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Single Mothers in Nigeria: Strategies and tips for surviving on a salary and two children

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How can you make ends meet if only one salary enters the house and you have two children? What may seem like an impossible challenge is the daily life of millions of Nigerian families, forced to count to the last penny and to the last day of the month. Here are our tips for surviving on a salary and two children and maybe even be able to save some money.


Household expenses

Those who own a home will certainly have fewer monthly budget problems, but those who have to include home expenses in their family expenses will see the monthly amount available drop significantly. Renting can be an ideal choice for those who want to live in the area, where house prices are lower. Opening an account for this can also be an interesting solution, as long as you choose one at a fixed rate with a controlled rate designed on the basis of monthly income that can also be re -discussed should the economic situation change.


Expenses for clothing

Children’s clothes are short-lived because our children grow up fast and it seems like we don’t have time to buy all the clothing for one season that the clothes are tight and we have to buy more. So here are some tips to save on clothing:

  • ask a friend who has older children to pass us all the shabby but in good condition clothes every time she changes the season,
  • opt for used clothing: there are some shops, even online (such as the green wardrobe) that offer the opportunity to sell your own clothes and buy others in larger sizes,
    shopping on sale, in the period of offers and discounts we buy clothes for the following year in order to always have new clothes ready to be worn at the right time, but paid little.


Expenses for bills


Water, electricity, telephone and gas bills undoubtedly represent one of the main monthly expenditure items of households. How to save?

  • Check consumption and do not stop at the first operator or the first offer, but evaluate all the options and do not hesitate to change if you notice that you are getting below what you pay for.
  • There are companies that offer the possibility of having a single bill that includes all the expenses, in this way you receive a single bill and a single monthly expense which is also easier to plan,
  • moreover, to save money, we recommend using only low-consumption appliances and avoid using what might cause you to pay more.

Food shopping

Food and drinks are essential expenses, of course, but we often overdo it and we often find ourselves having to throw away some foods that have deteriorated in the refrigerator or have even expired. How to avoid spending a fortune on food shopping?


  • do not go to supermarkets and do the daily shopping;
  • buy only what you need to prepare the foods of the day by studying your food table.
  • establish a weekly menu by deciding in advance what you will eat each day;
  • limit meat to twice a week (which is also good for health), preferring legumes, eggs, vegetables;
  • prepare food at home as much as possible,

For detergents, the advice is to select only one or two essential products (one for washing dishes and one general for cleaning the house) and for the rest use natural products.


School fees and toys

Difficult to say no to children who ask for a toy, but obviously if the money is limited, it’s impossible to please them.

Rather, let’s enlighten them on the matter, explaining to them that giving a gift is our pleasure and should never be an obligation, that when we can buy something we will do it and that there are times of the year when gifts will arrive, such as birthdays or Christmas.

For school expenses, such as stationery items or notebooks, the advice is to buy “in packs” during promotional periods, for example at the end of the year or in September, so as not to be left empty when our child needs something and has to pay less.


Expenses for holidays and free time

Holidays are sacred for Nigerian families and, even if the times when the classic “one month after-school vacation ” isn’t as special as it used to be, we can always organize a family holiday in cheaper periods. The month of June, early July or even the first week of September are low and mid season periods during which we can take advantage of special offers and decidedly advantageous weekly prices.


Tips for saving



  • Divide the monthly budget into small specific items : shopping, bills, school, various etc .. and put the money in many different bags. For example, set a budget for the weekly shopping and put it in a sachet that you will open at the beginning of the week organizing yourself with the handwritten menu;
  • Use apps that help you monitor how much you spend, you will be surprised to find out how much money you could easily save or avoid;
  • There are also useful apps to save directly. How do they work? When you use the ATM, make or receive a bank transfer, make a phone top-up or in other spending occasions, the system rounds up the amount by setting aside a few coins at a time and moving them into a sort of “digital piggy bank” from which you can withdraw the small capital. saved when you have an unexpected expense;
  • Do not lose sight of discounts and promotions: from coupons to expenses made with purchasing groups, from promotional offers available on Jumia or Konga , there are many ways to save on expenses for leisure, restaurant, cinema and free time.
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