"My go-to to make people happy is money" Princess (not real name) gives us a quick look into her background, her present, the habits shaping her financial status and her plans for the future.
Meet Her at a Glance
Avg. monthly income: N250,000
Personal Financial Stability Rating (PFSR): 4
As an entrepreneur, it can be really tricky to estimate your income, but, I think I make about N250,000 monthly. That looks like a decent sum, but 250k is barely enough to survive on, you don’t want to see my account balance right now. I would rate my financial stability at 4 really, and it’s not even enough to make it 5. This not just because my monthly income is low, expenses are insane as well, black tax is taxing, as well as a lot of other things.
But let’s wind back to about two decades ago and let me show you the kind of spoon I was born with
Growing up, we had to stretch things, we always had to stretch things. It was pretty obvious to me that it was not easy for my parents to provide for us. My mum was a civil servant, my dad was struggling with a business, considering the fact that he was not really a business person, he was truly struggling. It was quite hard. For my mum as a civil servant at the time working in a primary school, the salary wasn’t great. I remember, we were just eating a lot of carbohydrates then. Constantly eating native rice like it was such an awesome thing🤣, and this is not like the native rice we know now that has scent leaves, fish and orishirishi, nope! I’m talking about the most basic version of native rice - just rice with palm oil, the tiniest onion, pepper and some crayfish (on a very good day). And then there was drinking tea at home, a jug of Lipton and a tin of milk, a with N30 bread that everyone would share. Yeah, so you can now decide what type of spoon that was.
That foundation really affected some of my money habits
Right now, I have a sort of spending problem, because my go-to to make people happy is money, and I think it is because I didn’t have much of it growing up. So, the things I did not have growing up, I am always buying for other people - my younger siblings. I always feeling guilty that my siblings don’t have what I have right now, also, there are things I did not have while growing up that I wish they would have because I am seeing other people having it. The twist to ‘spending problem’ is that while I spend a lot, most of that spending is not even for myself - if you checked my debit alerts, it would be this for that person or the other person.
The result of this habit is that it is really hard for me to make serious and heavy financial commitments, because I am always taking away from my funds so it never gets to the point where it is a lump sum, ever.
Even with all that, I would say my financial growth journey has been steadily improving over time
A few years back, my only financial management strategy was simply not to spend too much money. I read Smart Money Woman and I was like “Cool, I already don’t buy asoebi material, I use the barest minimum of shoes, etc” so, I felt like I had everything down pat. However, I didn’t take into account that I spent a load of money on others and little guilty pleasures, impulse purchases to make myself happy.
Over time, that has changed a bit - I can’t even lie to say I am a lot better at spending, but I am now a lot better at saving. A few years ago, I was at a point where I no longer saved at all, but right now, I am saving more intentionally. I also hope to start investing in a couple of years. It is a steady journey, but not a smooth one.
The past two years have been a bit of a rollercoaster…
Thinking of it now, I am making a lot of money actually, but I am also spending a lot of money. I honestly don’t know how best to describe this movement of my money. But I have never been one to really worry about money, regardless of the fact that I don’t really have a lot of it, I am comfortable knowing that if I need money I can work for it and get it. So, if I really really need it, and as long I have my skills, there is always a way to make money. Apart from this assurance, the past two years have been a lot of spending.
My best money move so far in my journey was taking a loan recently to purchase a tool I needed for business. While I could have been able to afford it if I were able to put my money together in a lump sum, taking a loan helped me purchase it without procrastination and I was able to pay back within a reasonable time frame.
My worst money move so far was investing in MBA Forex. Interestingly, Forex seemed like a pretty straight-forward process to me at the time, so there was no inkling that anything could go wrong. While the interest was 30%, a figure that in my defence, I felt was fair and that they would surely have a process to fulfil this since ‘it was forex’.
If I had $100,000, I would hire a couple more staff, buy a few more tools I need for my business and run some really expensive adverts to get the really expensive clients that I need. Yeah, that’s what I would do.
Here’s a breakdown of my Top Three’s
Top 3 things my money goes to monthly
- Black tax, family bills especially towards health
- Unnecessary things that I buy for my son
Top 3 things I need for improved financial stability are:
- An accountability community (not too large) like Alcoholics Anonymous that are small enough to know each members needs/issues and able to follow up with them
- For my family members to stop falling sick
- To earn more
Top 3 Favorite finance tools
- Alat by Wema
- WhatsApp Savings Group
Moneying with women is our series that dives into the financial stability of women from their own point of view. It uncovers habits, financial inclusion gaps and empowers women to take charge of their financial journeys.
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