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Expat Earnings: Practical Financial Tips for Thriving Overseas Nigerians

21 Aug 2023

A strong economy does not necessarily mean that the prosperity blanket covers all.

If it were the case, a large number of Nigerians would not have been living outside of Nigeria to earn a living to support their families back home through an online money transfer to Nigeria from overseas.

Although an African country, Nigeria’s economy is relatively better than several other African countries. And you know that the African continent as a whole has a not-so-good financial reputation, hence the exodus.

Kevin Umara, the chief economist and vice president of the Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, is quoted as saying in the Peoples Gazette that the Nigerian diaspora is the 4th largest diaspora population outside of Africa.

The official further stated that the number of Nigerians tripled between 2000 to 2020, from 320,000 in 2000 to around one million in 2020.

Of these one million Nigerian migrants, about 58% live outside of the African continent, while 42% live in Africa.

Their financial contribution to the Nigerian economy is huge as they sent back $20.13 billion in 2022 in inward remittances, a World Bank report said.

Since a majority of Nigerians leave the country because of poverty and in search of reasonable opportunities, they have to make sure that they know how to manage their finances and how to save money so that when they return from abroad, they have the necessary financial back up to fall back on.

Therefore, this blog will guide you in managing your money to help you save more and share some important tips to that end.

But since the core purpose of this blog is to discuss finance, it would be appropriate if you looked at some of the reasons driving Nigerians out of the country for job opportunities abroad.

Common Reasons Why People Leave Nigeria

Some of the reasons that compel Nigerians to earn a living abroad and send money to Nigeria for their families’ financial support are explained below.

Increased Insecurity

Terrorist activities have witnessed an uptick in different parts of Nigeria since 2015. Banditry, killings, bomb explosions, and clashes between tribes are rampant in the country. Therefore, Nigerians feel insecure and end up travelling to foreign countries.

Rampant Unemployment

Despite having a relatively better economy, in terms of nominal GDP, the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is one of the highest in the region. Graduates cannot find jobs after they come out to the market, which leads to corruption.

And the jobs available do not pay reasonably. So, Nigerians travel abroad for work and job opportunities.

While planning to travel abroad from Nigeria, consider the countries that pay the most to expatriate workers.

Poverty and Destitution

Lack of employment opportunities is a sure recipe for poverty and destitution which is precisely what Nigerians suffer. A large segment of society suffers from acute poverty and destitution.

Poor Education Quality

In countries like Nigeria, the only option for people to excel in life is through good quality education. But strangely enough, good quality education is both unavailable and also way too expensive for people to afford and that too if they find it in the first place at all.

The Nigerian Economy

  • A World Bank report said that in 2022 the Nigerian nominal GDP was $477.39 billion.
  • Another World Bank report said that the GDP per capita income of Nigeria in 2022 was $2,184.4.

As stated earlier, these figures show that the overall status of the country is better than other countries in the region. But it never means that every Nigerian stands under the prosperity umbrella.

Therefore, many travel abroad to earn a living and support their families financially through a money transfer to Nigeria.

Let’s now see the tips to attain financial prosperity as a Nigerian migrant.

Practical Financial Tips for Nigerian Migrants to Become Financially Viable

The following tips will help you become financially stable and independent.

Create a Budget

As soon as you start earning a living abroad, you must create a budget by considering your income and expenses. And make every effort to ensure you stick to it when it comes to spending.

The Best Saving Time is Now

Regardless of the length of your stay abroad, never think you should have started saving money earlier or will do it after some time. Just do it now. Remember that ‘now’ is the best time to start saving money.

Set Your Financial Goals Clearly

The best way to be financially stable is to set your financial goals. These goals should be clearly defined and must be based on reality. Avoid a ‘what if’ approach while setting your financial goals.

Live Below Your Means

Never think that you should lead a life that is a depiction of your financial health and strength. Instead, try to live below your means and add to the savings you will undertake this exercise for.

Spend Only on Your Pressing Needs

Always spend on things that you need the most. If you think an item will be needed after some time, then defer its purchase. Buy it only when its need becomes inevitable.

Contribute to an Emergency Fund

Build an emergency fund and contribute to it regularly without fail. Thinking that you will be able to save money by using a single checking account is only a fallacy. You cannot save money like it. You will have to create a separate account and make contributions to it regularly.

Clear Your Debts

Before starting to save, make a resolve to never borrow money again, and after that, focus on clearing debts. Make sure to clear the bigger debts first so that you will be rid of the mounting interests on top of these debts as soon as you clear them.

Record and Revise Expenses

Make sure to record every penny you spend. Several digital tools will help you with this practice. But remember that recording your expenses simply will not serve the purpose unless you glance over your expenses at the end of each month and check how much you spent, why, on what, and when.

These simple tips will help you achieve financial stability and independence.

Wrapping Up the Discussion

One of the key areas to save money is to send money to Nigeria online with ACE Money Transfer. The firm offers you live and market-competitive currency exchange rates, speed, safety, wider service access, and much more for a low fee and without any other costs – hidden or otherwise – involved.


Why do Nigerians travel to foreign countries?

Nigerians travel to foreign countries because in Nigeria, they feel insecure due to spiking terrorist activity, lack of employment opportunities, acute poverty and destitution, and lack of education. Therefore, they travel to foreign countries to seek jobs, feel safe, and get a high-quality education.

Why do I need to be financially stable?

You need to be financially stable because your job abroad is an opportunity for you which is unlikely to keep going for a long time. So, before this window of opportunity shuts down, stabilise yourself financially.

What would happen if I lacked financial stability?

You will suffer poverty, unemployment, and destitution if you lack financial stability. All your struggles behind your tough expatriate life will go to waste in the absence of financial stability.

What can I do to become financially independent?

You must create a budget and live by it, contribute to an emergency fund regularly, clear your debts, record and revise your expenses, live within and below your financial means, and make savings a habit.

Can I save money on my money transfers back to Nigeria?

Yes, you can save money on your money transfer to Nigeria if you choose some reputable online money transfer companies like ACE Money Transfer that offers you live and competitive exchange rates, safe and speedy transfers and much more in exchange for a low fee.


  • Nigerian diaspora

(Nigeria has fourth-largest diasporans outside Africa: AfDB (

  • Inward remittances

(Personal remittances, received (current US$) - Nigeria | Data (

  • Nigerian DGP

(GDP (current US$) - Nigeria | Data (

  • Nigerian GDP per capita

(GDP per capita (current US$) - Nigeria | Data (

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