February 1, 2016

My TRUTH about Money

One of the comments I get from people about my blog is that they think that I'm very real - that there are no airs when it comes to the way I talk about money. Before I go on, I have to put up this disclaimer - money, or the amount of money you have is RELATIVE. What I can look at and call expensive, is the same thing that someone else can look at and call cheap. Something I may view as reasonable, others can see and say it's extravagant. The point is this, we are all at different points in life and nobody has the exact same story as anyone else. Now that it's out of the way, let me tell you my truth about my money money money!

Source

I grew up in a middle class (or maybe upper middle class) background. We were able to travel abroad for holidays, had fantastic toys, lived in "The Estate," etc. We had some hard times though. I remember having to move from a large duplex house in GRA Port Harcourt, to a small bungalow in another part of town when my dad had to change jobs and money was very very tight. Thank God, the family moved on to "The Estate" after that and life has been better since then.

When I moved back to Nigeria, I took a pay cut (hello NYSC salary) but I was living rent-free, and still getting an allowance here and there. I was able to save a healthy sum (that recently came in handy). I remember when this blog first started, I was going from restaurant to restaurant, from cinema to cinema, to plays and all sorts. I always had money to spend - again, remember I wasn't paying rent or any house bills.

NYSC Chillin

After NYSC, I got a job with a manageable paycheck, but a few months later, I was planning a wedding. Then came being married and having financial responsibilities at home. At first I did very well with budgeting and making sure I saved a tidy amount every month, so that when it came time to renew the rent, I wasn't scrambling around looking for money to add (Cakes and I split our bills - sometimes it's in half, other times it's on a pay-what-you-can basis). In my budget, I had money set aside for fun, for bills, and for savings. Unfortunately, by the time our second year of marriage started, I became lazy and stopped budgeting. I could not account for spent money anymore and I have to tell you that last year was particularly tough (still tough now, to be perfectly honest, and the crashing naira is NOT helping matters).

Apart from not budgeting, being unable to account for money spent, there were also issues with my salary payments (going months without pay). It can be VERY depressing. Going from a couple of years before when I was eating out every single weekend to now worrying about whether N2500 is too much for a meal when I can buy a bunch of plantain for N500 and be full at home. I see other bloggers buying up all of Maju's pretty pieces, shopping at Grey Velvet. You know times are hard when you have to think veeeery long about opening up the N5K Shop's website. Your friends have businesses you want to support, but you have to think about "Do I buy this item for N3000, or do I ignore it because we have to top-up the toll account soon?" One of the things that's paining me now is agreeing to buy asoebi last year - because you're paying for the fabric AND paying someone to sew it too (hence my love for sewing separates so that I can wear them multiple ways e.g. Vlisco and Lace).


Today, as I write this, I feel like I'm still in a hole. I thank God that Cakes is an entrepreneur and in a business that brings in cash every day. Even at that though, his business runs high on costs and too many friends and customers asking for discounts which cut into profits, so the business could be doing better, truthfully. One thing this is teaching me, I guess is to definitely depend on God for provision and worry less. Worry could be my middle name if you allow me, but I keep getting the word to "Be anxious for nothing." Another lesson I'm learning is to be frugal, and I mean frugal! There's no more shopping for clothes and shoes - in fact, I want to sell those my High Heels I can't wear anymore. We're cutting back on eating out - only going out on special occasions like our Anniversary.

It doesn't mean we won't enjoy ourselves. I'm still bent on going to the spa by force, and I'm stalking Dealdey for good options (please don't go to the random ones that look like they just put a bed sheet on one thin mattress and called it a spa). Instead of going to the movies, stay home and chill, or visit friends (or have them over). I would have liked to include that we stay in and play board games, but he'd rather play FIFA 16 with his friends, so if anybody wants a Monopoly or Scrabble game, I may be willing to give it out :p

Anyways, why am I telling you this? I'm not really sure. Maybe to inspire someone who might be having difficulties with financial responsibility. It's not the end of the world. Just take it one Naira or Dollar or Pound at a time. I'm definitely trying to do what's necessary to get my money right. This is definitely a good arena to practice my Word of The Year. I hope I also get practical tips and the re-motivation at the upcoming #My2016Goals Workshop.


And this is where I end this post. I hope someone has learned something, or is inspired to do better with their money. If you think anyone you know will benefit from this post, SHARE IT!!!

