Insurance: 5 years ago, one Saturday morning, I climbed a 27 feet ladder to clean the gutters on the roof of our house after the fall, because the falling leaves from trees around the house had clogged the gutters hindering easy flow of rain water down the sprout. As I was making my way slowly up the ladder, my then 10-year-old daughter, whom I thought was still asleep and whose room is on the first floor of our one-story building house, opened the window to her room, looked at me for one second and asked, “dad, do you have life insurance?”. I said yes while taking the next step up the ladder, then she closed the window and went back to sleep. She will be 15 in the next 7 days.
Up till today, I am not sure how a 10-year-old knew about life insurance, but that question gets me thinking each time I remember that encounter.
Life insurance and estate planning is one of those things people, especially Nigerians, do not want to talk about because they touch on the inevitable, death. No matter how scary the thought of death could be, it is good to factor it into your overall financial planning.
In his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey says that highly effective people live with the end in view. Many people spend time planning about retirement, which is good, but retirement takes care of the future, but we should also plan for the ultimate end because for some retirement may not come but death will sure present itself whenever and wherever. What an unpleasant truth!
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Life insurance has even become more important now in Nigeria than ever before given the number of news about people dropping dead or slumping and dying without any prior signs of illness not to talk about the increased incidence of road accidents and poor health care delivery and facilities.
This article is not meant to scare you but to arouse and sensitize you to the need to do the needful.
Why You Need and Should Get Life Insurance
- Peace of Mind: Like I noted in the introductory part of this piece, by daughter went back to sleep after finding out that I have life insurance and she was not much bothered about me climbing to the top of the roof, that is peace of mind. Having a life insurance reduces anxieties on you and your dependents and such anxiety reduction in turn improves your mental and physical health.
- Payment for Losses: The existence of life insurance often supplies the financial resources that permits a family to continue despite serious losses that have occurred. The death of a breadwinner can bring financial disaster to a family. When a breadwinner dies, family income dies with him/her with the implication that the spouse and/or children may have to give up their home or even schooling and accept undesirable alternatives. But such perils can be met with the proceeds of a life insurance in such a way that the family remains intact after the loss.
- Stimulates Savings: Ownership of a life insurance policy instills or encourages thrift because the premium that you pay each month, although small compared to the possible loss it protects against, is in essence, a prepayment of a potential loss. By making the monthly premium payments, you are saving for the unfortunate event of death. Some life insurance policies have additional savings built into them thereby encouraging even more savings.
- Business Continuity: For those in business of their own or have their own companies, life insurance serves a wide variety of purposes especially in the area of business continuity.
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- Funeral Expense payment: Funerals are becoming increasingly expensive in Nigeria and some families have had to go into various types of debt or even sell landed or other properties to offset the cost of funerals. Of what use is it to subject your family to some debt repayment long after you are gone? If you cannot afford funeral insurance, getting a life insurance can provide a veritable source of fund with which to defray expenses arising from funeral activities.
Who Needs Life Insurance
Life insurance may not be for everyone. An individual’s economic human life value is derived from earnings capacity and the financial dependence of other lives on that earnings capacity. This means that a human life has an economic value only if some other person or persons can expect to derive pecuniary advantage through the existence of that human life. Therefore, if an individual is without dependents and/or other persons or organizations that stand to benefit from his or her living, either now or in the future, then that life has no monetary value that needs to be perpetuated through a life insurance policy. Any one that falls into that category does not need life insurance.
You can Start or make it Small.
You do not have to have a humongous amount of life insurance, it is the total absence of life insurance that matters, not really the value. You do not have to have a whole life insurance as that is much more expensive. You can get a term life insurance which covers your family until such a time that they are no longer dependent on you. If you cannot afford the higher premium that goes with a large value life insurance, opt for what you can afford, although most financial planning experts say that it is better to get large value life insurance when your dependents are young and as they become less dependent on you, you downsize.
