Whether you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria or in the diaspora, you probably know someone who sends money regularly back home. Of course, if you live in the diaspora, you are likely to use services like Western Union, Money Gram, etc. What the money you (or that person you know) send home is used for is not necessarily what they "told you" they needed it for.
Note: If you are building a house back home or ever plan to do so, do NOT send money to your relatives or friends to oversee this project. It is in your best interest to do it yourself, or else you'll discover that your money has been used to fund several weddings and house-warming ceremonies. And the foundation has not even been laid yet. A word is enough for the wise.
Back to our discussion.
Family obligations come in different shapes and sizes, but they tend to have the same "flavor", i.e. the money is needed urgently and more than likely, the requested amount is over $ 100. They include: school fees of relatives, healthcare and general upkeep costs (especially with respect to elderly parents), ceremonies,
While I am not trying to make jest of genuine expenses and needs, which people rely on family members to provide, I am concerned with how much is set aside for savings. If in addition to regular expenses like food, clothing, shelter (rent or mortgage), utility bills, etc, a person has to add family obligations to the list, just how much is left for that person to save? I would imagine that the answer to that is "not much."
The Pastor of the church I attended while I was in law school gave this recommendation on how to allocate your income with respect to savings and expenses:
Tithes: 10% of income
Savings: 10% of income
Expenses: 80% of income
This allocation poses several problems, none of which I am prepared to launch into today. My question though is this: For the average Nigerian who is responsible for providing for the needs (or wants?) of other relatives, do these obligations reduce the money that should go towards savings? Are Nigerians generally good at saving money?
P.S. This problem is faced by many immigrant families, not just Nigerians.