Have a darling week!

36 comments:

  1. Hooray for financial responsibility!

    I hear you: eating out is the first category I examine when I feel like I'm not on top of my budget. The price of convenience is high when you think of how many ingredients that money could have bought.

    I hope you enjoy the workshop—it sounds like it'll be a great one. I love what you said too about how when things aren't going well we're reminded to cast our cares on Jesus.

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    1. The cost of eating out adds up! I mean I love trying out new restaurants and all, but when hard times hit, it's time for a rethink.

      I'm looking forward to the workshop - vision boarding and all :)

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  2. Hello, I can imagine how that must be. It is good to budget everything. I have a little notebook where I write down (almost) every naira I spend. I used to be a lot more reckless in my spending, but I am getting better. One of my goals for the year is not to buy anything if it's not a necessity and it is not on some kind of sale. So that Maju, hold on, they do Easter sales.

    You can also check out sisionabudget.wordpress.com, All her posts, templates and what not helped me a lott.

    Love and light.

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    1. I used to have my budget in a notepad on my phone so that I would remind myself constantly about my spending. I'm not sure why I let that go.

      I've visited her website a few times, but never thought to download the budget templates. Will do soon.

      P.S. I might have to wait for Maju a bit longer than that (all will be revealed soon)

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  3. Lol. I'm miss frugal ehn. I've been major low in cash and still low but at least it's looking up a bit. I haven't had new clothes in forever and I don't even bother going to all those restaurants. Lol

    Berry, why aren't they doing invite Giveaway for this event :( I really really want to come - please share notes from the event

    www.cassiedaves.com

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    1. I don't know if they're having a Giveaway o. I think they have to pay for the space and the speakers, and other hidden costs. Remember at the last one they said they may not be able to do free events anymore. Times is hard!

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  4. Seriously I really enjoy reading your posts and well done for talking about money because it is something people struggle with but do not want to talk about x

    www.Anemistyle.com

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    1. Thanks a lot Nemi for your support, off and on the blog. I was a little hesitant to write this post because of ridicule, but once I started writing I couldn't stop.

      xoxo

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  5. What I see here is abase and abound. These things are seasonal.

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  6. There's something St Paul said about learning how to cope in abundance and in scarcity. God's got you covered, just like he's got us all.
    You can't begin to imagine how blessed I have been by this post, it synced with something I heard from God last month but I definitely wasn't happy about the message, this has confirmed it for me.
    The workshop details like venue and time aren't stated, is that deliberate?

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    1. Amen to that!

      I'm glad you found my post useful. The workshop details are on the main flyer. I just used this one in particular to buttress my point. Check a few posts back please.

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  7. This is a great post, having so much and having little can teach us a lot in life. Am glad you shared am personally having some issues saving too so I have learnt a thing or two from here..thanks Berry

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    1. Yay, I'm happy to hear that. Not that you're having issues o... that you learnt something. :p

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  8. Saving is soooo key! I think a lot of folks take for granted not having to pay rent/mortgage...it's such a great opportunity to save up!

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    1. I took it for granted! I mean I had savings but I really didn't think my life would change that much after getting married.

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  9. I am not there yet but also learning to be financially responsible. There is still the occasional slips but I still rise.
    I walked into a shop on Sunday to pick up 1 thing , and left with 2 I rejoiced cos previously it might have been like 5.

    One thing that has helped me is having a money to - do list.

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    1. LOL! 2 things down from 5 is progress, so clap for yourself! I wouldn't even have entered the store unless it was in dire need.

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  10. Thank you for your truth! i need financial guidance too.

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    1. You're very welcome. Maybe visit sisionabudget.wordpress.com like someone above suggested.

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  11. I recently just started saving. I wasnt prudent at all and Ive sure had some major broke momemts. Now, I'm learning to save and I'm mighty proud of myself. Thanksfor sharing Berry.

    Epiphany29.com
    Fashion Illustrations - Adrian Valencia

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  12. Love your honesty... definitely harder now .. but am learning to let go too and trust God completely!

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  13. So I'm presently serving here on the island rent free. I use my monthly allowance for my day to day expenses like feeding, transportation, etc funny enough the money doesn't last up to a month. I also do not get support from anyone. What did I do? I gave my PPA a new account number where they pay my salary into, I didn't go back to collect my ATM card neither do I know my account number. I've been saving my salary since I started serving June 2015. I also have a side hustle too
    My friends tell me, 'you make more money than us, how come we don't see it on you' I tell them I'm saving for my future.

