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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.

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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.

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(READ MORE:Banks push customers towards self service in the “new normal”)

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.

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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.

(READ MORE: Nigerians will now pay N50 stamp duty on electronic receipts – FIRS)

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.

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Personal Finance

ATM Fraud: How to care and use your card wisely

To protect your card from external harm, there are few tips you must acknowledge and start getting familiar with.

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The Cashless Policy, as we know it in Nigeria, was officially introduced and became fully operational in 2014 – with the aim to encourage electronic banking and to reduce physical cash in circulation – which would in turn decrease cases of cash-related crimes. One way of implementing this policy is through the use of ATM cards.

It is true that the advancement of technology has generally made our lives easier and more convenient. But, the adage “whatever has advantages, also has disadvantages” is not left out in the case of electronic banking. With the development of ATM machines and electronic cards for mobile banking, there are some risks and exposures associated therewith.

Some of these could devastatingly leave you broke in the blink of an eye; whereby, you find out the money you have worked so hard to accumulate has vanished with the stroke of some keys.

The Cashless Policy was met with e-banking fraud. There were reports of banks and individuals losing a lot of money to fraudsters, despite the regular checks put in place by financial bodies to curtail the loss of an individual’s hard-earned money.

The onus, therefore, falls on all responsible individuals to guard and protect their assets – Yes, your ATM card is an asset.

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It is important to know how to handle your cards and make sure you’re not only using it correctly but smartly.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) means a machine that dispenses cash and also performs specific banking services at the user’s convenience.

It is a dedicated payment system and the ATM card is issued by banks and other financial institutions for ease of financial transactions. It usually comes in the form of debit cards, which means you must have monetary assets with the said bank, to be able to use the card for transactions.

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In order to handle your card wisely, you must be intentional about the money that comes into and goes out of your pocket. You cannot leave anything to chance. Have a plan for your money and stick to it.

To protect your card from external harm, there are few tips you must acknowledge and start getting familiar with.

  • Protect your pin: You must not give out your Personal Identification Number. As the name connotes, it’s your very own personal form of identification, which grants you electronic access to your money. If for any reason your PIN gets exposed, you must immediately reset it. Furthermore, do not write it down on a piece of paper or if you must, do not leave it exposed or in your wallet
  • Always report suspected cases of fraudulent activities: When you’re in the know about your finances, any discrepancy will immediately come to your notice. Some people do not recover from cases of fraud, because they didn’t discover it on time. Remember that the earlier you report a problem, the sooner it gets resolved. On this note, you must always be familiar with all bank transactions and statements. If you notice at any time that your card is missing – especially when you’ve been out with it, and you suspect it’s been stolen, report it immediately and block that card.
  • Be cautious of the ATMs you use: Always use one that is associated with banks. Avoid any machine that may be situated in suspicious locations. In as much as it grants ease as a means of solving our problems, compulsive use of your ATM card should be avoided. Even with the extra charges attached to card transactions these days, you really would be doing yourself a favor by being careful of where you insert your card in your bid to avoid bank ATM charges.
  • Do not be careless with your phone: Try as much as possible to avoid being careless with your phone or any other device that may contain your bank information. Always create security profiles for your gadgets. It doesn’t take much for someone to access your details and wipe your bank account clean. Make sure that your phone is protected by a password or pin and whenever possible, delete traces of money transactions from your gallery or messages, after you must have successfully backed them up of course. Just remember that your card information could be contained on your phone and leaves you to exposure if mishandled, so handle with care.
  • Do not use public wireless connections for financial transactions: In fact, you should always be wary of all public wireless access. It is a fast and unsecured way for a third party to gain access to your private information. You could as well leave that information on a billboard for the whole world to access. Be sure to use password-protected wireless connections, it makes it more difficult for hackers to access your details.

Bottomline

Try to change your pin every few months. Keep it simple and short, only using codes you can remember.

Conclusively, while it is very convenient to use debit cards or ATM cards for financial transactions, you wouldn’t find it funny to learn that someone has emptied your account on the spot. Hence, it is important that you take precautionary measures to always keep your card safe.

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Personal Finance

Curfew: How to plan for a financial emergency

To ensure that you are prepared for a financial emergency, here are some basic decisions you have to take from the onset.

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Life has its ways of generating unforeseen emergencies that leave us stranded. You cannot exactly prepare for some of these incidences despite your dedication. However, unlike other emergencies, a financial emergency is something you can actually plan for and work towards. Hence, the question of how to plan for a financial emergency is very vital.

