Ahamba’s world had come crashing down. His procurement and logistics business had been hit badly by the spate of kidnappings in his beloved country. He had been made redundant after a seemingly flourishing 9 year career in the financial industry. This business had been the fall back plan. Alas! It had gone downhill. It looked like relocation could be the answer to his problems. He quickly sorted out relocation documentation, sold up all his belongings and assets, raised £12,000, and moved with his family to England. £12,000 in 2008 would seem like a lot of money, in fact it still is!
Family accommodated them for a bit and then they had to chart their own course. There is a reason why people write songs about bills or “Billz”.
On a monthly basis, the basic spend for this family of 4 was as below;
Rent £850, council tax £130, Telephone (mobile and land) £40, Wifi £7, TV licence £12, Cable TV £30, Water £40, Gas £50, Electricity £45, child minder £450, transportation £120 (job hunting stage), clothing (consider season changes) £100, Food £200, School expenses for children (lunch, trips, uniforms etc) £60, recreational (birthdays, drive thrus, relatives back home etc) £70, and visiting friends (“afterall wetin concern agboro with overload”) £35. I feel like I left some bills out but this is a good indication of the monthly outlay for a new immigrant. The only spend there that is dispensable is the child care – that is if you have a stay at home spouse.
So you see the £12,000 was none existent in 4 months and the job hunt was still very much on for Ahamba and his wife. Watching their earnings deplete and seeing the children settling for a lot less than they deserved, they took up any job to assist with the bills.
The learning here is that no matter how much money you bring in, you have to get into the job market quick enough to maintain any kind of lifestyle. The economy however is stable so you can plan and with God on your side and hard work, you will get there. This is the Ahamba story but I know there are many out there. Even if yours was a softer landing, please still share your experience.
Most of the emails I get are from those who have just come in or are still planning to come in and are not sure where to begin. Your history could be their future!
Thanking the DC community and friends!
Photo Credit – Frenk and Danielle Kaufman