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Financial Literacy

7 common money mistakes I made and why you should avoid them

Don’t plan your wedding with the hope that your uncle will foot the bill. It is setting yourself up for frustration. Uncle also has his money issues that you have no clue about.

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On Sunday, March 17th, 2020, Nairametrics Founder, Ugodre Obi-Chukwu, tweeted a question that has over time garnered more than seven hundred interesting responses. His question was about debt and it was straight to the point —”What was the most amount you lent out to someone and never got paid back?”

As you can expect with this type of question, the responses were varied and highly personal. The Twitter thread also proved one thing, and that is the fact that banks are not alone when it comes to bad debts. One of those whose responses stood out for this author is Gabriel Omin, a personal finance enthusiast. Interestingly, Mr Omin had earlier written extensively about the 7 money mistakes he made in the past, and lending is atop his list. See below.

Never Ever Lend Money Kept In Your Custody.

There is a reason you were chosen to keep the money. People do not joke with their money and so they carefully choose who keeps corporate funds. Even thieves chose trusted people to keep their money.

When you betray the trust of people for whatsoever reason, you’ve soiled your name. You will lose social capital, which is a very important capital (this is one of those, not everything that counts that can be counted). That is very hard to undo. Whatsoever happened, it’ll be hard for people to forget. My dad will not touch the original money that is given to him to keep. If you numbered your money, you will get it back the same way. Basically, you will get the same notes you gave him to keep except he took the money to the bank.

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I learned this the hard way. A friend of a friend came with a need. He told me he had funds in the bank but it did not clear and the next day was a public holiday (this was pre-online banking). I loaned him money that someone gave me to keep. The person who gave me the money to keep, trusted me to the extent that he refused to sign a contract with me because he trusted me. I was supposed to get the money on the next working day, from the friend of a friend. Till today the next working day nefa reach. I had to go to the guy who gave me the money to keep for him, spoke a lot of English and paid back though I missed the day we earlier agreed. It was sad but I learned the hard way.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: What businesses must do to mitigate crisis

Avoid Impulse & Unplanned Expenses.

No budget, no spend. Spending without a budget is misappropriation. It doesn’t apply only to politicians. Have a budget & stay on it. This is the epitome of discipline. People will say what they want to say but instilling financial discipline is more important. A budget creates boundaries. Without a budget, you are on the speed lane to debt and debt…s/he is cruel. Plan plan plan. There might be surprises but a plan keeps you in order. It helps you know where you have detoured. You must not buy every AsoEbi. ATM cards are sweet to swipe but hard on the balance.

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One of the ways to avoid impulse buying is to hold cash. Yes. It sounds not- so-tech in a tech age but believes me it works. When the cash is finished, it is finished. Sitting down in one place also helps. Yes o. The more the outing, the more the expense. I can feel the envy I am generating with this but na so e bi.

The Money Will Come.

You are old enough now to know that the money will not always come. Things happen. Have a buffer for emergencies. The difference between politicians & business people is that politicians do not understand why the money should not come. Business people work for money. They know that you have to make it happen. Stop planning your expense based on the generosity of strangers.

Spending Based On Other People’s Purse.

Don’t plan your wedding with the hope that your uncle will foot the bill. It is setting yourself up for frustration. Uncle also has his money issues that you have no clue about. Don’t plan to fly business class with the hope that someone else will pay. You are not on welfare. Even if you are on welfare, please bring something to the table. That something is humility.

Responsible people spend within their means. They may not have Rolexes or iPhones but they hardly ask for help on predictable things like house rent, school fees, etc. It takes 9 months to have a baby. It is not an emergency; plan for it. I take God beg you; plan.

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READ ALSO: COVID-19: The ‘New Normal’ for Nigerian aviation industry

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Your kids should be in schools that you can afford. People have come to me for fees of school that my kids cannot even attend. I once headed a scholarship board and we set our requirements from day one. But parents kept coming for help in schools that they cannot afford. I mean households that both parents were not earning any income. You see what I mean by the fact that you have to contribute humility when you come to the welfare board?

Don’t buy with the hope that someone else will pick the bill. Try and agree upfront for a joint transaction. For the fact that someone paid upfront might mean that s/he expects repayment. Don’t think s/he is wicked when repayment is expected and asked for. In joint transactions, always think of going Dutch except you are advised otherwise. Err on the side of caution.

Spending Money Before It Gets To You.

