of money in circulation, people are more willing to buy second-hand goods.
If you have at your disposal something nice and unique to sell, do it online through internet auctions, e-commerce companies, or websites that specialize in buying used products.
A second-hand store is a good place to sell things you no longer need
Visit some local second-hand businesses to see if the store owner is interested in buying any of your items as an alternative or extra option to make money selling your stuff.
Second-hand stores typically buy and sell products, and if you attend in person, you can speak with the owner and learn what kinds of items he or she is looking for. This takes a little more physical work, but it saves you the trouble of having to list stuff online.
If the store owner refuses to buy, agree on consignment (that is, you only get paid when your product is sold). It might be risky leaving your product behind for someone you barely know; but remember, of what use is the good lying around the house? Any means necessary to make money is crucial to embracing so as to get one through.
Rent out a spare room
If you own a home, it is likely to be your most valuable asset and one from which you may make money during a downturn. Renting out a spare room is the simplest method to accomplish this. This can significantly reduce your mortgage payments as well as the amount you have to pay in utility bills and taxes.
This can be done through an estate agent who validates the potential tenant but it all comes at a fee. Or you could do it yourself which means you have to verify the identity of the potential tenant yourself before renting it out.
If you have empty spaces on your property rent it out.
This is also a good way to raise money by putting your empty space to work. People are always willing to jump on empty spaces to display their wares especially in a busy city where spaces seem to be a luxury, they cannot afford to let it lay waste.
In a recession, finding work can be difficult, since firms want to cut costs rather than expand. If you are having trouble making ends meet and want to make some extra cash in your leisure time, consider how you may put your skills and experience to good use. Tutoring in the evenings or on weekends is an ever-popular option to supplement your income.
Home or private tutoring is most commonly associated with after-school tutoring and exam preparation, but there are a variety of other methods to earn money using your skills.
Maybe you could teach a foreign language or give music lessons. Perhaps you might instruct in a cooking or baking class.If you meet the minimum standards, you might be able to get part-time work as a driving instructor.
Become a cab driver for a private company.
It is now easier than ever to make money as a private driver if you own a car. Uber has made it simple to make money using your car in your spare time.
Before you can start taking fares, you must first register on the website and fill out all of the required documents, including information about yourself and your vehicle, as well as pass a background check.
Save as much as you.
No one knows what tomorrow might bring and any speculations that the bad times are going to end in a month or two from now does not warrant you spending it all at a go. Even after everything gets back to the way it was, it will take a while before the economy gets back on track again. So, what will keep you going is the little you had saved before and during the economic downturn.
In every facet of life, saving is a must and it is advisable to start putting something away somewhere for that rainy day(s).