READ: This is how Nigerian entrepreneurs can survive COVID-19

READ: The definitive Cryptocurrency tax guide for 2020

The sudden declaration of curfew across several states in the country indicates that things could happen when you least expect. Traders who earn income from daily sales were the most affected; especially, the ones without laid down plans. Some white-collar workers too got a watered-down salary due to the situation, as the company made little or no profit.

READ: CAP Plc is running at a risk of increased bad debts

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READ: Never give money to your financial advisor without signing this document

However, to ensure that you are prepared for the next wave of sudden income blockage, some basic decisions you have to make from the onset are:

  1. Set up an emergency fund account: This is your most assured way of preparing for financial emergencies. It is non-negotiable. At every point, you should always have some money specially set aside for sorting bills in case of financial troubles. Although this seems like an obvious thing to do, in reality, most individuals do not have one. Financial experts recommend that the set-aside sum should be able to cater for at least 3 to 6 months of your basic expenses.
  2. Ensure you stay debt-free as much as possible: When financial difficulties kick in, what becomes a burden is the regular payment obligation you have to make. Remember, there are already basic non-negotiable expenses that you have to meet, and adding debts makes it much worse. If you are currently in debt, channel your resources to pay back in time. Also, focus on paying debts with the highest interest rate first.
  3. Slash down your expenses: As soon as the crisis kicks in, the first thing for you to do is to reevaluate. Run through your standard expenses and remove the wants. In a time like this, only the needs should stand. Keeping your expenses as low as possible would help you thrive better.

READ: Most profitable asset in a decade, Bitcoin up over 26,600,000%

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READ: Personal Finance Culture: The 4 Cs of Financial Success 

Having understood how to prepare for financial emergencies, it is also critical that you understand how to deal with them. Preparation and dealing with the situation itself are two different things.

Here are some tips on how you can deal with the current financial situation:

  1. Be critical about every financial decision: Financial debacles are mentally stressful and could cause you to make poor decisions. This is why, at every moment, you should think properly before making any money decisions. Practicing this would greatly help you steady the ship. Ask yourself what long-term consequences would this have on my credit and finance? If disastrous, you know what to do.
  2. Explore other potential streams of income: One of the fastest and easiest ways to navigate financial emergencies is to explore other streams of income. What else can you do to make extra income that would help deal with the present situation? In real-time, looking for a side hustle while going through financial difficulties is not easy, but if you can pull it off, it would help a great deal.
  3. Talk to a financial advisor: Lastly, you can always visit a financial advisor for a professional view on your current crisis. However, this may be a little tricky because you would have to pay for their services. But the right person can help you get your finances in check from the very first day, as opposed to you trying to put things together by yourself.

READ: 7 Winning ways to become debt-free

READ: Jumia is optimistic of COVID-19 boost, despite poor Q1 2020 earnings report

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Emerging successfully from financial emergencies depends on how well you can prepare ahead, steady your ship, and navigate the terrain. The good news is that if you are one of those who planned early enough, you are less likely to stay long there than those who are unprepared. Remember that your goal should not be to learn how to deal with the difficulty as it comes, but rather focus on being prepared ahead.

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Personal Finance

How to own your first home debt-free in Lagos

If owning your own home debt-free in one of the most expensive cities in Nigeria is what you seek, then these tips will really help.

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One of the natural desire for every human being is to advance their lives to the level where they can fund their own dream home. Yet only a few people ever achieve this goal. The majority of people do not achieve this goal. Not because they don’t want to. But because they lack a clear path to follow. So if owning your own home is your desire. And if owning this home debt-free in one of the most expensive cities in Nigeria is what you seek. Let me show you how it can be done.

There are two key factors to consider before owning your first home. These factors will determine how fast you own your home and whether you own it debt-free. The first factor is the purpose of your first home and the second factor is your mindset and approach.

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1. The Purpose of a First Home

The purpose of a first home will to a great extent affect how fast the goal of a first home is achieved. Different people attach different purposes to their first home. But if you want to achieve this goal debt free you must focus on achieving one goal at a time. The reason for this is simple. Your budget is limited at this point and you are most effective focusing on one goal at a time. Second, it is your first time and you are likely to make mistakes. Third the lesser the goal you try to achieve the sooner you ascend the homeownership ladder and own other homes. There are three kinds of homes to own if you approach your first home the right way. The first is the Starter Home also known as the First Home. The second is the Dream home also known as an aspirational Home. And the Third is the Income Producing real estate. Which can be commercial, residential, or mixed-use. While it is possible to try to achieve all three homes in your first home. It is a mistake to do so on a limited budget and when your experience is low. You will do a poor job at it and never truly achieve all three goals. The most effective purpose for a first home is to help you gain freedom from rent. Eliminating rental cost is a worthy goal to attach to your first home especially if you want to do it quickly. And move on to owning other more desirable homes.

