In my financial growth journey, making money so far has been the easiest phase. I listened to my first financial message/seminar in 2014, Apostle Joshua Selman Nimmak. I got exposed to what money really meant and why it is important to be financially free. All the terms were quite new to me, and I got very emotional about the message. I didn’t fully comprehend what it meant, but I just knew it resonated deep within me.
Please note: The currency in Nigeria is referred to as “naira” and it is predominantly used in this post.
I can’t exactly say the year I made a resolve to become financially free but 2019 was the year I started getting tangible rewards for my services.
My first corporate experience was in 2018 where I interned for a month with a Social Media Management Company. From that internship, I got my first job that paid about #10,000 monthly. After three months, I lost the job. Looking back now, I wonder how I even got someone to invest #10,000 in me, as I made a great mess out of the responsibilities given to me.
I moved on but I had been stretched. I had gotten a feel of what it felt to be monetary rewarded for your service.
Money is currency. It moves. To be financially free, you have to learn what would make it gravitate consistently towards you.Grace Christos
My father (AJS) always says a consistent stream of income is the most important thing to help scale up your financial progress. The money that comes to you doesn’t have to be voluminous for you to become sustainably wealthy. It just has to be consistent. Consistency helps you plan and budget. It also helps you focus on the most important things.
In April 2019, I stopped receiving allowance from all sources. I had graduated a year before, and my parents thought it was time for me to be “independent” so they withdrew support and blessed me. I had just #5000 in my savings and I had to survive.
First thing I did was highlight everything in my life that served as an advantage. I could articulate my thoughts in words (writing and speaking). I had a fair knowledge on social media platforms (my Facebook profile was bubbling) plus a running blog I hadn’t monetized. I am beautiful and charismatic. And a few other things. I put them all in writing.
I further highlighted the advantages around me. I had a cousin who lived alone in a two bedroom apartment. She wouldn’t mind having me around, so that took rent out of my burdens. I would also have access to at least a meal per day. I could live with that. Zaria (Kaduna state) was also a place I could comfortably stay as an unemployed. I calculated how much I would need for transportation and other basic needs. I had a number.
Then I started job hunting. I got invited for an interview in a school. The Director found out my blog through my sister and was impressed. He wanted to meet me in person. I showed him my personal Instagram page and he asked who wrote my captions for me. He couldn’t believe I did it myself. He then asked me to teach English Language instead of handling I.C.T. to his pupils, but I declined. I believed they weren’t the right target audience for my message. I didn’t get the job but it left a lasting impression.
Someone other than my family and friends thought my “ordinary” Instagram caption was too profound, he couldn’t reconcile it with me. That could imply so many other people couldn’t do the things I had so trivialized.
That evening, I kept pacing round my cousin’s living room, praying and listening, trying to figure out a strategy to get my abilities rewarded. Then it hit me. TEACHING. I could solve the knowledge gap problem. And I would be rewarded for it. The idea was thrilling. Imagine being paid for what I love to do?
I gathered all my friends in a WhatsApp group to test my knowledge for free. That was how Life 101 was birthed. The feedback from that class was mind-blowing. It was one month long, and afterwards, most of the participants refused to leave. I had to do a Life 102 class for them…lol. I informed them the next set for Life 101 was going to be a paid session, and they were excited.
I compiled the testimonies from the class, shared on social media platforms to call in more people. It was so easy to get in more people as the members of the first set told friends and family about it. Some of the members even paid for people to get them to attend. I made my first #30,000 from that training.
I had started making money. Life 101 gave me tremendous opportunities. I started creating content for blogs and social media platforms. I was earning #35,000 to #45,000 monthly. Then I attended a training where piggy banking was talked about. And piggy vest application was introduced. I had heard about it before then, but didn’t give much thought to it. It stuck in my head this time so I downloaded the app (learn more about piggy banking here)
As money kept coming in, I remembered a workshop I attended, organized Olufukeji Adegbeye and Joshua Selman, and they taught on the importance of steady cash flow. They also said you become wealthy when the money that comes in to you (income) is more than the money that goes out (expenditure). It kept resounding in my mind.