Things happen. Until money enters your account, don’t go & pick something with the hope that you will pay when you get the money. That habit will lead you into the red. How about if that money does not come at the end of the day? I try not to make promises to people based on expected money. I see people start piling up debt just because they got a new job. It will distort your balance sheet if you start that way. It never ends well.

Money Sent Me On Errand.

I have seen people who were given a raise, upgrade their lifestyle in a heartbeat. Fly business class by the next day. Buy an expensive toy they never planned for. This is what happens to lottery winners. They pursue the appearance of wealth. The appearance of wealth is demonstrated when you get those things that make it look like you’ve arrived. It is the reason people take pictures sitting on cars; same reason musicians record videos in mansions and nice cars and private jets. Gang stars wear fur coats. Same when people buy TV/stereo set/gadgets with their first salary. Always allow the money to cool down. Take out time to plan what to do afterward. I have a one month rule for windfalls. They stay in the account until such a time that I have decided the way forward.

Depending on the Generosity of Strangers.

This is living life with the hope that somehow someone else will show up in the nick of time to pick your bills. It leads to living in debt and hoping that those you are indebted to will forget the money. These people can come to you with their family to thank you for the debt forgiveness you have rendered them. Meanwhile, you have said nothing of such. They always convert their debt into forgiven loans by themselves without your consent. They are experts at this. They quarrel and get contentious if you do not forgive. Money problems abound.

So, next time you think of doing any of these, have a rethink.

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Chisom I

    May 21, 2020 at 7:54 am

    On the contrary i have found that holding less cash is an effective way to curb unplanned spending

  2. Tari

    May 21, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    To avoid financial difficulties.neither a borrower nor a lender be. Only loan what you can afford to loose. Your comments are all on point. Thanks

  3. Jude

    May 21, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    I agree with all your tips. I think we need to be more fiscally responsible and minimalist in our lifestyles; instead of buying things we don’t need to impress people we don’t particularly like.

  4. Stanley

    May 22, 2020 at 4:38 am

    Thanks for highlighting these wrong money habits. They are even more relevant now, with the current economic situation.

  5. Kenneth

    May 22, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Naturally without enough cash one come to understand these points and act on them even better before anything else.

    Being low on cash makes everyone become economists.

    And that’s a fact

  6. Abdulhakeem

    May 28, 2020 at 7:42 am

    I like the structure and flow of your advice. I read a quote yesterday: ” To first give before receiving is the beginning of wisdom.” I have come to the realization that money is a sensitive and delicate issue. I can’t thank you enough for such a compelling and important life advice.

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Investment Tips

Where to invest $10,000 right now

Entrepreneurs, financial experts and investment analysts suggest what sectors or assets to invest in if you have $10,000.

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Where to invest $10,000 right now

The upsurge in COVID-19 cases around the world has kept global investors flocking the world’s safe-haven currency at an exponential rate, the high demand for the greenback is coming on the high geopolitical uncertainty prevailing in today’s financial market.

Also, it’s important to note at the currency market, the U.S dollar remains king. According to the International Standards Organization, 90% of currency trading done globally involves the U.S. dollar, most crypto assets, virtually the most liquid commodities are priced in the U.S dollar not forgetting about 40% of the world’s debt is dominated in the greenback.

READ: If you have N1m today, how would you invest it?

READ: Hackers, expose crypto wallets worth $150 million at Kucoin

So Nairametrics felt it paramount to ask a hedge fund manager,  entrepreneurs, and financial experts, about what sectors or assets they would invest in if they had, say, $10,000.

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Their responses were revealing and diverse as they were varied—ranging from; buying global equities, local stocks, real estate holdings to investing in digital assets.

READ: Key ‘side-hustles’ Nigerian Bankers supplement their income with

READ: What BBNaija winner, Laycon can do with N30 million  

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Gavin Smith, veteran trader, and managing partner at Panxora Crypto Hedge Funds.

I would scale into BTC $2,000 now, $2,000 when it comes off to $10,000, then add $2,000 at $9,000 and another $2,000 at the $8,000 level. If BTC then breaks above $13,000 I would buy any of the above orders that had not been filled of the remaining $2,000. I would put $500 into each of these four DeFi protocols: LINK, COMP, KNC, and OMG.”

READ: Real Estate Developers express fear over selection process of CBN’s N200 billion Housing Fund

DeFi is an exceptionally volatile market and these would need active management, but they represent an opportunity with exceptional upside potential. This is a market our analysts are building a profile in, to advance our DeFi hedge fund later in the year.

