Let’s face it, it is difficult to spread your ‘social’ wing and have a bubbling life in Nigeria. To meet people -romantic and otherwise, you have to spend a lot of money. Think about it: between your lower-than-it-should-be salary and just the general expenses of big, expensive city life ( especially if you live in Lagos or Abuja), you don’t have as much to spend on going out as much as you might like in the first place; talk less of taking someone out.
If you asked the average adult how much is appropriate to spend on a date, older millennials (ages 27 to 36) will probably say N10,000 and Generations X-ers (ages 37 to 52) will say N20,000 to N 100,000 and above per date. If you are single and searching, you probably go on an average of four dates a month. Now multiply that by the average amount spent per date (list above). It is a whooping sum isn’t it? Some men (and women) find that they spend thousands of naira in one month on dates! Does this then mean that one should just resign to a life of isolation…or worse settle for going out with their parents and co-workers only?
There is no denying that socializing is important, it keeps one happy and healthy. And while it may seem like a herculean task money-wise, there are many ways to solve the money problem that comes with it. Yes, you can actually socialize and meet people without paying an extra dime, sometimes even for free. Here’s how:
Do it online
In the last fifteen years, the online dating industry has absolutely grown and it is no longer “weird” or “desperate” to find a quick significant other online. In fact, it is a more a viable and legitimate way to meet people or find a partner. It easier, it’s cheaper, its faster! You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own bedroom or stretch out your card to pay for his or her four-course meal.
There are different sites for different kinds of meet up. If you are just looking to meet weirdos trawling for sex, your best bet is Insta-message or Tinder. If you are looking to finding friends in new cities, or just make non-sexual matches there are other apps designed. For instance, Wiith is largely considered the “Tinder for friends.” There also groups on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter that organizes free events for meet-ups where you stand the chance of meeting new people. You can join those groups and take some of the pressure off meeting new people. Of course, there is the chance that most of the people you will meet in these groups are lonely and broke, but look on the bright side…so are you.
Take advantage of free events and cheaper alternatives
So, you want to meet up with someone? Stay on top of the local news, and see what’s happening in your city, week by week and look for free places or free events where you can meet up, that way, if there is an opening to ask someone out, you only have to mention that there’s an event going on and you were wondering if they’d be open to checking it out with you. If you cant keep up with the new, there are a myriad other option that are free! Meet up after church service or at an art exhibition where you can even have free canapes. If you cannot get free, go for cheaper alternatives. You don’t have to go to dinner, you can just opt for drinks only or coffee.
You could invite the person to your apartment and cook small meal with items in your pantry. Challenge yourself to make something without spending any money. And if you are looking to have a social night with more than one friend, rather than going to a bar or lounge, you can just host a movie night where everybody brings something. You have fun without going broke.
Luckily it is 2018. Feminism is on the rise and a girl will think twice before calling a man stingy for asking to split the bill on a date. If you are meeting up for dinner, you can actually put chivalry at bay and save the extra bucks. Also, as a woman on a date, you do not have to feel obliged to pay for the meal because he forgot his wallet or order him an Uber.
Even more, both parties could decide not to eat a certain meal that they cannot afford because you have a mind of your own and will be catering to their own meals on a date. Bottom line, to avoid spending extra money, both parties can stay within their budget by handling their own expenses.
Write the costs off as a work expense
This is not a righteous idea, but you can pull this off. Just find a way to merge the meet up with work and get your employer to pay for it. You do not have to pay a dime! This actually works easily if you are a salesperson or even a marketer; basically every meeting you have is business and you really wouldn’t be lying. If you are away on a business trip, you could just have the meet up on the company’s budget as well, and you don’t have to pay the extra dime.
What are other ways you can meet someone or maintain a social life without spending a lot of money?