The rate at which young Nigerians are moving to wealthy countries —a trend dubbed as “Japa” in recent years—is no longer breaking news.The Japa syndrome represents the massive exodus of Nigerians to other countries, especially among the youth. Nigerians who want to better their lives for themselves and their families are now using the fad as an escape route.
UK Home Office data show Nigeria had the highest number of migrants to the United Kingdom (UK) in the year ending June 2022 and was the third most common nationality in the country. Many young urban-based Nigerians have listed leaving the country as one of their top priorities for 2023. Poor living conditions, an increase in insecurity, economic uncertainty, the impending general elections, a change of government, and drastic reforms like the removal of fuel subsidies are some of the main drivers behind this choice. However, Japa calls for careful preparation and careful budgeting. Imagine the preparation required for a move across the world—moving to a different city can be difficult enough.
Build a culture of saving and be financially disciplined
It’s critical to start saving money before relocating. Your specific situation, like the size of your family, your housing situation, and whether you want to work, will affect how much you need. But you should at least have enough to pay for the expenses associated with setting up your residence, such as the security deposit and the first month’s rent. Saving money for your first few months of living expenses may also be advantageous, particularly if you intend to hunt for work after moving.
By choosing to be thrifty now, you will be able to afford a better financial future since you will be able to avoid debt. Unexpected events can be covered with emergency money. Consider what an emergency might be for you while creating a budget for your emergency fund. A high-deductible insurance plan may cover some of the costs of theft or medical care. If seeing your family again is vital to you, set aside money so you may purchase a plane ticket at any moment.
Many nations demand money before allowing you to immigrate permanently or just temporarily. This is frequently known as proof of funds. For instance, the UK demands you to show proof of finances for each member of your family as well as yourself.
Move your Finances online
Before you Japa, you should shift as much of your finances online as you can. This includes any debts you are still repaying as well as any bank accounts that will stay open. Make sure the organizations have the correct contact information for you and let them know you’ll be relocating abroad.
Ask a close relative or friend if you can use their house as a “care of” address if a bank or other financial institution requires that you have an address in the same nation. Make sure the organization has a direct email address they may use to reach you as well.
Include the cost of healthcare and insurance
Depending on the needs of your destination, choose your healthcare and insurance options. Regardless of requirements, insurance lessens the strain of a cross-border transfer. Having good health insurance prevents medical issues from ruining your trip. You can get more assistance in the event of crises and thefts thanks to travel insurance. You can discover coverage that fits your budget with the aid of a reputable insurance provider.
Find a side gig
A side hustle is extra paid employment you conduct in addition to your primary job. The variety of side jobs available today is also infinite! You can write, code for a living, run an online school, and sell physical or digital goods on Amazon, Instagram, etc. You can make some extra spending money or save for your future abroad by working just a few hours a week on your side gig.
Learn to use exchange rates properly
Be sure to learn the use of the exchange rates before you depart. Getting a decent rate starts with being knowledgeable. It will save you a lot of money by preventing you from exchanging the money at a highly unfavorable rate. To stay informed of any significant changes, find this information before you leave on your journey and check the rate occasionally. Utilize a debit card with negligible or no foreign transaction fees as well as no ATM fees. The ATM costs are per transaction, so if you can’t avoid them, keep in mind that you can frequently save money by making one larger withdrawal as opposed to several smaller ones.