I realized that, then wasn’t the time to increase my expenditure. I didn’t increase in spending until my income tripled. Let me explain more.
Before I started earning money, I was a squatter, eating once or twice daily, had fixed amount for transportation and data. Nothing glamorous. When the money came, I didn’t change anything about my lifestyle. The only thing that increased was data expenditure because it was an asset, used to fetch me more money.
What did I do with the remaining money? I saved immediately. I was running on a 30% to 70% rule. 70% went immediately into savings.
As my income increased, the 30% that could have been #10,000 for instance, became #15,000. So I was saving more, and having more money.
There has to be a purpose for savings, otherwise you will never set the right goals or achieve them. Mine was simple. I wanted to cure impulsiveness. I wanted to have #100,000 in my account and sleep well at night. And be under no compulsion to spend recklessly. I wanted to prove that point to myself.
Plus, the desire to increase in savings also means I would have to increase my earning ability. I needed that push to earn more, so I could save more.
As I saw my savings increase, I set a target to inspire me. Find out how to set a savings goal here. Once I saved #10,000 successfully in one week, I raised the bar to #20,000 in 10 days.
Secondly, I took advantage of any money that comes through favor. Money from uncles, aunts, friends, mentors etc, that wasn’t payment for a product or service. If I wasn’t expecting any money and it came, it went straight into savings. And trust me, they came more often. It is like when you set a goal, all the elements needed to bring it to fruition align, and work tirelessly till it happens.
Money is fickle. I learned that early. I don’t want to slave all my youthful years pursuing it and chasing after it, without living my life to its fullest. So I had to learn to spend my money.
I set rewards for every savings achievement I got. The rewards ranged from food to favorite training, outings etc. The rewards helped me remember that money was just a tool, and focus should be on what the money could do for me, as opposed to just having the money.
Spending all your money doesn’t make you a bad or reckless person. I have had to interact with quite a number of people who have real and legitimate excuses why their money cannot stay or be kept. I was able to do all I did, not because I had enough money, but because I killed the excuses.
Chances are that you will be consumed with the following thoughts, I am the first child, and I have responsibilities. I am not a content creator. I am married and I have bills to pay. You only got lucky. Excuses, no matter how well-crafted, are still what they are; EXCUSES. There is someone somewhere who has less privileges than you do and are doing way better than you are, because they trashed all possible excuses that could pose as a limitation.
I know how money can be. It is always easier to lose than it is to get. So you have to not lose it.
Write out everything that takes away your money. Legitimately and otherwise. Charity, seeds, loans, family, whatever it is, no matter how minute, put them down in writing.
First thing you should know is, no matter how legitimate and urgent an expenditure would seem at the moment, if you are not in a position to help, life would still move on. The people would move on from you. The situation will come and go. Everyone will be alright eventually. Except your money of course if you yield to it.
There are only two things that are worth fretting about: assets, and life threatening situations. But I will teach you how to solve this, so your savings remain intact regardless.
You will be shocked at how much can be averted if you simply plan and budget. I leave nothing to chance with planning and budgeting.
I budget how much of my income I will give to charity. And when I exceed that budget for the month, I budget it for the next month. Nothing puts me under pressure that way. I also have an allocation for family and EMERGENCY.
If the money isn’t enough to allocate properly, the solution is not withdrawing your savings, it is increasing your earning potential and ability.
With piggy vest, you can set targets and save accordingly. Your mobile device is showing signs that it would go bad soon. Don’t wait till it refuses to come on before you plan to get one. When it goes bad completely, it becomes an emergency, but it could have been prevented.
Personally, I change mobile devices every six month intentionally. It is crucial to my work. Same thing with health, medical checkups and stuff. It is important. Plan for it. You save more when you are proactive.
Right now, I am on my way to saving my first million naira, then begin to save in foreign currencies. At that point, I think I will be ready to diversify my savings and begin investment with proper counsel. It hasn’t even been a year yet but like Sir Elisha Mamman says, I am POSSIBLE.