You see, I am a frugal person, but that doesn’t mean I have always had control over where my money goes. It got so bad in 2015 that i knew i had to change something in 2016.!
I noticed this after I calculated how much my company was paying me every year, how much I thought I was spending and how much I was actually saving and I couldn’t account for the difference.
That was when I realized I had to take some basic financial steps to correct this. This is a pretty long list and i had a longer one but i decided to blog about the steps i actually took so i can proudly say I learnt from experience. i didnt do every activity at once o.. but i tried most of it in 2016 and will retry it in 2017.
Lets get to it:
- Getting some Financial education. I took courses on Coursera and skillshare on personal finance.
- Getting a financial journal.: There are finance journals in the market but im writing a post soon on how to create one from a blank book which is what I did.
- Sowing: this works, weather you are religious or not. When you give you tend to get back. The universe always rewards. I don’t understand how and why this works but it does…
- Read books: I purchased a-z of personal finance by Mrs Nimi Akinkugbe, read a friends copy of Smart Money woman by Arese Ugu, rules of wealth, pocketbook for believers etc. All these were done in January.
- Read Articles online: I scoured the internet to find as many articles and blogs on personal finance as i could find. Arese had videos on Ndani Tv, and Guardian Life, Mrs Akinkugbe has a radio show on smooth FM and was very active online.
- Invest: I never understood investing until finished smart money woman by Arese and I started asking people questions. I met QueenAnne on a Tour organized by Social prefect and step obi and she graciously added me to an accountability WhatsApp group, now I have multiple streams of investments. She told me about a company called farmcrowdy. I am also investing in livestock at a family members farm (use what you have) I just pay the farm keeper and visit once in a while to check. i decided to research more and ask more questions, and now I have some other investment options that you can start even if you earn only minimum wage, see some more ideas here .. 🙂
- Have a Passive source of income or a side hustle I serve as a creative director/ financer/ executor with some of my friends companies , I run Ybarn and YS as my side hustles.
- Separate your accounts: I actively use 2 bank accounts 1 with an Atm the other with a mobile App. I also have accounts i cant reach except its an emergency.
- Savings: I save in 2 ways.
- PiggyBank.ng: I use Piggybank to save. Piggy bank is just an online kolo. Find a seperate post on this here.
- Target Accounts: If you stay in Nigeria and you have a GTB account, you can save using a target account. A target account is basically an account that is connect to your name but not connected to your ATM. You have to go to the bank or go through the web version of the internet banking platform to withdraw from that account into your main account before you can spend the money.
10) Mutual Funds and Investment Solutions: these are financial services that help you invest your money in other things like bonds, stocks etc. at very little risks to you. I used the GTB Investment 1 but stoped cos it wasnt as seemless as i thought which was kinda my fault. there are others from First Bank and Stanbic out there that are good alternatives. There are different packages and the ones I have tried are the myPass and Medview scheme. you can look here for more details and select what suits you best.I am trying stanbic this year so lest see how that goes.
11. Use your smart Phone to document. I mean actually use it for the smart things its able to do. Take pictures of your receipts. Download finance apps and apps that help you save. I use over 5 finance apps that do different things and I try as much as possible to document my purchases and take pictures of my receipts using these apps. Documenting your purchase ensures you are not broke by Mistake as you can see how your account balance is reducing and what is reducing it. I haven’t found an app I especially prefer but would do a review of the ones i have tried.
12) Take advantage of Deals, group buying, coupons and discounts. There’s almost no good that’s sold in retail that never goes on sale. why pay full price now when you can pay half later. search Dealdey and online stores regularly for deals. If you are a corper or Government worker, you have access to low cost goods and services and can even pay instalmentally. However you should be careful of installment payments as that can be a form of bondage if you buy the wrong product.
13) do you know about PVC: its your pensions volountry contribution. This is my best tip so far so stay with me. You know if you work a 9-5, your employer is mandated to pay tax and a pension contribution from your salary on your behalf, weather you like it or not. Do you also know that your pension contribution isnt taxed? . How can you take advantage of this? You can ask your finance guy/lady in the office to take part of your salary, up to 30% and add to your pension fund. That 30% taken out of your salary isnt taxed. If you do this for a while, you get to save money and get to earn part of your tax back. Its an easy way to earn more and save more at once and dont give me the side eye, you are not cheating the government it is perfectly legal. Ask your PFA.
14) save in Forex: as much as you can. I remember early last year when the black market rate of the dollar went up to 270 and i was almost in tears. Someone told me to still exchange my money at that rate and I refused. After some weeks i went to the bank and the rate was 310 and i grudgingly exchanged most of my savings. It was honestly very painful and I didn’t want to do it. In my mind then, the exchange rate was still going to stabilize. Thank God for wise counsel. Now the black market rate is 500 naira and it is still going up.
Honestly, i think what helped me best was asking questions, I asked and I received. I asked the most unusual people, experts, church members, hair dressers etc. and i was able to pick out different things from different people.
So if you have money issues or even any issues, just ask.
I might even do a part 2 of this post with more things i plan to do this year.
what Financial goals are you setting for yourself this year?
How do you plan to save?
How do you plan to make more money?
Do you have any ideas that have worked for you?
Why don’t you share?