READ: Real Estate: A universal convertible survival tool

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Debo Adejana – Founder, MD/CEO – Realty Point Limited.

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I follow the investment wisdom that says, ‘invest in what you know and understand’. I know and understand real estate probably more than any other investment asset class.

So, the decision as per what I will invest in with $10,000 which should be upwards of N4m is simply; Real Estate. I will either do rental income property as part of a properly organized shared-ownership structure or speculate on land depending on how much time I have with the money. The reasons are very basic, real estate investments have been known to survive and surpass any and every challenge.”

READ: If you had $100,000 in cash, where would you invest it in US markets?

Darlington-Morsi Onyemaka, Co-founder Quba Exchange Forbes Accelerator Cohort ’20.

One of the main pointers to a good investment portfolio is diversified across multiple asset classes which should be according to the investor’s risk appetite. Looking at my long-term investment strategy, real estate fits in perfectly for Ten-thousand dollar investment. My portfolio is already jam-packed with high-risk assets and Real Estate will do a great job at hedging the risk factors without minimizing profitability in any significant way.”

READ: Foreign investment inflow into banking sector falls by 95% in Q2 2020

Francis Obasi Cofounder and CEO of Lead Wallet.

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If I have a spare $10,000 right now for investment, first, I’ll invest 55% of the funds into new crypto startups being run by professionals and backed by companies like Coinlist; LID Protocol, and Binance. Second, I’ll invest 20% of the funds into Lead Token as there is still potential for massive growth in the coming months/years. Third, looking at the situation of Nigeria, and not knowing where the current protest (uprising) on #EndSARS is headed, I’ll reserve the rest 25% in USDC/USDT to hold against a potential Naira crash. I’m confident that there is every possibility that the Dollar will become scarce again in the coming weeks/months due to the ongoing protest, thereby returning instant gains for immediate spending on basic needs.”

READ: Ethereum robber transfers $1.5 million worth of Crypto

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Dapo-Thomas Opeoluwa Global Markets analyst and an Energy Trader.

“There are so many ways to invest $10,000. The real question depends on the investor. His risk appetite, his investment horizon, when does he or she want to liquidate? The answers to these now limit the options of investments. So for safe and long-term investments, I always advise investing in index funds, Eurobonds or the Nigeria International Debt fund. This is with the caveat that says ‘low risk equals low returns’. Also, I usually would say, invest in investments that beat inflation so you won’t suffer negative real turns.”

READ: Total, GTBank, Zenith Bank up, Bulls return to Nigerian Stock Market

Victoria Njimanze Investment Analyst at a Nigerian Investment Bank

Well, off my head I’ll go with Bonds, cryptocurrency, Stocks, and then alternatives.  I would definitely make my findings first, but I’ll make a larger portion go into Bonds say 40%, 30% in cryptocurrency, 20% in stocks, and 10% in alternatives like commodity market so as to have a diversified portfolio.”

READ: Cryptos: Nigerian financial experts talk risks associated with trading digital assets

READ: A mysterious Bitcoin Whale causes brief panic sell-offs at Bitcoin’s Market

Akinsola Esan, a credit risk analyst at Nigeria’s Tier 1 Bank.

Basically, the goal is to earn substantial returns on investments – dividends, capital appreciation, and secondly, beat inflation in naira which is currently about 12.85%. With $10,000, I’ll spread my investments across foreign equities such as purchasing and holding stocks of companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Fastly, Nio, Amazon, to list but a few, and also buy some top-performing dollar-denominated Mutual funds such as Vantage dollar funds and some other ones recommended by Nairametrics. Lastly, I will look in the area of cryptocurrencies by investing as much in bitcoin, Ethereum, and other recognized Cryptos. There are some dividend-paying stocks listed on the Nigerian stock exchange as well, I will consider holding a number of them.

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Bottom line

Due to the present fickle nature of global financial markets, most financial experts interviewed above are unsurprisingly keen on mostly U.S dollar-dominated financial assets, thus reflecting the greenback’s dominance in demand amid the COVID-19  infection exploding at an alarming rate.

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Personal Finance

The five hidden secrets for investing success

These are the five main differences between making money, saving money, and investing money.

