Can’t save or invest with a monthly income of N58,000? Let Me Teach you How.

A friend recently told me it was impossible to save or invest with a monthly salary of N58,000. I told her it was possible, but she actually thought I was not being realistic.

My first real job after graduation (still my present job) paid a monthly salary of N68,000 (i.e. $530). One of the few things I did upon receiving my first salary was to develop a savings/investment plan. I had a plan to save at least two months worth of salary to purchase my first stock which was Intercontinental Bank Plc. I had to learn to live below my means.

I resulted to doing the following- once my account has been credited, I pay my tithe and set aside N30,000 for investment purposes, while the remaining amount was used for living expenses.  You may wonder if I ever went for shopping or clothes, shoes and bags.

Yes, I did but I limited myself to one or two items each month (achieve a gradual build-up of my wardrobe). To a large extent, it made me more prudent and I was able to buy the items I really needed without giving into impulse buying.

At the end of that year, I had N600,000 in my savings account which I used to purchase the following stocks:

Intercontinental Bank – 5,000units

Union Bank – 20,000 units

I also got my colleagues together to set up a cooperative unit with which I was able to purchase 20,000units of Union Bank. For the first two years of working, I did not spend my vacation outside the country because I had set a goal of achieving N5mn by the age of 30years to make up for the years I had not invested.

You may be wondering if it’s really possible but believe me it is. You can actually build your net worth over time by setting aside a minimum of 30% of your monthly income.

Did you like this article? Please drop your comments, feedbacks, questions and constructive criticisms. I will publish your comments on this weblog.

8 thoughts on “Can’t save or invest with a monthly income of N58,000? Let Me Teach you How.

  1. Remi Emeka Njoku says:

    Interesting article! One thing is certain, no matter how little ones income, some savings can be made from it. The answer is discipline and getting ones priorities right. Many of us today fail to get our priorities right, buying things we do not need, worse still, we are more often emotional spenders -too bad! But frankly speaking, it is extremely difficult for people residing in cities in Nigeria to make reasonable savings with the type of salary you have mentioned, how do you pay your house rent, transport to & from work, feeding, electricity bill, water rate, perhaps school fees for your MBA programme, etc. On has to live real subsistence to survive! It is for this reason that many today are investing in the wonder banks -trying to make ends meet.

  2. k.b says:

    Interesting, but the reality of the africa way of living has being excluded in your analysis. It is possible to have savings, but not up to the percentage. Here u have to pay fees, except you are inhuman , that is the only way you can make that. More over when you are between twenty and twenty-two, without responsibilty it a lot easier.
    Ours is country where you can not predict what would happen in the next five minute. Basic things is plan very well for your future and pray. I`ve had people earning more than 150k per month and still leaving this country legally to make life meaningful for themselve and achieving what they couldn`t afford in their three years of working here. Not scam people ooooooooo.

  3. January says:

    Hello Remi, yes it is possible to save with the above named salary. I’m single and not yet married. My current job takes care of transportation. When I was offered this job, I had the option of choosing my location and I decided to live outside Lagos. When I arrived at my present location, I was living with an Aunt of mine and so to a large extent, I did not have to bother my head about utilities. Regarding MBA, I intend to study for that outside the shores of this country to further enhance my future career prospects. I bring my lunch pack from home thereby saving more money at the end of the month. I could have decided to become an emotional spender because I was single and had little or no responsibilities but as you said it requires discipline and getting our priorities right.

  4. January says:

    Hello K.B. I’m a big believer in it’s not what you make, but the difference between what you make and what you spend that’s important. I realised that this article was going to raise a lot of dust.

    If you’re single, with little or no responsiilities, it’s possible to save this much cos I did. One of the things I did was to buy my groceries in bulk so that for the next two months, I won’t be going to the market until my supply runs out.

    I also make it a ritual to bring my lunch pack from home. I do not compromise. Just as Remi said, it takes a lot of discipline.

  5. Remi Emeka Njoku says:

    The reality of the African way of living, where one can hardly predict the future calls for highly disciplined savings behaviour. Learn not to indulge in those expensive ‘aso ebi’ dresses and other items that really add nothing to your life. Dont buy things that are not very necessary. But more importantly, always engage in activities such as further studies (no matter how difficult) that will improve your chances of getting better paying jobs. Make enquiaries, scholarship opportunities abound in the country and elsewhere.

  6. January says:

    I would like to clarify some issues regarding this article. Firstly, Remi I do not earn this amount now cos it took me less than six months to move to my current salary scale. Currently, I earn X6 of this amount monthly. I work within a very competitive field and I have learnt that employers of labour are willing to pay for the right experience that will impact positively on the bottomline of the organization.

    Secondly, I wrote this article to buttress the point that no matter what your take home pay may be, you can still save at the end of each month cos all it requires is discipline. Regarding the MBA, I got a partial scholarship overseas. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Itenoria says:

    Hello January.
    Firstly, I would like to say that I love love your blog. Discovered it last night and I’ve been reading up on your posts. It has been a real treat :).

    I just recently decided to do a 360 on my life. I Started running, eating right, transitoning to Natural hair and thinking of saving and investments. Yours is the only Nigerian blog I have stumbled across that talks on all these, in easy to understand language and I am grateful for that.

    With regards to this post, I have a couple of questions. I earn 1K less than the 68K mentioned in your post. Unlike you, the ad agency I work for doesn’t do salary reviews every six months. I have been with them for a year and five months so far, and the only salary increase I got was from 42k to 67k, a year ago. My step-father passed away two years ago, after a couple of years of investment draining illness, without leaving my mum any money (she is kind of a stay at home mum), so I kind of support both of us.

    I work in Lagos, my mum stays in IB and I have to pay rent (Cuz there’s no relative I can stay with). So, my question is this, is it possible to save 40% of that amount as savings, send money to my mother monthly, save towards my rent, pay for my utilities, take transport to work, six times a week and still have enough left over to survive?

    I really want to know, cuz I have exactly nothing in my savings account and I do not want this year to finish without working out some plan towards starting my financial freedom journey.

    I apologize for the ultra-long comment :).

    • Jan says:

      Hi Sandra,

      Please don’t apologize about your long post. You’re absolutely welcome to rant if you want to. A major reason why I set up this blog was to teach women about the importance of early investment and savings as it can make a whole lot of difference in terms of the quality of life a woman leads in this part of the world.

      So lets get down to the basic. At the time I was earning 68k monthly, exchange rate of the Naira to the Dollar was way below N160.00 then. Since its a given fact that the ad agency you currently work for reviews your salary annually, it’ll take another 3 years thereabout to scale the N100k salary mark if you decide to stay with this company. With all you’ve outlined below in terms of the responsibility you currently bear, you won’t be able to save that much based on what you earn now. However, you’ll be able to save 5k monthly.

      Since you live by yourself, I’d advise you buy your grocery items in bulk. Just go down to Mushin where you can get incredible savings on grocery and food items. Prepare your food home…don’t eat out. It takes a lot of commitment but it’s doable. Furthermore, you need to change jobs. I won’t lie about this but staying with the ad agency is not something I would advise as you’ll shortchange yourself in the long run. Since you’ve got some skills in brand building, PR, writing copies and creating a storyboard (I want to assume you currently do all of this), start applying for Assistant Brand Manager jobs on Procter & Gambe, PZ Cussons and a whole lot of multinational FMCG companies out there. Don’t be afraid to conquer the fear of the unknown, you’ll be better off at the end of the day.

      There’s a lot I can’t say here but you can shoot me a mail anytime on

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