The continuing rise in the cost of living is having an effect globally, but in various ways, and it is certain that costs and bills are continuing to climb sharply, including the number of impoverished on the African continent. Though the costs of food, household products, and other necessities have risen widely in recent years, across different cities in the world, the effect has been most severe in Africa where the standard of living and the quality of life continue to deteriorate. These price increases have been on since the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and the conflict in Ukraine.
In Nigeria, for instance, a quality loaf of bread that was N350 in 2020 is now over N1,000, which is a 300 percent increase in just three years. Similar percentage increases are in the cost of flight tickets, health care, rent, energy cost (fuel), a bag of rice, a crate of eggs, a kilo of chicken or turkey and many other essentials due to inflation, yet income has remained the same or even less. Nothing is cheap, and everything is out of reach for the majority of people. Given the country’s current position, which is similar to that of many other African countries, and the fact that many individuals have not experienced an increase in their income, this has resulted in lower or no savings, increasing irritation, mental health difficulties, and unhappiness with meeting basic needs among many. Regardless of the length of service, experience gained, or available connection, there is always the chance and fear of losing jobs or firms closing down, and the effects may be more severe.
Employers, in fact, are hesitant to implement any wage increases for economic reasons. Inflation continues to have a severe negative impact on man’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being, as well as on marriages and livelihoods. Currently, even with a steady, regular salary, living has become costlier with heightened uncertainty, high inflation, and weak purchasing power, especially for the masses including civil servants, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. As a result, one of the ways to have protection is by diversifying sources of income and having multiple streams at this time. You have multiple bills; why not have multiple streams of income to support the inadequacy?
Therefore, in addition to salary or business income, it is important to source other income avenues to satisfy the rising needs, poor business performance and inflation. Because if financial capacity is weak and daily expenses continue to rise, individuals, businesses, and even households will be threatened with sustainability. There is a need, therefore, to take action because having multiple streams of income has proven to be priceless. According to my personal observations, the majority of people and homes on the continent rely solely on earned income, be it salary or daily income from a business, and they are always hoping that nothing bad happens. It is critical to understand that if salary is the sole source of income, you are on the verge of financial pressure. With the high inflation, unemployment crisis, and unstable economy, having many sources of income may help spread the risk and guarantee that homes and businesses are stable and financially protected. We live in a world where one source of income is insufficient and becoming increasingly unsustainable. If you ask me, having multiple sources of income is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. To be safe, it is never rational to depend on a single income source, full-time job, or a single market. Remember, change is the only constant thing in life, and this change happens rapidly in this period and is always unpredictable. Living paycheck-to-paycheck can severely affect mental health, and increase anxiety, depression, and stress and many are unaware of the implications on their health.
Consequently, having multiple sources of income is the best way to protect yourself, your business, and your family against drastic financial change at this time. The tools for generating these multiple streams of income are readily accessible on the internet or by engaging a professional. We have greater access than ever before to information, people, ideas, and opportunities with social media, so tap into this. If the average billionaire or millionaire has more than one way to make money, it is important for professionals and business owners to think the same way and have stable passive income streams to stay on top of financial and economic woes.
While active income will require your full attention and effort, like being available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, passive income is generated with no or insignificant effort and attention; it can work while you sleep. So, to complement active income, passive income such as investing can generate income through dividends, interest, and return on capital. Depending on the market and your financial circumstances, investing in real estate might provide you with high returns and rental income. But if you cannot construct to generate rent, acquire a piece of land and protect it; no matter how far away it is, it will rise in value. If you have years of experience in your field, you can start giving paid advice and consulting services or giving lectures as a means to earn another stream of income from your regular job or business. Another reliable way is by acquiring assets that can generate consistent and steady cash flow. Looking inward might just help as well, talents, abilities, and passion can be used to create potentials that can give income streams.
Clearly, research has shown that having multiple streams of income as a plan aids retirement and provides the necessary comfort in old age. Hear this: if a solid retirement plan is your goal, savings alone will be insufficient; instead, the objective should include developing numerous streams of income sufficient to replace your principal active income (salary). The main benefit or advantage of having multiple streams of income is that when one stream is challenged or things are very volatile, there is a backup for extra income to attain financial stability. That can give the necessary hedge against uncertainties in a business as well as during illness, and disability of the entrepreneur.
In conclusion, it is reasonable to live below your means to make room for savings and then investment, no matter how little it helps along with side hustle. Relying on a salary or daily business income alone is a danger at this time. In an environment where job loss and unemployment are chronic, the decision to create multiple streams of income and secure financial stability is expedient. However, do not let your side-income streams put the primary and full-time job or business at risk unless you can survive without it. Good luck!