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How young Nigerians invest

One of the popular questions I get asked all the time is this; how do I invest for financial success or how do I make wise investment decisions. Today I will show you how to invest for long-term financial success. There is the right way to invest and there is also a wrong way to invest. The right way leads to financial success and the wrong way leads to financial failure. This means that the same investment vehicle can make you rich and it can also make you poor. I know this because there is virtually no person that I know today who has not lost money in investing before.

READ: Here is how much you should save at every age

To achieve financial success you must know how to invest without losing money and you must also master the three abilities necessary for investing success. The first ability is the ability to make more money and earn high incomes. The second ability is the ability to save big portions. And the third ability is the ability to invest your savings without losing it. These are the three secret formula for investing success. Unfortunately, only a few people know this formula or even thrive in all three areas. Many people are good at making money. They make a lot of money and save little or nothing. Some are good with savings. They save a lot of money but then lose it all through investing. And others are good at investing. They invest well but have little savings to make any significant progress. If you want to achieve financial success, you must thrive in all three areas. You must also know the key differences between them. There are five main differences between making money, saving money, and investing money. And these five are the hidden secrets for investing success. Let look at each of these five components in detail.

READ: Where to invest $10,000 right now

Secret No 1. Money making, saving money and investing money are different

Making money is a money-producing activity. Saving money is a money preservation activity. And Investing money is a money growing activity. To make money you need to solve a problem for other people and earn money for the problem you solve. To save money you need the discipline to live below your means and the self-love to pay yourself first. And to invest money you need some money and the right investment vehicle. Making money thus requires problem-solving skills, saving money requires the right attitude, and investing money requires money. So why you can make money from scratch with your skills. You cannot save from scratch or invest from scratch. To invest you need to save. To save you need money, and to get the money you need money-making skills.
Secret No 2. Investing Cannot Make you Rich

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READ: Investing & Gambling: Differences and Where They Intersect

Investing does not have the power to make you rich neither does your savings. The only way to be rich is to solve the problem of many people. The richest people in the world are all problem solvers. They solve problems by creating products and services that meet a need. And their wealth is the reward for the problem they solve. There is no single person in the world today who made their money solely through investing or saving. The fastest way to create wealth is to solve problems for many people.

READ: Financial skills everyone should master (1)

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Secret No 3. Investing is a poor money maker but a rich wealth creator

Investing and investment vehicles are poor money-makers but rich wealth creators. While they can make you wealthy and increase your Net-worth they are poor income producers. Many people in the bid to make up for their lack of money-making ability try to force the responsibility of making money on their investments. They become aggressive, take unsafe risks, and put pressure on their investment to produce high returns. They are lured by “get rich quick schemes” and make erratic investment decisions. They do this in the hope that their investments will produce the income they need to be rich. But this is a recipe for failure. The purpose of investing is to grow your savings and produce passive income and not to make you Rich. Your job is to refine your skills, build rich relationships, learn about sales and marketing so you can make multiple streams of income. As you produce more income and invest more money your passive income begins to build up to the point where it can carry the weight of your bills. This is the point where you can begin to relax a bit. Until then, keep refining your ability to earn multiple streams of income.

READ: Big mistake: Ripple’s CTO sold his Bitcoin for $750

Secret No 4. Investing can do five things for you

Investment vehicles have five capabilities and can do five things for you. The first capability is protection. Certain Investment vehicles can protect you from risks and emergencies. The second capability is passive income. Certain investment vehicles can produce passive income for you. The third capability is principal appreciation. Certain investment vehicles can grow your invested capital. The fourth capability is gambling. You can gamble with certain investments and lose all your money. And the fifth is sales income. You can get back your money with interests when you sell a profitable investment.

Secret No 5. Investing is easier than making money and saving money

Investing is easier than making more money and saving money. When you want to invest all you need is a clear understanding of where you are going, how to be safe on your way, and how to get there. It is like a car, you don’t need to know all the component parts in your car bonnet. But you need to know the fundamentals of driving a car, how to be safe inside a car, what to do to get to your desired destination, and who to call when your car has a problem. With this critical information, you can successfully drive a car. Similarly, you can invest successfully by just knowing the fundamentals of investing and collaborating with advisors and investment experts who know the tiny little details about investing. Only a few wealthy people in the world are investment gurus. They simply know the basics and surround themselves with experts that can help them. This is what you must-do if you want to achieve investing success. But when it comes to making more money and saving money the story is different. While you can learn how to make money and save money from other people. No one will make money or save money for you, you have to do this by yourself. Also, nobody’s skill or expertise will work for you. You have to develop your own skills and expertise to make more money and save more money. This makes making more money and saving money more difficult than investing. Nevertheless for you to be successful you must focus your energy and attention on making more money and saving money. You can always get help with investing and succeed in investing without being an investment guru.

READ: 10 ways to save and make more investments

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Investing for financial success is the dream of most people. However, there is the right way and the wrong way to invest.  The key to success with investing is to recognize the difference and understand the five secrets we have discussed in this article. The truth is your salary will never be enough to achieve all your goals. Your Investments will also not make you rich. You need to increase your ability to earn more income and save a major part of that income to thrive.

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If you want to learn more about how to invest with total financial confidence or how to make more money and save more money we can help you. To learn more send an email to [email protected]

Great investing success is not about the amount of time you put in it but the knowledge and principles that govern your investing.

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About author

Grace Agada is The Senior Financial Happiness Director @ Create Solid Wealth. She is an Author,and Column Contributor in Six National Newspaper. She is a contributor at BellaNaija, Nairametrics and Proshare and 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 [email protected]

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Personal Finance

Budgeting on a fluctuating income

Today, we discuss strategies on how to plan one’s budget, especially when you do not have a stable income.

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SAVE, LIABILITY, FINANCIAL, EXPENSES, BUDGET

One of the best ways to keep a lid on one’s finances is to have a budget and stick to it. It takes a superhuman effort to set up a budget and insist on not spending outside of it. Budgeting becomes much easier, especially when you know what your monthly income is.

But what about individuals who are either self-employed, freelancers, or those whose earnings are commission-based? How do these people budget on what they do not know? How can they budget on an unpredictable income and cannot be planned on as it depends on lots of variables beyond them?

Truth is budgeting can sometimes be assiduous, but budgeting on an income that is not stable will be more technical and more brain-tasking as one would have to be creative in his planning.

In this blog article, we would be filing out free strategies on how to plan one’s budget, especially when you do not have a stable income.

Always estimate that you will be earning very low

When your monthly earnings are irregular and depend on circumstances mostly beyond you, you would do well always to envisage that you will be earning a very meagre amount every month.

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By basing your budget on the probability that you will be earning very low, you will be able to fathom items that should be at the top of your list. This way, you would be budgeting for the necessities, and you would have no room to think of items that would only be consuming your funds.

Calculate your monthly least expenses

You already have envisaged that your earning will be low; you must also calculate the barest minimum of your monthly incurred expenses.

Your monthly expenses would cover items like groceries, transportation, health emergencies, insurance, and other essential services you must cater to every month.

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Calculating your minimum monthly expenses would also help you know how much you must earn to keep body and soul together on month by month basis.

Always have an emergency fund

One piece of advice that is even tenable with those earning a stable income is for everyone to have an emergency fund somewhere ready to be used when the need arises.

This fund could be used to handle health emergencies, house repairs, or any other kind of crisis that might occur during the period.

Without an emergency fund, you will most likely run into debts to keep up with handling these necessary expenses. You should always make room for an emergency fund in whatever you earn during the month as it could be a lifesaver in the long run.

Pay yourself

After labouring for a month, it is only right that you pay yourself a monthly stipend for all of your efforts. This fee would help you to be able to save more money than you would be able to ordinarily.

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Paying yourself monthly would help you to keep a leash on what your expenses are. In months when you can earn more than you might have envisaged, you quickly would be able to know what to do with such earnings rather than in periods when you never paid yourself, and you allowed undue expenses to eat the bulk of whatever you have earned.

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Avoid debts

Anybody who earns an unstable income has to do well to avoid debts. Debt is spending your future earnings now. And in your case, you don’t know what that future earning would be.

You might have gone ahead to over-borrow when you could be earning less. It would be best if you remembered that your earnings depend on so many factors, and they are not all in your control.

A client may decide that he does not need your services again, or he could choose to defer his payment or even cut your pay. If you had gone ahead to borrow, thinking that you would be making a refund with what you earn from that client, and any of the above situations happens. You would have ended up creating an avoidable mess for yourself.

So, if your earnings are not stable, try as much as you can to avoid debts.

Budgeting on a fluctuating income can be frustrating sometimes but if you follow the strategies discussed by the book, you should be able to confidently set a budget for your irregular income and live happily and without fear.

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Explore Some Advanced Financial Calculators On Nairametrics

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