When it comes to financial planning, the earlier the better because time, they say, is money. The earlier you start to save, the more you accumulate at the end and with life insurance, the earlier you start, the less your monthly premium because it is believed that younger individuals have less health challenges and lower mortality rate. If you do not yet have life insurance and you have dependents, get one now.
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Up for a raise? Use these 5 strategies to make it happen
To avoid appearing selfish or materialistic, here are five strategies to employ when demanding a raise.
Requesting a raise is an important conversation that you should have with your employer, particularly if you believe your salary does not measure up with the value you bring to the company or the duties for which you are assigned.
In a bid to avoid appearing selfish or materialistic, many people shy away from this. They continue to expect the day the company will announce a raise or promotion for the employees. Although in some workplaces this sometimes plays out as expected, many other businesses seldom revisit the salary specifics and performance evaluation document of their employee to evaluate and conduct a correlation in order to make recommendations for a raise to those who merit it.
Demanding a raise does not entail asking for a favor from the company, it simply means asking for suitable market value for your job roles and responsibilities. In as much as this might be the right of an employee, it is necessary to know how to go about it appropriately in order to achieve a favorable outcome.
Here are five strategies to employ when demanding a raise:
1. Evaluate your contributions and performance
To ask for a raise, you need to have a well-grounded knowledge of the positive contributions you have made to the company. Create a list or record of your discharge obligations or duties, as well as significant achievements that you made on the job. This will give you insight as to the value you bring to the company and what you get in return. Evaluating your results will provide you with a sound understanding of your efforts, achievements, and will also increase your confidence to demand a pay raise. This will help your boss realize that you know your worth.
2. Boost your negotiation power
Negotiation is the process of reaching a fair agreement for the parties involved by means of meaningful conversations. Most employees cower in the face of salary negotiation because of the impression this may create about them to their employers. Others who are brave enough to take the step lack the skillfulness to achieve or reach a handy result.
Negotiation is an art that should be learnt. Employees should improve on their negotiation skills if they intend to get a fair bargain for their efforts. One of the negotiation techniques that can be incorporated when asking for a raise in pay is to layout specific options from which the employer is to choose. This will offer both parties substantial choices to make a decision from.
3. Right timing matters
There is a time for everything. As cliché as this may sound, it is a fact you should accept and work with. You have to assess the company’s financial position to ascertain if asking for a raise will be feasible. When this is done, you can proceed to arrange a meeting to discuss it with your employer. Find out from your employer when it is convenient to discuss issues of concern that you have.
4. Present cogent reasons
When demanding a raise, one of the strategies to achieve this is to tender reports or proof of your achievements or efforts that have contributed to the development of the company in some way. You can request for a raise on the grounds of the length of service, duties, or performance. Your motives should reflect the principles of the company and they should be objectively stated.
5. Express gratitude
Appreciate the employer for the ability to work for the company and show a sense of appreciation for their service. Let the employer know that your demand for a raise does not mean that you are dissatisfied with the employer or the work, but rather that it is a request for what suits the specified roles you play.
For a variety of reasons, many organizations give an employee a raise based on different factors that range from efficiency, motivation, length of service, promotion, and a few other factors. If you are assured that you have fulfilled the requirements for a raise, the methods mentioned can be used to improve the chances of having a raise.
Personal Finance Culture: The 4 Cs of Financial Success
To achieve financial success, the 4Cs will be of great help.
Many Nigerians who had a pseudo-confidence in their financial stability, were rocked by the storms of the economic hardship that followed the COVID-19 pandemic. Some did not survive it, while those who did, now seek ways to be better financially equipped for future eventualities.
It’s six (6) months since the COVID-19 outbreak was officially declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11th, 2020. With the full enormity of the pandemic in mind, we cannot come out of this without noting its attendant life lessons. Interestingly, some of those lessons correlate with principles that can enhance your personal finance, on your journey to financial freedom.
Financial freedom does not happen overnight, as it results from self-discipline and good money habits practised consistently over time.
