December is here again and it’s time to turn up! The rocks, for the most part, already began from the first weekend in December, peak around mid-month and continue till the year runs out as drinks flow and merriment is in the air.
In Nigeria, Lagos is famous for it's December rocks but for the purpose of this article, I will be covering both Lagos and Abuja, and discussing the various ways to have the most fun with as little money spent as possible. So let’s get right to it:
Whether you are driving yourself or using Uber/ Taxify/ driver bae, we can set aside 10-15k for transportation be it fuel or fare. Taxify is often cheaper than Uber and the IJGBs ensure there's permanently surge pricing so choose wisely. Transportation costs less in Abuja than it does Lagos so we can say ₦10,000 for Abuja and ₦15,000 for Lagos.
GANG GANG GANG!
This is the most important thing in this article - Get yourself a squaaaaaad!
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real this month so no matter what city you are in the best thing to do is get yourself a rocks squad. You can create/join a group chat with turn up queens and kings or if you aren’t into group chats, you can make arrangements with an “enjoyment minister” to keep you in the loop and alert you about motives/movements/events. Squad rocks are beneficial because:
- You get to save money when you go out as a group. Planning say a picnic where everyone contributes means more fun for less.
- A few squad members will highly likely host parties/ games night/ breakfast at theirs which means free food and free enjoyment. (If it’s breakfast/games night have home training and go along with a little something for the host )
- You increase your chances of getting free tickets to events/shows.
- You also increase your chances of meeting your future bae/small chops.
- Beach party invitations will surface.
P.S: Make sure you have a squad you can be real with so you don’t go spending money you don’t have in order to 'keep up with the Joneses'.
It is important to stay organised at all times. Put down events you would love to attend in a calendar/ post it note on your mirror. We all know that half the time the movement in December is as the spirit moves but certain events are announced beforehand. Penning these events and their costs down will help you stick to your budget and anticipate upcoming expenses.
CONCERTS & COMEDY SHOWS
Did you really have fun in December if you didn’t attend any concert or show?
December is littered with concerts and shows and on average most tickets cost ₦5000 for early birds/ online bookings e.g. Wizkid, Adekunle Gold, Burna Boy and ₦7000 - ₦7500 at the venue for regular tickets so book early and go early to get a good space. Mr Eazi’s show in Abuja costs only ₦3000. Lit.
Let’s assume you aren’t “lucky” enough to get free Table/VIP tickets, stick to regular tickets. The way Nigerian concerts are set up, regular means you’ll end up standing in front which, for me, beats sitting at a table in the corner. We are here to get lit please. (Disclaimer: This doesn’t happen with every concert so don’t come and beat me if you end up at the back.)
Check websites like Nairabox, afriticket and naijaticketshop for events and tickets. Remember to search social media for details of concerts/events you would like to attend and you might be lucky enough to get a free ticket.
ATTEND FOOD FESTIVALS/COOK OUTS
Repeat after me: There is rice at home.
Ensure you eat something light before going to these food events so you don’t get tempted to spend money on everything you see. If you're really on a budget, the max you should spend is ₦5,000. On the economical side of things, you get to see and catch up with ton of your friends, thus eliminating individual dates and saving you the money you would have spent on separate outings.
There are so many popping spots to try in Lagos and Abuja, if you aren’t careful you’ll find yourself dipping into your savings answering every ‘we should do lunch’ call, nevertheless you’ll find yourself at one or two dinners or dates.
Word on the street is that restaurants like La Broiche, Delis, Crossroads, Sugarcane, Shiro (LOL), La Taverna, Sky Lounge, Hard Rock café, 355, The Backyard and grill, Peppercorn avenue, 1415 @ Eko Signature etc are nice restaurants to go to in Lagos but prices vary so I advise looking up their menu or checking Eat Drink Lagos for reviews online. As for Abuja, restaurants like 805, Panache, Saffron, Nkoyo, Wakkis , Vanilla , Blue Cabana and 355 are quite good as well.
To save money, eat before going out so you aren’t tempted to order too much. Going out for drinks and finger food is also a good alternative to ordering expensive food.
No December turn up is complete without hitting the streets at night so please refer to the first item on our list; Group turn up will always cost less, make sure you plan ahead before going out. For the most part in December so many of your friends will be out you which means you might not even get to spend money but just prepare to spend just in case. Unexpected bills aren’t fun.
For Abuja clubs like Moscow and Switch, Aramis, Play are lit and as for Lagos Velvett is a good place to start the night and 1089 is apparently a current favourite.Urban Fuxion food truck for Lagos and Downtown in Abuja are good spots to grab a bite post clubbing.
P.s. Remember to drink in moderation and please guys don’t drink and drive.
‘Tis the season to go out with the love of your life or your partner for the month, but not every date has to be expensive. You could:
- grab a bucket of chicken, microwave popcorn and some drinks voila Netflix and chill (You can even give it a theme and do old classics)
- Go on an actual movie date, if you aren’t going dutch max you should spend is ₦5,000.
- Cook at home and have a picnic by the beach
- Go swimming and have glover court/yahuza suya after.
- Go on an ice-cream date.
- Exercise together and have fro-yo or smoothies after.
- Go to someone else’s Christmas party together
- Afropolitan vibes is also fun and inexpensive
KEEP YA EYES PEELED
Freebies fly around a lot in December especially on social media and the radio. There are sooo many giveaways and sales, free tickets to events and shows; you never know which ones might fall into your lap. Some require a little effort in terms of participation, others are just luck or fastest fingers first, point is keep an eye out and your ears to the ground and you just might get lucky.
CHRISTMAS/NEW YEARS’ PARTIES
We all love to eat, drink and dance - even better when it’s free. If you’re not hosting a Christmas/ New Year’s Party at yours then yay for you, you get to be a guest which means you can have fun at all the parties you attend. There is usually an overload of Christmas parties from family to friends to work parties while some of us have parties we attend every year so stick to your faves or party hop. Whatever works as long as you are having a good time.
Remember to visit family this season; also a good way to have fun and spread love without having to spend (too much).
Turning up is sweet but it’s even sweeter when you are well rested and healthy, try to get as much sleep as you can squeeze in and stay hydrated at all times. Harmattan is here you don’t want your WCW/MCM to catch you with cracked lips and ashy feet.
If you are smart/lucky/disciplined enough you’ll spend way less than ₦100,000 and even have change to ‘do Christmas’ for service personnel/younger ones etc. Starting the New Year broke is never fun.
I shall leave you with these tips:
- Never go out without cash and make sure your card/bank app is working.
- Always have ID with you and make sure your car papers/ license etc are all in order, you don’t want police to have a reason to extort money from you.
- Do not drink and drive!
- Always make sure someone knows where you are at all times.
- Get a power bank, a dead phone is no fun.
- Gang gang gang! (Seriously more fun, less expenses)
- Stick to your budget! Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
- For Lagos folks always check social media before going anywhere, Lagos traffic is mad in December.
- There is rice at home!
- Have a beautiful Christmas and a prosperous new year ahead!