My top priority this year was finding a new apartment. As a “tech bro” na, I wanted a cool place right in the heart of Yaba (near Herbert Macaulay Way, which I love), with at least 20 hours of electricity, amazing food spots to explore, and the chance to make new friends and have easy access to other areas.
Although one of the main reasons I needed a new place was the problems I was experiencing in my current apartment back in January. I had to spend nearly N350k on fuel for work, on top of paying monthly electricity bills of around N2k – 3k.
So, I set out to make my dream apartment a reality. My account balance and projected earnings were giving me this “spend me, spend me” kind of confidence. I contacted some agents and checked out a few places. Ah, house dey sha, but at first, I was told to budget around 700k to 800k. I thought, “No wahala, I got this.” I saw some really crappy, jagajaga (rubbish) mini flats with outrageous price tags like N700k, N800k, and N900k (not even including agreement and commission fees!). I was annoyed because I thought that with that kind of money, I’d get a top-notch apartment in mainland Lagos.
After switching agents, I finally found a place in Akoka, Yaba. The total cost? N2 million, with a 50k discount, LOL. Yet I was still confident that I could get the future rent in a few months.
Then, just a few days before I was supposed to make the payment, disaster struck. I lost the gig that was supposed to bring the future earnings I was planning to use for next year’s rent. I thought, “This must be a sign; I need to rethink this.” I was still optimistic that I could land another gig in a month or two. Should I go ahead and pay? After a night of contemplation with coconut Chivita and some solid sleep, I decided against it.
Instead, I found an apartment in a nearby area for a quarter of the first price. It had the 20-hour electricity I wanted, and I discovered a mart to buy everything I needed for cooking and my muscle-building journey. Although I didn’t get the access to major places I initially wanted, I used the rest of the money to sustain myself until I found a new gig. But alas, I still haven’t landed a new gig oo.
The key takeaway and advice for tech bros or people who are just making money are to be cautious about overspending and to focus on your present earnings rather than relying on future income. As a Yoruba proverb says, “Owo epo la fi n s’epo, owo omi la fi n s’omi,” which means “Use oil money to buy oil, and water money to buy water.” In other words, live within your means and don’t spend more than you currently have.
This is a journal of my thought, I need this advice too and I’m working my way back to the basics of identifying my needs and wants, and having a backup plan.