To help you on your journey, I have come up with the 4C’s. To achieve financial success, you must be;
- Creative – Find creative ways to earn more money. Having more than one source of income is a good way to increase your financial security. I’m sure the people who lost their jobs or took a pay cut during the pandemic will agree with me.
- Conservative – Be conservative with your expenses, and make sure to spend less than you earn. You can actually save more if you stick to a budget. It is okay to occasionally reward yourself, and enjoy the finer things of life. But that should also be on a budget.
- Consistent – Form the habit of saving and investing a part of your income. As far as savings go, you need to have at least 3 months’ worth of living expenses, stashed away in liquid assets – Emergency funding, to cushion the impact of job loss, unplanned medical expenses, and other emergencies. It also applies to small businesses – many SMEs without any financial buffer felt the impact of the lockdown from Day 1. Investing, on the other hand, is the only way you can grow your money. You should take it seriously; develop the right mindset, become financially intelligent, and seek expert advice before taking a step.
- Careful – Be careful who you listen to. Not every investment advice is good for you, and you should do your due diligence before releasing your money.
So, will you be making any changes to your money management style? What did you wish you learnt about money pre-COVID-19?
Importantly, we are not out of the woods yet. The virus is still out there, and you should stay safe, as Health is Wealth.
Temitope Busari, CFA
Temitope is an Investment Professional, with over 11 years of cognate experience spanning regional financial markets across Sub-Saharan Africa. Her technical skills cut across Treasury, Risk management, Fintech solutions, and Strategy. With a passion for positive social impact, she leverages multiple media platforms to advance financial literacy efforts, helping individuals and small businesses make better money decisions.
Budgeting apps that help you manage your personal finance
In today’s world, these apps make it easy to effortlessly manage your finances.
In our fast-paced lives and rapidly evolving world, technology makes it possible to get things done in a more convenient manner, saving time, energy, and other resources. Personal budgeting should be a daily routine and somewhat a habit in our lives, unfortunately, not many people pay attention to this.
The tech world has taken notice and provided us with ways to manage our finances with convenience and ease through mobile apps development.
Life is good when you are on top of your money and ahead of your expenses; these apps make it easy to effortlessly manage your finances.
1. GoodBudget: This budgeting app uses the shared envelope-budgeting principle. With its virtual tracking program, it makes it possible to not only, keep up with friends and family by syncing shares and budget, but also lets you save for big expenses and pay off debt. With a friendly user interface, the app makes it easy to categorically differentiate your regular monthly expenses from annual savings goals and irregular expenses. It is important to note that this particular app doesn’t sync transactions with your financial institutions, so for every amount that comes in or goes out, you’d have to manually enter the transactions. Another incentive this app offers is that it provides customisable reports for you to keep track of budget trends, offers helpful tips on how to create a budget and get ahead of your expenses. Works on android and iOS devices.
2. Piggyvest uses the traditional, simple saving idea of a piggybank, also locally known as ‘kolo ’. It presents you with the opportunity to use the ‘piggybank’ feature to reach personal savings goals more quickly. There are several other features for various purposes such as ‘Target Savings’ which helps you save for multiple goals like holidays, fees, and special events, ‘SafeLock’ which secures your funds by locking it until your pre-selected, this helps avoid impulsive spending. There is also the opportunity to partake in investments by investing in little bits that one can afford whilst still enjoying the same rate of return as a well co-investment option. Every option is vetted and secured by Piggyvest and you can easily monitor the progress of your investments. This is a Nigerian based app and accepts all Nigerian debit cards.
3. YNAB short for, You Need a Budget, is a personal finance help app that teaches you how to manage your money. The general principle is to ‘give every dollar a job’. For a dollar saved, it is saved for a particular purpose which could be long term or short term. It strives to eliminate the common trap of living paycheck-to-paycheck. One of the pros of this software is that it displays the user’s financial reports and syncs transactions so that users can seamlessly categorise their finances at a glance. It has a more proactive rather than reactive approach to budgeting. For every dollar you’re expected to earn, work is assigned to it, that is, to either spend or save. With over a million downloads, it’s gained popularity with its educational and philosophical approach to financial management.
