Kunle is a 24-year-old adult living in Lagos, Nigeria. He recently started his first job after years of studying hard to earn a first-class university degree. He’s excited about his first “big boy” salary and the new life that awaits him. But there’s a twist in Kunle’s story that many Nigerians can relate to – the black tax.
Kunle’s joy of finally earning decent pay quickly clears as he realizes that he’s now the go-to person for financial support in his family. After a few months at his new job, his parents, siblings, and even extended family members started to turn to him when they faced any financial challenge. Now before you judge Kunle, he loves to help but he gets overwhelmed by it sometimes, especially because he’s trying to establish his own financial stability.
The Commonality of Black Tax in Nigeria
Kunle’s story isn’t unique. In Nigeria, “black tax” is a nationwide norm. Black tax is the financial burden that falls on an individual, usually the eldest child or the one with a steady income, to support their extended family, including parents, siblings, and sometimes even cousins and distant relatives. While the intention behind the black tax is often rooted in love and a sense of responsibility, it can be difficult to manage, especially for young adults just starting their careers.
So, if you are like Kunle and you’d love to know how to manage black tax while securing your own financial future, here are some actionable steps:
- Open Communication: Start by having an open and honest conversation with your family about your financial goals. Let them know even though you’d love nothing more than to be able to support them financially whenever the need arises, you also have your own financial responsibilities.
- Set Boundaries: It’s important to establish clear boundaries when it comes to financial support. Be clear about what you can comfortably contribute without hurting your own financial well-being.
- Create a Budget: Create a monthly budget that includes your expenses, savings, and a designated amount for family support. Stick to this budget and be financially accountable to yourself. You can use a budgeting app or spreadsheet to do this easily.
- Emergency Fund: Set up an emergency fund to handle unexpected expenses, both for yourself and your family. This will prevent you from dipping into your savings or going into debt when emergencies arise.
- Invest Wisely: Make the most out of smart investments to grow your wealth over time. This can provide you with extra income to support your family without straining your monthly income.
- Encourage Financial Literacy: Educate your family members about the importance of financial planning and budgeting. Offer guidance and resources to help them improve their financial situation.
- Seek Professional Advice: Consult with a financial advisor or mentor who can help you create a long-term financial plan that caters to your family’s needs while securing your future.
- Self-Care: Don’t neglect your own well-being. Set aside time and resources for self-care, whether it’s pursuing hobbies, taking vacations, or investing in personal development.
Managing black tax isn’t about abandoning your family’s needs, it’s about finding a balance between supporting your loved ones and securing your own financial future. By following these steps and maintaining open communication, you can manage the complexities of black tax while working towards your financial goals.
So, take control of your financial goals, and let your success inspire the people around you to achieve their financial independence as well.