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Love, Dating, Marriage are financial events too…

If Dangote gives you a substantial check (amen!), do not change the wedding venue to the moon. Instead, invest the gift. Marriage is more than the wedding and more about the many years ahead. And it’s expensive, literally. 



Love, Dating, and Marriage are financial events too...

When a couple is dating, expenses go up. It becomes more difficult to keep within a strict budget when you have to spend to buy gifts for a girlfriend and eat out in expensive restaurants. Needless to focus on how expensive weddings/marriages can often be.

But do you know that getting married also confers significant tax benefits on a couple? In the US for instance, the Internal Revenue Service allows couples filing taxes to claim a larger tax exemption. The Federal Inland Revenue Service also allows Nigerian taxpayers to claim a married partner as a dependent. This, in effect, reduces the tax burden on the taxpayer.

In this article, we shall go from dating to marriage to see if there are any financial planning best practices we can adopt. Let’s get to it, shall we?

First of all, dating:

When dating, I’d suggest you consider dating on a budget. This is necessary in order to minimise impulsive spending. Also, do you have a favorite restaurant or place you regularly go to? Do they have discount deals or membership? It might be a good idea to sign up and get points.

Talk about money very early in your relations. You don’t necessarily have to ask the “how much do you earn?” question. Instead, ask open-ended questions like, “do you think credit scores are helpful?” These are not questions to find fault but to establish shared beliefs that can be built on.

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There will be a partner who is more knowledgeable about money. That partner should be the “Chief Financial Officer”of the relationship, educating and explaining money to the next person. Remember, you’re both in it together.

However, when you date, you need to understand how your partner deals with money. Is he or she a saver, a spender, or a  “dad will pay bills” kind of person? Doing this is as important as understanding partners’ view on religion or soccer. Does your partner shop impulsively to impress you or does he/she deliberate and decide with you before making a purchase?

Redline: Do not ever go into sizable debt just because you are dating someone.

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Hint: No prenuptial talks at this early dating stage either.

Flirting young African American woman pursing her lips for a kiss and caressing the face of her handsome man

Going Steady

Okay, so now you’re in love with her and she’s in love with you. But who is going to pay the bills? you both have to agree who will pay the bills in the meantime, later, and later on.  If one half is in school, who pays? Are bills shared? Who pays rent? Ask, to know. Never assume.

Remember, you are still dating but a bit more steady now. Therefore, set a budget for dates, put a maximum cap if possible.

[READ: Why your savings are not growing]

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How are living arrangements? Separate homes? Living with parents? What’s the plan? New home? one party will move in? who? Which rent is cheaper? which location is nearer to work? These are important questions to address, even as traditions may have to give way to financial realities on ground.

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To be clear, who earns and who pays the bills are two different questions, in most cases, the earner pays the bills but not in all situations. Again don’t assume, agree.

When will you have a joint account? Before marriage? After marriage? Having a joint account before marriage allows contributions to your joint “wedding account”. Donations in cash gifts can be spent from here. Agree on expenses, spend from here.

Draw up your list of financial goals, rank them together, agree if buying a home comes before buying new cars. Which bank will you both use? Which Pension Fund Administrator are you going to use? Will you both buy life insurance? What sum is assured? How much money saved away in an emergency fund.

[READ: How to know when your debts have gone overboard]

Will both of you work? Who will resign? Lots of questions, right? Well, the point is to agree as a couple. Again, never assume; ask.

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Its also important for both of you to draw up your balance sheets and meet with a financial planner or adviser to optimise your assets. What is the debt picture like? Is another partner cash-rich? Can there be net off benefits? Specifically, try to enter the marriage debt-free as a couple. Keep records.

It’s time for a Wedding

Sit down and cost your wedding; have a budget. Don’t have a wedding based on how much you can save or raise via contributions. Agree your budget together now, spend that agreed sum with a % variance allowable. There is an African proverb about wedding guest which says “no matter how many cows are served at the wedding, not everyone will be satisfied”.

If Dangote gives you a substantial check (amen!), do not change the wedding venue to the moon. Instead, invest the gift.


For the wedding, if you have the means, spend, have a blast. Otherwise, remember the wedding is just a party, the marriage also has major expenses (like rent) coming. First thing, you pay for your wedding, your honeymoon so that if the wedding DJ blows a fuse, you escape to your honeymoon.

It’s difficult to advise about spending for a wedding. It’s understandably an emotional thing. However, look to saving money by paying early, buying in bulk, calling in favors from family and friends. For the guys, buy a black suit, so you can wear again, no purple and white suits (yes seriously).

