Welcome to our new series Mada Life Diaries was created as a way to see how real people spend their money and time living in Madagascar during one week!
As we will receive many perspectives spanning from all socio-economic backgrounds, our main goal is to confront the taboo around discussing money in the Malagasy culture and normalize uncomfortable conversations about the difference in qualities of life and spending power.
We hope that by normalizing uncomfortable subjects such as money and showing all aspects of life in Madagascar that it can bring about actionable solutions to fix the divide in Madagascar.
Today: Our first Diarist is a Malagasy woman on a single income of 50 Million Ariary ($13,399.54) working in the finance industry. This week she spends her time on a morning yoga practice and treating herself to a yummy breakfast.
Editor's Note: 1 USD is 3,731.93 Malagasy Ariary. Ar denoted Ariary.
Occupation: Financial Analyst / financial consultant
Yearly Salary: 50 million Ariary
Savings: 20% of all my income sources
What has been your experience living in Madagascar?
I’ve always lived in Madagascar and I love it here. I’ve always felt a deep connection to this island; a connection so deep I cannot see myself grow old anywhere else than here. I’m not saying I won’t ever leave the country don’t get me wrong, I just know deep in my bones that here is where I want to be when I’m old.
Living in Madagascar is easy, really. Family is very important in our culture, and even during financially hard times (like losing your job) you can always find a helping hand in your family.
Malagasy culture is very driven towards traditional education: “Ny fianarana no lova tsara indrindra”, “Ny fianarana no maha-olona”, but there just are some things you cannot learn at school, and I find that we do not educate our children on how to invest and manage their money. I’m talking from experience here, I learned it the hard way.
A few years ago, I used to worry a lot about money and that because I recklessly spent it partying and buying nonsense. I'm a lot more financially responsible now, I plan ahead my purchases and make sure that I am investing in quality products and clothing that will last me on the long run. I have a financial safety net now and I am continuously building it. I now save and invest as much as I can.
Here’s a glimpse of my everyday life:
Cost to commute to work: 1k Ar.
Saturday and Sunday: I usually do not plan my week-ends ahead, unless I’m going somewhere outta town. Thus I might spend from 0k Ar to 400k Ar on a shopping spree.
Entertainment: Art galleries (IFM, is’art galerie, Hakanto contemporary, musée de la photographie), concert and live performances (is’art galerie, Koko café, No comment bar, Good vibes, friends’ houses), I also read a lot of self-development books. I occasionally go to the movie theatre and I also like to play video games.
The Week Breakdown: