The Art of Saying No to Urgent 2k

Every now and then we have people who come to us for money - from urgent 2ks to small loans, to contributions for ceremonial activities etc.

By Abigail Nwakanma

August 11, 2022

The Art of Saying No to Urgent 2k

 “Yes” and “No” are two of the most powerful words in the English language. As short as they are in both spelling and sound, they carry a ton of weight and can crush or elevate your soul depending on the response you were expecting. “Yes” is often perceived positively, while “No” is considered to be its negative variant. However, it comes as no surprise at all that in appropriate instances, a simple "no" can mean more hours of sleep, more time for important tasks, more time for family and even more money in your account – this is the kernel of our discussion today: how to save money by saying no. 

Every now and then we have people who come to us for money - from urgent 2ks to small loans, to contributions for ceremonial activities etc. (then there’s another category of persons who feel entitled to other people’s money for no reason at all, they are just there to bill you). These requests for money can be subtle or overt, and a lot of times, these money requests come from people who are close to us; and more often than they make these requests with promises to pay back (and many times they don’t).


I am in no position to tell anyone who they should or should not give money to, but within us, we always get a certain feeling when we want to do certain things and I believe these feelings are the ways our minds protest against some of our actions and inactions. 


Do you get that uneasy tightening in your chest when someone materialises from nowhere and asks you to lend them money? Does this feeling get worse when you begin to conceive the thought of saying no? Does this feeling linger on even after you’ve given out the money? This is a clear indication that that money should not be given out in the first place. This should not be confused with a similar feeling you get when you have to go out of your way to come through for someone financially in deserving circumstances. In such an instance, you know getting the money was hard, but you also know that giving it out was worth it. Now this is the difference - that money you spent or gave out because you were unable to say no, was it worth it? 


Fun Fact: The English word “no” dates back to Middle English (the English language between c. 1150 and c.1470), and means “not in any degree, not at all, not ever.”


A twist to this whole thing is that there are people who cannot say no to themselves. Saying no to others may not be a herculean task for them, but when it comes to investing in vanities, even when they are low on funds, they just cannot tell themselves no. Now, let me ask: Do you really have to buy yet another asoebi? Do you really have to buy yet another human hair? Do you really have to bet on that game? Do you? Life is short and we only live once, yes, but don’t forget tomorrow while living for today! 



When should you say no to others? 

  • When you know you’ll definitely need your money back – I believe this is a principle everybody should live by: “only give out money you can afford to let go of, in the event that it is never paid back.” The only exception to this is the awareness that it’s a life or death situation or one of those instances of great urgency. 


  • When the requests (from a particular person) have become incessant.

 When should you say no to yourself? 



  • When you know that you can live without that thing you desperately want to spend money on. One good way to find out if you really have to buy something that isn’t a necessity is to wait one  month, if after one month you still feel the need to get it, then go for it (more often than not you’ll realise afterwards that it wasn’t even worth spending money on in the first place). 


  Other effective ways to say no:

  1. "Maybe some other time." 
  2. "I don’t have spare money to give out." 
  3. "Things are tight on my end." 
  4. "I was even thinking of asking you for money." 
  5. "I have a lot of financial commitments at the moment." 


Final thoughts

As humans, a lot of us struggle daily with the overwhelming need to fit in or belong. We do not want to be seen in a bad light, we want to be seen as kind, caring, sensitive, polite, understanding, or even generous – these and more are the things that make us human actually. But then, saying no is an important survival skill, especially in our world today where time and money never seem to be enough. Giving out money in this Buhari economy should be considered an extreme sport and if for justifiable reasons you have to say no, be prompt with your response and resist the urge to apologise or give unnecessary explanations.