Living as a Couple

Back from Honeymoon and thinking of keeping a joint account after the wedding? That’s a good idea as you can pay joint bills from here. You can extend the principle and have a Joint investment account too. Take important financial steps together, sit together and agree a budget for all expense heads, clothes, rent, holiday, and entertainment.

Be clear who is responsible for managing the finances, (i.e. who will make the actual bill payments). In terms of an action plan, its advisable to do it in this order:

1. Pay off all debts, have a budget and plan

2. Create an emergency fund, 3 to six months of Non-Discretionary Expenses

3. Get Life Insurance

4. Agree on an Investment Plan

5. Mortgage Plan, start a plan to own your own home

If you plan to have children, plan for them. When will you have them? where will you have them? Get the cots, add to your budget, start to plan for it today, so its less a burden in the future.

When you get married, list your significant partner as the beneficiary next of kin on all documents. This is important. If you have a joint account, ask if it has a “right of survivorship” clause.

Money is a significant cause of the marital breakdowns witnessed in our society today. Hiding expenses or significant assets from your partner breaks down trust. Therefore, in all that you do, be transparent. Be open, never assume, and do things together.

1 Comment

1 Comment


    July 21, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Pure financial wisdom for young generation. Thank you for this!

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Personal Finance

How to build solid financial success system and achieve financial freedom quickly

These are the three systems you need to speed up your financial success by almost 20 times.



Financial system and freedom

The majority of people I know want to increase their financial success. If this is also what you want to do, you need solid financial systems.

What systems do you need and how do you increase financial success especially if you are stuck in a 9-5 job? In this article, I will show you exactly what to do.

To increase your financial success, there are three systems you need. These systems determine how fast or slow you achieve financial freedom and are explained below.

Multiple Income System

This is the system that brings in massive money into your life. It comprises 3 main components – quality of your main income, source of your income, type of income.

The quality of your income can be high or Low. It is high if your main income gives you the ability to save more than you spend. It is low when you can only spend more than you save. High-quality income is the only type of income that can make you rich.

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The second component of the multiple income system is the source of your income and there are two types – the one source income and multiple source income. The key to fast-tracking your financial success is to upgrade your source of income from one to many.

The third component of the multiple income system is the type of income you earn. There are two types of income – active income and passive income.

When you earn only active income or have a weak passive income, you limit your chances of financial success. True success is created when you have a strong active income and a strong passive income. You accelerate your financial success when you depend on passive than active income.

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These are the three components of the multiple income system. When you have all three components working for you, you accelerate your financial success by almost twenty times.

So, now that you know the first system for fast-tracking your financial success, let’s look at the second system.

Money Preservation System

Earning extra income is just one step in the financial success process. What truly creates wealth is the income that you keep. True riches are created when you keep more income for yourself.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Most people are only keeping leftovers for themselves. They are enriching others through their spending and getting poorer and broke every day. To achieve financial success, you must preserve more of what you earn. To succeed with preserving income, you must maximize two key components – the savings component and investing components.

READ: Billionaires that can triple the value of Bitcoin

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The savings component works best when you save big portions of your income every month and investing your savings to produce solid passive income. To save big portions, you must strive to increase your savings by 1% every month. You must also try to maintain a low maintenance living standard.

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The second thing to do to preserve your income, is to ensure that money saved and invested is never lost. Losing money through unguided investment decisions is not wise. To achieve financial success, you must invest to preserve your savings.

So, now that you know the second system that can accelerate your financial success. Let’s look at the third system.

READ: Ripple adds Bank of America to payment network

Money Multiplication System

The money multiplication system is the system that enlarges your wealth. There is a limit to which savings and investing alone can make you rich.

This is because they are heavily dependent on your own direct effort. To create massive wealth, you need to move beyond your effort and create systems that can enlarge wealth even in your sleep. To create this kind of system you need one critical component –  Leverage.

READ: $385 million worth of Bitcoin moved by unknown identity

What is Leverage?

The best way for me to explain leverage is to use the example of a school Teacher and a movie star. A school teacher solves the problem of ignorance through education and a movie star also solves the problem of ignorance and boredom through education and entertainment.

Both teach their audience something about themselves or other people, that they do not know before. A teacher delivers her services by standing in front of a few students and is confined to a classroom. Every day of her life she does the same thing, teaching the same materials to different kinds of students.

READ: Nigeria generates N416.01 billion from Company Income Tax in Q3 2020


Without her presence, her work cannot be delivered, her time is blocked. She is cut off from the wider society and can only earn income from her direct effort. Although, the teacher arguably provides higher perceived value than the movie star, she lacks leverage and her income is limited by it. This, therefore, means that you can provide enormous value and still not be rich. Value alone does not lead to wealth. It is value and leverage that creates massive wealth.

The movie star in contrast has massive leverage. He shoots a movie in some remote town unknown to the audience. He invests weeks, months, and sometimes years producing the movie. But, once produced, he never has to do the same movie over again. The movie produced is distributed all over the world. He is seen on all the media platforms, in theatre, television, and DVDs.

READ: Top passive income strategies using Cryptocurrencies in Nigeria

His movie is watched by billions of people. He is able to build a solid fan base and is patronized from all over the world. A movie star works once and is paid for a lifetime. It is the long-lasting and far-reaching value of the work of a movie star that makes him richer and wealthier than the classroom teacher. Thus, even with little perceived value, a person can create massive wealth with the right leverage.

Leverage is thus the ability to work once and be paid for life. It also the ability to do it in one place and spread it all over the world. The tools that make leverage possible is the right relationships, the right media platform, and the right distribution system. If you do not build your own leverage system, there is a limit to how much money you can earn.

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

So, these are the three systems you need to speed up your financial success by almost 20 times. Perhaps, you are thinking to yourself how do I build these systems and where do I start. If this is you, we can help. We will help you build these systems and accelerate your journey to financial success. If you need help, send an email to [email protected]

About author

Grace Agada is the Senior Financial Happiness Director at Create Solid Wealth. She is an Author and Column Contributor in six National Newspapers. She is a contributor at BellaNaija, Nairametrics and Proshare. She is on a mission to help working-class professionals and CEOs become more financially successful. To learn more about Grace and how she can help you, send an email to [email protected]

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Personal Finance

Must-do things after you finally become debt-free

Now you are finally debt-free, these next steps will help you make sure you never fall back into debt again.



So now that you are debt-free what next? Remember that clearing your debt is just one part of the exercise; staying out of debt is vital to ensure that you don’t end up in the same financial injury. Living debt-free is not rocket science. All it requires is the consciousness that healthy finance is essential for you to live a happy life.

You may want to check out our previous articles 9 Brilliant ideas to pay off debt fast in 2021 and How to get out of debt: A step-by-step guide where we discussed extensively how to find your way out of debt.

Outlined below are some things to help you live debt-free; have a good read.

Make a list of your income and expenses

The first thing to do to ensure that you don’t fall into debt is to plan. Planning is such a vital step to success for anything we want to do in life. Indeed, if you don’t want to fail, you cannot neglect to plan. This doesn’t have to be complicated in any way. It’s as simple as you putting down words and figures. The first step in this process is making a list. You need to see on paper, what your finance looks like. It may not seem like such an important thing to do, but it is necessary. Making this list, all you have to do is write out what you earn on one side. If you have different streams of income, put it all on paper. Then, write out your expenses on paper, everything you know you spend money on monthly. Depending on when you receive your incomes; you can make it weekly or bi-weekly. Just compare how much is coming in against how much is going out.

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Create a budget plan

The next step in the planning process is to create a budget. Based on your analysis from the step above, you should assign every dollar/naira you earn a task. You cannot afford to be passive with your money, give them work to do. They are available to make life easier for you right, but if you don’t tell them what to do, they cannot help you achieve that. You have to understand also; depending on what the ratio of your income to expenses is, you might need to make certain adjustments. In fact, if you want to stay out of debt, you NEED to make those adjustments. This step is not as difficult as you may think, if you do not know how to go about this process of creating a budget, you can use a budgeting app to make it easier for you. There are so many choices out there so you must choose wisely because your financial needs may be different from your neighbour’s.

Be intentional about your money

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This tip can be summarised into the first two steps already outlined. But it is such an essential factor that deserves special attention. Intentional merely is being deliberate in your actions. Therefore, being intentional about your money requires that you don’t leave anything to chance. Conscious money habits will ensure better financial health and keep you from running into debt. So, as basic as the first two steps might seem to you, you really cannot neglect them.

Do not make purchases based on emotions

It is very easy to spend to make ourselves feel better. The painful truth is that the things you buy won’t make you feel better. They cannot take away that feeling, because when the initial gratification has waned, you would still be left with that emptiness you were feeling in the first place.

Unsubscribe from sales emails

Everybody likes to get the first updates for those juicy deals and grab them as they come. If you have not planned for it, please don’t do it. You have to unsubscribe from emails that make you spend more money. Remember that the person sending those emails wants to make money. You do not need to place that instant ordering; turn it off.

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Maintain a good credit score

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Remember when we talked about how to stay out of debt; one of the tips offered was to negotiate lower interest rates. Having a good credit score qualifies you for lower interest rates. More than that; having a good credit score grants you more negotiating power, better insurance deposits, easier approval for loan requests, it also affords you higher credit limits. Overall, having a good credit score places you on better standing than having a bad one.

