With Nigeria’s present state of economy and the New Year fast approaching, Arese Ugwu, the founder of smartmoneyafrica.org, a personal finance platform for the African millennial is giving us tips on how to manage our finances.
In a chat with CNN, Arese said she was inspired to write her book, “The Smart Money Woman,” after her marriage ended and then she realised she hadn’t saved nor invested enough.
Also with a huge gap in the educational financial market in Nigeria, Arese explained that she combined her love of the TV show “Sex and the City” with her expertise in business to writing interesting but useful advice in her book.
Although, her advice goes beyond all nations, Arese says she is particular about Nigerians as there are a lot of myths surrounding financial freedom.
According to her, in Nigeria, it is a common cultural pressure for a woman to think marriage will bring her financial freedom.
With the festive period in view, here are some practical tips to help make next year more financially smart.
Budget- set aside something each month
The festive season is when people overspend, however, Arese says that it is necessary to plan ahead, be sure of what needs to be spent and shops should be visited with a budget.
Arese advises that everyone should write down their plans so that they can make them a reality.
Every little bit helps
Arese says that people should be able to save no matter how little they earn
“There’s a huge misconception that if you earn a decent income it means you’re rich. We judge people here (Nigeria) on their spending habits.”
Know what’s yours (or not) before it’s too late
Arese advises that it is important for people to be prepared in cases of emergencies like job loss or death in the family.
Your bank statement should reflect your values
Arese explains that if a person spends over half her income on going out to restaurants and shopping, then there may be need for setting priorities right.
Arese says the New Year is a good time to have a rethink about one’s financial situation especially with Nigeria’s economy. She advises that people find other means of income and not rely on just one.
Just say no to spending
Arese advises that people should focus on experience rather than things in the festive period as the best way to avoid debt is to shun spending.