    The world out there is tough, don't want to be hit unawares, need to plan. It gets hard sometimes, if not all the time.
    This island is way too expensive an too many fakes out here. I'm still a mainland girl at heart and I know my labours won't be in vain.
    If you have a giveaway for a struggling youth Corp member, I'm here Berry.
    I love the way you love cakes.

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    1. I love this. So smart of you. This is what I preach. I want to see a new generation of men and women with this kind of mentality and this is what I preach!

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  14. This is why people like you:) Have you tried the Mint app. I use that thing A LOT and I love it for staying on top of finances. You may not be able to actively link it to your online accounts but you'd still have all the info you need.

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  15. Berry, thank you for posting this. A lot of people identify with this but will rather pretend that all is well and plunge themselves deeper into financial mess. It is rather an unfortunate situation at ur work place and I pray they pay you every money that u are owed. Hmm, asoebi, I didn't have an asoebi for my wedding, so I do not feel obliged to buy any one's own. My friends nicknamed akaglue (that's where I got my blog name from )and they are already used to me and accepted me for who I am. With the much we make as a family, we live such a fulfilled balanced life and people mistake and comment that we must be earning so much. (Hubby and I). With a little savings and financial wisdom/prudence, financial security can be achieved. I am so happy with this post because u have followership and reach more people than I do and people will read and understand that it's ok to be low on cash, it's ok to be frugal. No one should be shy about being thrifty. It's my money, I make it, so I decide how it should be spent. This is the message I try to pass across on my blog all the time. God bless u deary.

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  16. My dear, I'm with you on learning to adjust myself and tighten by belt!

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  17. This is so enlightening, Berry. I read somewhere that it is important to leave below your means. Not within your means or above your means but below your means. I totally agree. Just because you can afford something doesn't mean you have to get it.

    Precious Core Blog

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  18. Hi Berry,
    I have been following your blog for a long time now. A silent anonymous follower,I know this is not money related, something stood out in your post don't worry!I am in the process of applying to grad school all the interviews etc All I have been reading in my daily devotions is don't worry, I got wait listed got the information before reading your post and also see "don't worry ".
    Thanks

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  19. This is so enlightening, I actually learn a thing or two each time I visit your blog. I learnt how to separate fabrics so I could use them in different attires, although I can be frugal in spending but sometimes I just shut that part of me down and overspend on stuffs with the thought that you live only once, and when you die someone else will spend your money. However I have decided to go back to my frugal mode and live strictly on budget as well as start a side hustle that can bring in extra income. Life is a cycle. I have learnt from the principles Joseph applied in the bible,to save as much as I can during the time of plenty so I can still have enough during the time of lack. I encourage everyone to apply that same principle and you will never experience lack.

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  20. That's a nice article Berry. people don't like to face reality as every body wants to be the 'it' girl. it's sincere and straight to the point. nemyinspired.blogspot.com

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  21. Hi Berry,

    The post is bursting at the seams with wisdom. You always keep it real, sharing experiences that we can relate with.

    Ah! Growing up sucks, Lol. The responsibilities that come with this phase of life require massive doses of reality checks and sensible adjustments.

    I can imagine only imagine the adjustments that I'd need to make when I make transition from single to married life.

    Even now, I wish I could pack lunches daily to work, I would save quite a bit from that thrifty adjustment.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. :-)

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  22. Berry did you live in Shell RA by any chance hehe cuz I lived there too. I totally understand what your saying my dear. I grew up just like you, not married yet but as a young professional, your girl is feeling the heat!

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  23. I normally do not comment on blog but I follow your every post, I can totally relate to this and i love for openness and honesty. Currently not in a good place as regards finance, but i know it will end well.

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  24. Take home word for me: "Be anxious for nothing." Thank you for sharing.

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  25. Please don't go to the random ones that look like they just put a bed sheet on one thin mattress and called it a spa๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚that cracked me up big time. Yes I've been learning too to buy what I don't need and hold myself back and work with what I have. It's painful the learning process involved money though๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

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Reading your comments ALWAYS makes me smile. I hope you smile when I reply :)