Six Proven Ways To Avoid ‘Billing’ When Abroad
Osahon George Osayimwen has written on the six (6) proven ways to avoid billing when abroad.
As President Tinubu continues the full experimentation of his ‘weight loss programme’ on Nigerians, those abroad are also feeling the heat. In the past couple of months, the practice of begging people for financial favours known by the local parlance as ‘billing’ has increased astronomically. While there are no official statistics to back the level of increase, I have decided to explain how to stay safe amid billing darts flying in the sky like Israeli missiles.
Sit down, grab a bottle of coke and some popcorn, let’s roll!
(1) Controlled usage of social media:
When you are new abroad, the initial fever of taking pictures, making videos, and sharing them on social media hits you. It is a normal feeling but you need to control it. These contents are usually misleading in the sense that they give people the impression that you are ‘balling’. As soon as they become broke, they will put your phone number on speed dial because they believe you now have the financial muscle to shoulder it. The less information they have about your progress, the lesser their faith in you to support them financially.
(2) First Attack:
Attack is the best form of defense, they say. When you sense someone is trying to ask you for money, you could go into protective mode. You do this by either complaining bitterly to the person about your financial challenges or even asking the person directly for help. This is like when you throw a good jab to distort the rhythm of your opponent in boxing. This strategy was in vogue during my first-degree days in O.A.U.
(3) Be Truthful:
Life abroad isn’t easy. Like I always say, “the pictures don’t tell the full story”. Don’t let your family and friends get lost in the beautiful pictures you share on social media about your life outside Nigeria. Fully orientate them about the financial pressure that living abroad entails. This prevents the reasonable ones from over-relying on you.
(4) Personal Information Management:
Learn to keep your big news to yourself. You bought a house, stay quiet; you bought a car, moved house, went on holiday, got promoted, bought designer shoes & clothes – keep them secret. Always control the excitement to share the news with the outside world because, in the real sense, nobody really cares. Remember there is always a price to pay for any information you share about yourself, be it good or bad. China knows this and this is why they are ever gathering information and restricting what people know.
(5) Measured Conversations:
When you are conversing with someone who could potentially ask you for money, even when they are not in actual need of it, it is better to keep the conversation short and structured. This gives the conversation direction and purpose. It also gives you the room to control it, before the other party sneaks in a cheeky demand.
(6) Total Blackout:
When all the above strategies fail, the inevitable is the ‘total blackout’ technique. Some people will never stop making demands regardless of how often you support them. The Total Blackout approach might entail you blocking the regular ‘biller’, deleting their phone numbers, deactivating your social media accounts, or changing your phone numbers.
I know God blesses a cheerful giver. But if you decide to initiate a transfer of money for every ‘touching’ story you hear from Nigeria, your life might end up being the next touching story.
If one of the richest rappers in the world – Jay-Z (worth $2.5 billion) could purportedly rebuff the loan request of his cousin who asked him for $4,800, then who are you to attempt to meet all demands?