Wednesday, June 15, 2016

3 Financial Levels Every Naija Woman Should Aspire To - Ms A.

We are all struggling to make ends meet in one way or the other. Some of us really like what we do, others have no choice and are enduring the grind as long as it pays the bills.

Many risk-averse ladies like the routine of working for someone, others enjoy a change every now and then, so they run their own business. Whether you bake cakes, fly choppers or run a school, you want to aspire to all these financial levels.

Basic means different things to different people. Most people think the basic needs are food, clothing and shelter. We sometimes get our priorities in the wrong order. We work so hard at a nine to five job just to pay for our next holiday to Milan but we are still renting a one-bed apartment in Ikoyi. After so many years of dutifully paying our rent in this highbrow area, our landlord has built one or two more houses but we still don’t own ours.

Many people work to support the unemployed, dependent children and elderly in their extended families. It’s a lot to cater for especially with no retirement plan in place for yourself. There’s no harm in helping others but it should be a fixed amount on the line item in your budget. Today, you may be applauded for your philanthropy but when you lose your job, these same people will abandon you.

A good number of ladies are living and eating healthy. If you don’t take care of yourself while you’re young, you might spend your savings on medicare because you didn’t have a healthy lifestyle while you were younger. Go for your regular checks (lipogram, mammogram, blood pressure), don’t live a life you can’t afford or sustain.

Being content is important. Don’t be driven by the pressure in the society to keep up with the Joneses. There isn’t any need to have three different jobs or manage so many businesses just to keep up a lifestyle at all cost, Keep it simple.

Very quickly after two to five years of working, most ladies have spare cash to invest in their business or other companies. A few resign to get off the fast track, the hustle and bustle while they watch their money work for them. Whatever your investment portfolio is, keep reviewing it and ensure it’s profitable.

There are so many opportunities to invest, it’s your choice from real estate market, education or healthcare,. It could be a recession or a depression hitting the markets, jobs are gone, families are stuck with nowhere to turn to. Never work that job like there’s no tomorrow, always have a plan B in the event you are asked to go.

No matter how small, make sure you have another stream of income. Never depend completely on that pay check each month. Live below your means. If you are constantly complaining or no longer enjoying your job, if you always look forward to Fridays and always dread Mondays, it’s time to move and do what you really enjoy. It’ll be better you failed trying to do what you enjoy than be stuck at a job wishing you stepped out.

We live in a very selfish culture. We only plan for ourselves and our families, that’s it. Even when asked to give to a charity to support refugees or displaced persons, we are already suspicious of who’s running the NGO and if the cash will even get to the intended recipient. With all these thoughts, we end up doing the very minimum or nothing. Many people who give back are not necessarily millionaires.

Giving is an attitude. You realise that you are what you are today because of the opportunities you had, you want to empower others. We also don’t want to give if we won’t get as much recognition or appreciation on social media. Don’t be driven by what’s in it for me. You’re truly wealthy when your basic needs have been met, you’ve got investments with solid dividends and you’re giving back especially to those who can’t repay you besides no recognition or profit.

If all you want to achieve in life is pay more bills, hoard more clothes, shoes and accessories, life won’t be any more exciting.

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