NYSC: How To Earn, Save and Invest Money During Service year

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What is this NYSC article about? Here’s the scope:

You can click any of the links above and jump right to anyone that piques your interest. Let’s get right to it.

How to save during NYSC? It actually doesn’t start with saving

There’s a vast amount of advice on how to save money during your NYSC days. Sadly, a good number ignore a simple fact — what works for Jack wouldn’t work for John. Some will live in cities that won’t require them to touch their allowances. On the other hand, others will live in cities where commuting will consume their entire allowances, really sad.

Taking these discrepancies into consideration, I have developed this guide in a dynamic manner. It will let you build a strong money plan fit for your own realities. That said, to craft a strong money path you have to understand what’s eating/going to eat your money. Data subscriptions? No problem. What’s important is that you get a clear picture.

We asked a few corps members what was eating their money. Watch this video for some funny answers.

 The first NYSC money steps

  1. Gather as much information as you can on mandatory living expenses. What will it cost you to eat, rent a house, and move around in your place of primary assignment (PPA)?
  2. Estimate the monthly cost, and compare that with your monthly earnings. Do you need to earn more? We have tips in the next section.
  3. If your projected monthly earnings can cover basic costs, determine how much you can save. You should check out our high-interest saving plans here.
  4. Determine what your money goals are. They could range from your rent to payments for certification exams.

A better way to pay your rent? Read this article.

How to make money during NYSC

Did you freak out after calculating your basic costs? That’s fine. It’s clear that you’ll need to explore options that can help you earn extra cash. A not-so-easy way out is to seek a PPA with juicy add-on pay. Just as I mentioned, it is far from easy. In seeking out a high-paying PPA, be careful not to go for one that will consume earnings through commuting. More importantly, focus on how it positions you for progress on your career path.

What if you aren’t lucky enough? There’s a way out. You need to explore side-gigs — preferably one that doesn’t demand your presence. Here’s a five-step guide to picking one:

  1. List out your interests. I assure you that this will be long a one, and that’s just fine.
  2. Ponder on them for about a week, preferably at the orientation camp. This will help you filter your options.
  3. Pick out the interests that will let you work remotely.
  4. Take short (free) courses online to polish interest-related skills.
  5. Jump on opportunities with confidence.

How to get a side-gig in your service year

To broaden your opportunity net of landing side-gigs, you need to be seen.

  1. Participate in online conversations around the interests you’ve groomed (you’re grooming) yourself for.
  2. Create short mock-pitches about ideas that relate to your interests. If you are active, you’ll attract the right attention. For example, as a graphics designer, you can create mock ads and build a portfolio that way.
  3. Search for small firms with needs you can satisfy. Then, make clear pitches with your portfolio attached. If you need help with crafting great pitches, you can speak to our partner — ScaleMyHustle.

It is important to note that consistent participation is key to landing these gigs. It helps with building a referral network that will expose you to more gigs. Also, it helps with positioning yourself for career success.

Looking for a platform to help get side-gigs? Check here

Now, we can talk about saving and investing as a corps member

It is important to understand your expenses as an NYSC corps member before you save and invest. That was why I took out time to explain things in the earlier sections. So, how much of your income should you save? There’s a detailed explainer on that here.

For the purpose of this guide, I’ll summarize the explainer with a few steps:

  1. Understand your expenses
  2. Set your money goals
  3. Determine how much you can save periodically
  4. Save in Circles
  5. Invest your savings

To help you walk the talk, you can join a Savings Challenge for your batch here. Once you join the challenge, you get to save as you wish with motivation from other corps members. For example, you can choose to save NGN5,000 monthly and we’ll help you invest that to earn interests (you can disable interests if you wish).

Each challenge lasts for a year. Given that challenges are meant to motivate you, the Cowrywise team will surprise you with amazing gifts at the end of each month. So, you need to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.

Also, it is possible to have multiple savings and investments plans alongside the challenge with one Cowrywise account.

How safe and secure is Cowrywise? Check out this article.

How to join the NYSC Savings Challenge

  1. Download the Cowrywise app here
  2. Signup and verify your email
  3. Visit the Savings Challenge page
  4. Join your batch’s Saving Challenge. You can join any challenge if you don’t find your batch.
  5. Go to the app
  6. Set your savings preferences 🚀

Suggested savings pattern: NGN5,000 per month. You can do more if you wish. Also, you can top up anytime you want.

All through the year, we’ll reward outstanding savers — this won’t be always determined by the amount saved. Also, we’ll randomly surprise you with gifts that matter from week to week. It’s going to be an exciting experience. Let the challenge begin!


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