Do not tie up your money in illiquid investments

As necessary as an investment is, you must engage in those with high liquidity as opposed to illiquid investments.

Earn more money

There is no human on this planet that this idea will not be appealing to. We always want to have more money, no matter how much we already have; it’s in our nature. The simple ways to earn more money is to get a side hustle, become a freelancer or contractor; use your skills to make money. With unlimited access to technology, the world of work offers more opportunity than ever for anyone to turn their skills into pay.

Staying out of debt can be summed into these few words; “Live within your means”. The way to ensure that you do that is by planning. Be intentional about your money. Life can happen at any time but even when it does, with a proper plan already in place, you will be better equipped to handle unforeseen circumstances than when you don’t even know where your money is coming from.

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Personal Finance

How to get out of debt: A step-by-step guide

Follow these few simple practices and you may well be on your way to living a debt-free life.



The crowding out effects of rising States' debt: Why Nigerians should worry, How to Get Out Of Debt: A Step-by-Step Guide

Having to run or hide from someone just because you owe them some money is not a very fun exercise. But what if you didn’t have to do it, what if you lived debt free? Hold your gasps; it’s not so shocking. It is very attainable, and if you can follow the few simple practices we’re about to examine, you can be well on your way to FREEDOM.

Here, we’ve outlined necessary steps to help you live debt-free;

READ: How to make more money solving problems

Gather your data: These include records and information that contain your bills and expenses, income and source(s) of income, credit score etc. the goal here is to get you acquainted with yourself. You have to know yourself well enough to understand your spending pattern and identify critical areas to adjust or habits to do away with.

Understand your debt: Make a list of all your debts, all that you currently owe, and how much interest rates are charged on them. Remember to include the minimum required payment for each debt. This would help you understand the type of debt(s) you owe. Understanding your debt will help you know how it happened and give you a clearer perspective on how to clear it. If you have more than one type of debt, it can be challenging to keep track, and you may find yourself always paying money and not even knowing if you are a step closer to clearing your debts. But you cannot begin to pay off your debt until you understand what the figures in your records represent.

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READ: Football: Manchester United net debt rises by 133% to £474.1million

Create a budget and debt pay-off plan: Creating a budget should have come as a first step. However, that would be more effective in the situation that debt doesn’t exist, because one of the reasons for budgeting is to make sure that you DON’T fall into debt. Having gathered your data and coming to terms with what the records are; the next thing to do is to create a plan. There are different tools you can utilize to help you. A simple keyword search would give you an idea of what to do. The budget plan doesn’t have to be complicated, create a list that you would be able to understand and stick to the program.

(READ MORE: How declining interest rates, others drive a shift in Nigeria’s investment sector)

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Lower your interest rates: The reason why people fall into debt and find it challenging to pay is due to the interest rate charged on their actual amount borrowed. You see; because you are required to pay interest rates on that money, it drags out the length of time you could payback. Negotiate your interest rates lower. Even when you may have already borrowed and started paying it off, if you find it challenging to complete payment, you should consider asking for lower interest rates. Depending on who your lender is, and how persuasive you are, you may find yourself having less to worry about.

READ: Afreximbank posts $217m net income in 9M 2020

Pay more than you have to pay: Another reason you could remain indebted to someone is when you stick to just paying the monthly required amount. Because of the interest charged on most loans, you only concentrate on paying that specific amount for that particular month. That keeps you in debt because instead of bringing you closer to clearing your debt, you are only dragging it out. Regardless of the interest rate, if you can pay more than the expected amount, you should go on to do so. It is something that you can discuss with your lender. It serves both of you because the faster you clear your debt, the quicker he gets his money back.

Earn More Money: To settle your debt, you have to go out of your way to ensure that your income supersedes your expenses. One way you could earn more money is by starting a ‘side hustle’ or taking a part-time job. In this modern age, there are more opportunities than ever, for anyone to diversify their streams of income. And most of these gigs are conveniently remote; you can run them from the comfort of your home. Of course, any human would be elated at the prospect of earning money, and when you are in debt, you just have to go out of your way to do everything possible to clear.

Curb Your Excesses: If you are in debt and you are finding it difficult to clear, evaluating your lifestyle habits could help put things into perspective. You have to be honest with yourself. If you want to pay off your debt faster, you’ll need to cut your expenses as much as possible. One tool you can create and use is a bare-bones budget. This is a strategy you can use to make your expenses as low as it can go and live a minimalist lifestyle. Live only on bare necessities and do away with frugality.

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No matter the type of debt, you can always clear it. Never believe that it is impossible. Always remember to have a plan. You really cannot afford to leave your life to chance. Be intentional about every aspect of your life, especially with your finances.

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