Works for both android and iOS devices.
4. Carbon: If you have ever been caught in a predicament where you needed just a small amount of cash to solve an emergency, but you probably thought it was not possible to access loans in such a short period of time, you’ll really love this bit of good news. There’s a mobile app that you can use to get that ‘small cash’ without stress and have the money deposited directly to your account in 24hours or less. That app is called Carbon. Formerly known as Paylater, this is a personal finance and loan service app that helps you make all sorts of bill payments and money transfer with ease. It is built to help users understand their spending habits and learn how to categorise income and expenses to have full control over their finances. With this app, you can get a short-term loan amount as low as #10,000 and as high as #500,000. In addition to making it easy to recharge your phone, transfer money and have access to short-term loans, it also provides users with the option to invest using Payvest and earn up to 16% per annum. Available on Google Playstore.
5. Expensify: This mobile and web-based application is developed from the world-leading expense management company of the same name. It was originally developed to make it bearable for anyone to analyse expense reports. It is a software that allows individuals and businesses to track and file expenses such as fuel, travels, etc. Just by snapping receipts of transactions, the software uses artificial intelligence to identify the details of the transaction and automatically categorise and save the expense. It also allows users to download these reports based on user transactions. The product offers two payment options for individuals and organisations; for either annual subscriptions or pay per use charge. One of the pros of this particular app is that you can easily convert currencies for international travel. It is compatible with android and iOS devices.
6. PocketGuard: This is a personal finance help tool that makes for a more simplified budgeting snapshot. It helps you manage your disposable income, bills, and subscriptions. While some other personal finance apps try to provide you with tools to discipline your saving and spending habit, PocketGuard simply shows you what you have available for daily spending. The software is built to help you manage your everyday spending after your regular bills and subscriptions have been paid. Upon sign up, the app syncs with your financial accounts and helps you keep track of your account portfolio. Using it to pay for services helps you stay ahead and negotiate better rates. With AutoSave you can automatically grow your savings to the desired amount.
7. Financial Calculator: This app is handy for calculating the future value and present value of your financial assets. Some of its features help you to; perform financial calculations with ease and on the go, compare interest rates, compare lease and auto loans, determine how much time is needed for you to pay off debts, and to calculate the exact tip you should give for services rendered.
8. Unsplurge: We’ve all been there at one point or another, where we felt the need to splurge sometimes on impulse and give in to personal cravings. But then when the utility has declined you start regretting your impulsive spending and berate yourself for not being disciplined enough. Well, with Unsplurge, you have an opportunity to discipline yourself. It is built to encourage you to save money by working on your goals. There is no limit to the number of goals you can decide to save money for. You just log savings and monitor your progress. You can also get inspiration and encouragement from family and friends as they cheer you on and share their success stories as well. This app is built only for iPhones.
Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data
9. Personal capital: This self-help tool basically offers two primary functionalities; a free personal money manager and a paid investment management service. The free function allows you to monitor your income, assets, expenses, and investments from a single portal, get investment advice on how to optimise and make more money, whereas the paid version which is also known as the Wealth Management program offers a more personalised portfolio management.
10. Mint: This is one of the most popular personal finance apps of all time. This app has been hailed for its easy-to-use programs and friendly user interface. With a sort of colour-coded system, it gives a more graphical display which helps users navigate the app seamlessly.
Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data
Also known as intuit mint and formerly mint.com. This personal finance management app allows users to track bank, credit card, investment, loan balances, and a number of other transactions through a single user interface. One of the pros of this app is that it automatically syncs with your financial institutions to track user bills and gives constant alerts to ensure you keep up with payments. Based on financial data and transactions, its features allow users to create categories, track budgets, and set financial goals. It promotes savings by recommending credit card deals and insurance. The software is said to be securely protected, using a number of financial institution level security and high-level encryption. It was originally designed for iOS but an android version has been made available in recent years.