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Have you ever wondered where all your money goes before payday? You are not alone in the struggle. Tracking your expenses is an important first step in financial literacy.

Zikoko, a culture and entertainment digital magazine based in Lagos, Nigeria, asked a sample of women how they spent the bulk of their income in the past month of the interview.

Here are some of the ways women responded. Can you relate?


I spend a lot on Uber rides

I don’t have a car and I hate moving around with public transport, so all my coins go to Ubers. Thankfully I can afford it.

It’s hard to calculate how much of what I earn goes to Ubers because I have a 9-5 and a pretty great side gig. But I’d say 20% of the income I get from my 9-5.

I’m aware that it’s a little ridiculous to spend so much money on just transport. But my life’s motto is comfort first. Plus Ubers saves a lot of my time, and I hear time is money.

Weaves. Weaves. Weaves.

I have a government job so my salary is a joke. But I have an online business that does quite well.

The average cost of my wigs or weaves is about 150k (~$400). My 9 -5 pays about 80k (~$210) a month. So I guess I spend like two-months salary on hair.

I’m not ashamed of it. It’s not like I buy weaves all the time. I can still afford to put food on my table and pay my rent thanks to my business.

My rent is expensive

The first year I moved out to live on my own, I had a flatmate. She left the country the year after, and I got stuck paying the full rent. I paid it in hopes of getting another flatmate, but I’ve had no luck yet.

I’d say the bulk of my money goes to rent. I earn 300k ($810) a month and my rent is 1.2 million (~$3,260) a year. This means 100k (~$270) of my monthly income goes to saving for my rent.

I really like my apartment and have no plans to move out. So for now, I have to keep paying the rent.


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Internet is so expensive

I don’t have a job so my ‘income’ comes from an allowance from my parents which usually adds up to about 50k (~$135) monthly. I spend about 15k (~$40) on data every month. So data costs make up most of my expenses.

Food, I don’t like to cook

I don’t like to cook, so feeding can get a little expensive for me.

I’ve never sat down to do the math but between groceries, eating out and buying food every day I must be spending about 40 to 50% of my income on food.

My struggle skin won’t let me live

I have very problematic skin. I decided to start paying more attention to it about 2 years ago because a girl must SLAY.

The only problem is good skincare products are expensive. Don’t let those people telling you that black soap is all you need, lead you astray. They just have good genes.

I don’t buy skincare products every single month thankfully. On months where I run out of everything at once, I can spend almost 50k (~$130) on products. My monthly salary is 220k (~$590).

Makeup is expensive

I’ve always loved makeup and buying it wasn’t always so costly. But with the way the economy is set up, everything I love is now so expensive.

I just started a business as a make-up artist so I think most of what I make goes into buying new products. I spend like 80% of what I make on that.

I have way too many friends

In the past year, I’ve spent a ton of money on Aso Ebi. I’m at an age where all of my friends are getting married all at once and I’ve come to the realization that I might have too many friends.

I’m currently in between jobs so I can’t say how much I spend exactly. But based on my last salary, I’d say last month I must have spent 40% of my old income on just Aso Ebi. That’s ridiculous!


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world. Learn more about Zikoko here.

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