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How to survive harsh times (and stretch your income to the next pay day)

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THE economy is sliding into a recession, with money very hard to come by, and businesses floundering and failing, struggling to survive.

Many companies are laying off staffers, legions cutting salaries and emoluments, and scores finding it difficult to pay.

These hard times are trying men’s souls, making platoons of bread winners to cut corners and invent ways of surviving.

With the admission of President Muhammadu Buhari last week that Nigeria is broke and finding it difficult to pay salaries, and 27 of the 36 state governors having to be bailed out of their financial distress, no one is left in doubt about the dangerous times that lie ahead.

So, how do you cope when there are clear and present danger in a nation “morally and materially vandalized?”



You must acknowledge that circumstances in life undulates, with lows and highs, prosperity and gloom and doom.

So, whatever harsh time we are experiencing now, it cannot last forever, unless we are unserious.

Once we acknowledge the shortcomings, and work very hard at changing our circumstances, good times will definitely roll in.

Hope should be held onto fervently. And fanned with faith and action.



We are not saying that you should hide your head in the sand and pretend that things are not difficult. No.

Things are very difficult but you need a positive attitude to think through the challenges and map out ways to come out smelling nice.

Smile, because your visage will ultimately change your attitude. And the more positive your disposition, the faster you heal.



When times are hard, you should only concentrate and expend your energy on very important things that have direct correlation to your well being.  Frivolities and activities which cannot improve your life should be abandoned.

You should identify your priorities  being more productive at work, keeping a roof over your head, eating healthy meals, paying your most important bills…

Just sit down to itemize your priorities and attend to them.



Never live within your means. When you do, all your income is spent on things you consider important.

But really, you should live below your means. Yes, save a chunk of your income, so that you can better cope with hard and difficult times.

When you can draw on your savings, you will save yourself from many embarrassing scenarios.

Never spend all your income, no matter the temptation.



The people you want to show off for or impress, don’t really care about you. Whatever you do, they will talk ill of you and joke about your trying too hard. So, why bother.

Think about yourself, and what’s important to you. And concentrate on improving your life in all ramifications.

Cut all frivolities and extravagance and all other activities that have no noble ends.



We all have challenges at one time or the other. And sometimes you cannot face them alone.

Talk to your family and friends about your difficulties. Talking about them puts everything in perspective.

You can learn that you are not alone, that others are experiencing worse scenarios.

If you still can’t cope, seek the help of psychologists.



There are many ways to cope and survive hard times, and being street smart, shrewd and savvy helps.

You should know how to get bargains, stretch your budget and still enjoy yourself.

When you read wide, you will find solutions to many challenges, and far cheaper ways of enjoying yourself.

-You can fast and skip meals (we don’t really need three square meals  you just need to eat healthily).

-You can walk more, car pool so as to save transport costs and fuel bills.

-Time when your generator is on. So that everyone in the household can complete important activities that require electricity.

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