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So now that you know the three kinds of home and the purpose to attach to your first home. Let look at the second factor that can affect your home ownership goals.

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2. The Home Owner Mindset

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There are two kinds of mindset and approaches to homeownership. The first is the last destination mindset and the second is the Progressive mindset. Recognizing where you belong is critical for success.

The Last destination mindset is the mindset that approaches their First home as if it is their last. They try to build all three homes in one usually on a limited budget. And they do a poor job at it. They do this because they are driven by emotion to impress. They set unrealistic targets, overbuild their homes, drain their finances, and sacrifice their financial security. The worse of all is that they build these houses in faraway neighborhoods with low-quality tenants, low rent-ability, and the ability to command premium price. The result is financial stress, buyer’s remorse, a strain on their health, and a depreciated lifestyle in retirement.  It is hard to make a good decision when the experience is low and emotion is high. The key to building a first home is to keep it simple. Focus on gaining freedom from rent, learn the lessons, and build other homes.

The Progressive Mindset approaches home ownership in a different way. They recognize that their first home is not their last home. And that their appetite and budget will change. They set realistic targets, build homes that meet immediate needs, and fund their homes from their hard work and discipline. The end result is financial peace of mind and the ability to move faster to other types of homes.

So whether you have the last destination mindset or the progressive mindset one thing is common to both parties. They struggle to fund their first homes out of pocket.

READ: FG to provide solar energy to 5 million Nigerians within 12 months

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How to Fund your First Home Out of Pocket

The major challenge facing those trying to own a home is how to fund their first home out of pocket. There are expensive and non-expensive options to choose from. One of the least expensive options is to fund the building of your own home from your own hard work and discipline. Taking a loan for a first home is not advisable as it limits your chances of ascending the homeownership ladder. The second reason is that anything you are doing for the first time will be first done poorly before it is done well. Doing trial and error on other people’s money increases your financial risk. Third funding your own home out of pocket keeps your budget within the limit. The temptation is to increase the budget when you have access to a loan. So if you are ready to fund your first home out of pocket let me show you exactly how you can achieve it.

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There are six things you need to do to fund your first home out of pocket successfully. The First is to move from a single income to multiple streams of income. The second is to build a solid cash Reserve for liquidity. The third is to protect yourself from emergencies. The fourth is to invest in the Right Land and Neighborhood. The fifth is to share the cost of construction. And the sixth is to use innovation to build easily rentable, and sellable homes. Below I explain each of these concepts in detail.

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1. Move from One Income to Multiple Streams of Income

A single Income is too weak to fund your homeownership dreams. Having multiple sources of income is the fastest way to achieve your goals. To create multiple streams of income there are three steps to follow. The first step is to combine a part-time income with your full-time income. The second step is to add a solid passive investment income and earn money in your sleep. The third is to have other human beings work for you. Moving from one income to multiple incomes takes deliberate actions. It also takes access to income-earning opportunities and the strategic effort to combine sources of income that can work together easily. To fund your dream home you must move from a single income to multiple incomes. If you need help achieving this migration send an email to [email protected]

2. Build a Solid Cash Reserve

Homeownership is a cash draining activity. Thus you must maintain liquidity throughout the process. The only way to do this is to build a solid cash reserve that can handle basic needs. Building a solid cash reserve entails two things. The first is earning more income and the second is managing the financial demands from your past life and present lifestyle. To own your own home out of pocket you must produce new income streams and keep a low maintenance lifestyle. You must also run an economically efficient household if you are married and bring everyone on board. Without this, it is hard to achieve success.

3. Protect yourself from Emergencies

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The majority of the things we call emergencies are created and not bestowed. There are created from our lack of timely decision and planning. So if you want to live an emergency free life you must plan ahead for likely emergencies. There are three things to do to an emergency that is likely to occur. The first thing is to prevent it. The second thing is to make provisions for it. And the third is to transfer it to a third party.

So what types of emergencies are the most likely to occur?

There are six emergencies to plan for if you must achieve your homeownership goal disruption-free. The first is the loss of Income. You can protect yourself from this emergency by building a solid cash reserve. The second is the Health Crises. No sick person can build a house. So maintaining positive health habits that keeping your health resilient and strong is critical. You must also make provisions for medical bills. The third is Car emergency. A major car breaks down will affect your productivity and concentration.  You must thus plan ahead for car emergencies and protect yourself with the right insurance vehicle. The Fourth is school Fees. School fees like rent is a major cost element that can interrupt your housing project. You must ensure that you keep your school appetite and budget within reasonable limits. Putting your children in schools that massage your ego but deprive you of your goals is not wise. It is the main reason why people end up becoming a burden in retirement. The fifth is rent. You must keep the cost of rent down and within reasonable limits. High rent and homeownership do not go well together. The sixth is Parental care. Parental care can be a major disruption if not planned for. They include parent’s upkeep, health care cost, and burial expenses. You must plan ahead for these costs and use the right insurance vehicle to transfer them.

