In a culture where young people are almost crippled by black tax, Deborah's (not real name) family defies the norm. She lets us in on her journey, the mindset that shaped her, and her moves for the future.
Meet Her at a Glance
Occupation: Digital Media Associate
Avg. monthly income: N160,000
Personal Financial Stability Rating (PFSR): 7
Age definitely sneaks up on you. I can literally remember every year that I’ve turned a major year, but waking up one day to realise that I’m 28 got me like “are you kidding me?”
I currently earn 160,000 monthly, and would rate my personal financial stability at 6 or maybe 7, and here is why; my income increased this year compared to what it was last year and what I earn now is able to cover for my personal needs. Now, this does not mean that I have a lot of money packed in my account as it were, but the things I need to do financially right now are being sorted out, so I don’t have to wake up every morning and I am concerned as to how to navigate life.
So, a bit of History…
I wouldn’t say I was born with a silver or golden spoon, and I also did not grow up in a skyscraper kind of house. But one sure thing was that all of my needs were met and there was always some sort of financial support not just from immediate family, but also from extended family. There was always an aunty or uncle that could send you money, so, you never really had to lack. Even though there wasn’t luxury per se, I grew up in an environment that had my needs catered for. There were weekly pocket monies, stipends, etc and if there was ever a financial need and you didn’t have the money readily available, there was always someone that was able to provide what you need. So, I never had to not do something because I did not have the money.
This foundation made me realise that somehow my needs would always be met. Right now, I am at the point where I am not dependent on my family for survival, but I have grown up with the mentality that money will always come. This has helped me because now, I don’t set out to do projects and I am afraid of funding, because I know that somehow, the money will always come and it does. While it is no longer my family giving me that money, the mindset has already been formed, the only difference is that the source has moved from being human beings and dependency to being my skills and an eye for opportunity, looking for other ways to make money for myself either through gigs and others. It also made me realise that I cannot have only one source of income.
That was the foundation, but I’ve grown from there...
My personal financial growth has been ‘a lot’, and actually it has been a journey. First I started off my career at an income that I didn’t even like at all, in fact it was painful earning that monthly salary of 40,000 Naira back in 2019. But what this did for me was that it showed me that my income was a reflection of my perceived value. So, this boss was paying me this amount of money because he felt that was the level of value of I brought to the table. That realisation became a game changer for me. I told myself that from then onwards I would increase my value so that the next time I want to earn a certain amount, I could demand for it and the employer would know that I was worth the value I had demanded.
This marked the beginning of my financial growth journey. Every year after that, my earnings have increased, in fact, there has never been a year that I earned lesser than I did in the previous year. I also moved beyond just thinking/knowing that I was valuable to showing that value, because the tricky thing is that you may feel that you’re valuable, but the next person doesn’t see it. So through the quality of my work, by consistently underpromising and overdelivering, and relating with people based on what they term value, I started showing my worth to employers.
Even though I want to earn a lot more, I can actually say the last two years have been good for me financially, this is mostly because I have really grown. One thing I have learned in the past two years is that as income increases, expenses also increase. I have also become wiser with my money and generally, my finances have grown, I don’t approach money the way I used to approach it two years ago - I take an investment approach in the way I spend my money. First I realise that money doesn’t want to stay with you, it wants to fly away (fun but true). So now I no longer spend money spontaneously but more consciously such that the money I now spend will come back to me in more value in the future.
Currently, I am a spender and an investor, my savings have mostly been targeted towards goals, so I cannot call myself a saver.
So far my best money move was to quit my former job and start working at the company where I am at now.
My worst money move was doing three investments that all crashed about 3 years ago. The investments were MBA Forex, an online agricultural investment and another forex investment. It was really heart-breaking.
If I got $100,000 today, I would first take a few days off and rest. I will take a mini vacation, rest, eat and refresh. Then, I would do some investments, splitting the funds between real estate and transport because I really love those markets. So yeah, if I got that kind of money I can invest in something, it would be real estate, transport but first, that rest.
Here’s a breakdown of my Top Three’s
Top 3 things my money goes to monthly are:
- Personal effects like internet subscription and groceries.
Top 3 favourite Digital finance tools I Use:
I don’t have a lot of digital tools but I have a bank account where I save, I also have a friend I save with on a monthly basis - maybe that’s a human tool🤣. The thing is, I can stay with my money.
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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