By Emeka Uzoatu
The greatest piece that could ever be written about money remains how to save the bugger. Any wonder then one of the authors of the Onitsha Market Literature series titled one of its bestsellers Money Hard to Get but Easy to Spend. That, in a nutshell, should explain it all.
Every day sees multitudes ambling on in search of that scarcest of commodities. Unarguably, the aim is always to make ends meet. There being endless bills to pay to the self as well as others. And with the rate of inflation on an unprecedented spiral, even loose ends are increasingly becoming hard to untie.
So, save money we must. Unless one has indirectly given up on life, it’s behoven of one to join the rest of the world in that endless pursuit. After all, it takes one, one cocoa to fill the basket.
The more so in this side of the world. Whereas people on the other side have worked out more pleasant ways to cope with this vicissitude, we over here have not. In the so-called first and second world’s, life is virtually lived on credit with no mind.
But not here. Yes. For over here you gotta pay ahead for all your needs. Though the country is bereft of coins, depending on a raft of un-refundable loans to subsist. And how we make a meal of it. As though countries are rateable by personal rather than sovereign wealth.
Take this Alhaji, for instance. Though his home state is ranked lower than a church rat in wealth indices, he flaunts so much affluence to the chagrin of all. Married to a bevy of ladies, he has enough concubines to compete with the biblical Solomon.
A Christian counterpart of his fares no better. As rich as he is, he never sets his eyes off the state’s finances. With no investment to boast therein, he is best at sponsoring indigent political adventurists in all the political parties. When they then come to power as one of them must, his bread is stewed and buttered all over again.
Raising the old argument about how money is best saved. Definitely it cannot be by dropping coins in a piggy bank, says a good friend of mine. According to him, money is only saved by making more of it than you could possibly need in one or two lifetimes.
Automatically, this means that money is preserved not in its saving but in its making. Save of course you are in the salaried few and can only indulge in making extras via the light of the moon. Which, again, can be neither hither nor thither.
However, the problem only starts to mount when you have arrived. Like the fictional Alhaji and Jerusalem Pilgrim above, we often find that most of these made monies are more often than not spent on needs but wants. In fact, they are arguably spent on funding our temptations.
Be they the marrying of more wives, building of concrete monstrosities or just indulgences of other manifestations. Sans investigation, indices abide left, right and centre. Indeed, this confronts even the passive observer everywhere.
For some it’s the acquisition of Rolls-Royces. Like the one only recently stopped on his tracts by the only possible cause Covid19. By now, perhaps, his latest order might have been delivered to be lined up with the rest in advertisement.
Some are on top all these even more adept at expensive consumption.
First is that our locally made drinks do not agree with their constitution. Drinks are ordered from duty-free shops at all the international airports on earth.
Drinks apart, food items are also sourced from across the oceans. Of course there is rice. The ordinary long grains that used to be the rave are even disdained for more aromatic ones.
Sometimes this gets most absurd as even materials as plain as tissue paper are also inclusive in the elongating list. Let alone toothpicks and brushes!
Well, it even got to our ladies often being beneath their amorous licences. This however appears to have reduced since it was rumoured to have sent once upon a head-of-state of ours to an early grave.
Yet at least two roving ambassadors of this lot have recently married two delectable mistresses they must have been keeping for ages. These are not just married but also flaunted as another proof of the non-resistance to temptation in higher places.
So what’s the moral of all this rigmarole?
The vulture, we well know, has given us the reason to only eat at dinner. Especially for those who don’t want thin necks and baldheads. So, for those desirous of saving some money, the first hurdle may be the taming of our indulgences. Most especially those that come as naked temptations.
Emeka Uzoatu, a seasoned journalist and writer, is the editor of Nairaweb.ng. He writes the occasional column, Penny Wisdom.