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Funding your first home with little or No emergencies is the key to quickly achieving your goals.

4. Choose the Right Land and Neighborhood

Buying an already built home or building and buying land at the same time is a difficult goal to achieve for most people. So the less difficult way to acquire the land first. And this is where acquiring the right land comes in. Acquiring the right land is all about investing in the right neighborhood. And there are certain factors that determine the kind of land you should buy. These factors are what I call the end goal factors and there are four of them.

The first is the Build and Live end goal. This is where you build your first home and live in it. If this is your goal buy land where you can live and be happy. The second is the Build, Live, and Rent end goal. This is where you build a multi-family home and live in one and rent the others out. If this is your goal you must buy land where you want to live and where other high-quality tenants also want to live. The third end goal is Build and Rent. This is where you build a house and rent it all out with the hopes that the rental income will pay for the rent where you live. If this is your end goal you must invest in neighborhoods that can attract high-quality tenants. The fourth end goal is to Build and Sell. This is where you build a house and sell it with the hopes of reinvesting the proceeds in a better location. If this is your goal you must invest in neighborhoods that can command premium sales price.

Your end goal and exit strategy are what determines the type of land you should buy.

But what if you cannot afford to buy the land where you want to live?

There are three things you can do. The first is to take the land banking Route. This is where you buy pieces of land in hopes that in time, it will go up in value. Perhaps because it is in a strategic location. Land banking may be appropriate for you if homeownership is not an immediate need.

The disadvantage of land banking though is that it is risky. It is risky because you are guessing that an event in the future will increase the value of the land. It is also risky because you cannot control the speed of appreciation of your property which may take 10-20years. Lands in developing areas are also the most difficult to sell. Land banking thus works if you are willing to tie up money for a long time. It works especially well when an area is in transition or carries a huge potential for future profit. Land banking and homeownership are thus are two separate paths.

The second option is to make more money fast and accumulate what you need to fund your own land investment. You can also leverage the installment payment offered by most land companies to make the investment easy for you. The third option is to combine resources with friends or people of like-minds and co-invest in a neighborhood you all want to live in.

Breaking down the homeownership goal into a land investment first before construction is the best way to own a home without breaking your back. You must also ensure to invest in neighborhoods that are desirable, livable, and rentable.

5. Share and Reduce the Cost of Construction

By default, everyone builds their own home with their own resources. But it is possible to share the burden with other people if you choose the land correctly.  Sharing the cost of construction can happen in two ways. First, it can be through a Joint venture between you and a developer. Where you contribute the land and the developer build the houses. Bringing in a developer as an investor and partner to build the house for an agreed reward is one of the most effective ways to build your first home. It brings in the capital you need plus the developer lends you his or her expertise.

The Second way to reduce or share the cost of construction is by partnering with friends or people of like minds. If your land is in a desirable location you create massive opportunities for partnerships both from ordinary people, developers, and investors. The key to success here is to answer this question. What kind of land do I need to buy that will attract investors or my friends to co-invest with me? And then focus on getting that land.

6. Build easily rentable and sellable homes

Building a home is more than just creating a box where people live. It is about using creativity to design eye-catching, and conversation-starting architecture that stands out. When you build a home that makes people stop and notice you get automatic referrals. And selling or renting that home becomes easy.  If your end goal is to sell or rent your home, you must use innovation to create something likable and distinctive. This is not to say you should spend a fortune on your first home. You can be creative without being foolishly expensive. The key to success here is to know what your target tenants and buyers want. And to know what they will pay a high price for. Unless you are sure a feature will add value to the sales price, there is no need for it. Building homes just for beauty and ego is a waste of money. Tenants and buyers will only invest in your home because they like them and not because you built what you like. Ask yourself the question. “What design elements could I innovate into my property that would make it more desirable and command premium than competing properties? With some concentrated effort, you can find the answer.

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Funding your first home out of pocket is simple but not easy. To succeed you must combine the elements of earning more income, investing in the right neighborhood, reducing the cost, and approaching it with the right mindset. If you need help achieving any of the steps highlighted in this article or need a homeownership mentor to guide you, we can help you. Send an email to [email protected]

 

Remembers it is better to be rent-free and loan free at the same time and not transfer your rent from a landlord to a Bank-lord.

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