This weekend was hectic to say the least. It all began on Friday evening when I attended the event below with one of my best friends.
“Arese Ugwu is the author of the bestselling and ground-breaking The Smart Money Woman, the financial-chick-lit novel that has taken Africa by storm. She is helping young Africans discover their power to build their future and make smarter money decisions through Smart Money Africa, a personal finance platform for the African millennial, engaging young Africans on the importance of financial literacy and the impact it has on helping them get money, keep money, and grow money.” Read more
The event was full of likeminded women, who all sought to gain knowledge about how to gain control of their finances. I found that everyone was friendly and approachable, which added to the already relaxed atmosphere. We were greeted by staff who asked what complimentary drink we would like, and of course I chose a Mojito.
I was happy to receive a hard copy of the book as it is not currently available in the UK. I had actually purchased the Kindle version during Christmas 2016, for £6.99 from Amazon UK. (This book is on my book list for the year). The room was filled with a mix of women who had already read the book and those who have been recommended it and read glowing reviews (like myself).
The Q&A session was really informative as various women opened up about their various worries and concerns about their finances. During the evening, I was struggling to discern what my money fears were. However, as I reflected on Saturday I realised that one of my money fears, is not visibly seeing “enough” money in my bank account which can mean that I struggle to let go of money at times. Everyone’s money fears will be different and battling these fears is the first step to sorting out your finances for the better. We also discussed what it actually means to be “broke” and the reality is many of us are one or two paychecks away from being “broke” or “homeless” and that is a scary thought.
Below is an activity that we completed during the evening, which was related to budgeting:
3 Income Categories:
- Long Term Financial Goals (LFG) – this should equate to 20% of your monthly income
- Short Term Financial Goals (SFG) – this should equate to 10% of your monthly income
- Living Expenses – this should equate to 70% of your monthly income
LFG’s would be things such as assets and investments and is in relation to your excess income.
SFG’s would be things such as holiday’s, shoes, bags etc. What I would refer to as luxury expenses.
When I completed this exercise I was pleasantly surprised at how much I had to “play” with whilst still being able to save a decent amount for my LFG. I also slightly altered the exercise to minus from my monthly income my tithes and then calculate how much a month I should put aside.
Hopefully once things quieten down in my life, I intend to read the book fully and make some positive changes in my future financial decisions. I have already decided to alter a few plans that I had planned for this year as I have been inspired. I was pleased that we also got a to discuss how to invest in Nigeria, Africa is the future! You have to keep your future goals in mind and not just live for the moment.
I’ll leave you with a few things that stuck with me during the evening:
1. Questions to ask yourself:
- Do you know how much it costs to be you?
- What is your net worth?
- What are your yearly financial goals?
- What does you bank statement say about you?
2. What I learnt (some things I already knew and was reminded of):
- Spend according to your income.
- Your spending should be related towards your goals.
- Being self aware makes you happy.
- What you invest in depends on what you want out of life.
- Saving is related to the life you want to build.
- Independence is being self sufficient.
Thank you Arese for a pleasant evening and being bold enough to tell your story and pursue your purpose.
To connect with Arese, follow her on:
Instagram: @smartmoneyarese, @arese00
Photo Credits: All photos were taken by Me, except for the event flyer and the featured image which were sourced from Smart Money Woman Instagram.