Posts tagged money

My Parable of the parable.

Guys, read this:
Luke 15: 8-10

“Or what woman, having ten [silver] drachmas [each one equal to a day’s wages], if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and look carefully and diligently until she finds it?
9And when she has found it, she summons her [women] friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the silver coin which I had lost.
10Even so, I tell you, there is joy among and in the presence of the angels of God over one [[e]especially] wicked person who repents ([f]changes his mind for the better, heartily amending his ways, with abhorrence of his past sins).


I now understand the parable of the lost coin better. I’ll explain.


Two weeks ago I wrote something important in this big notebook in the picture. A week later, I needed to use the information. I couldn’t find the book. I was surprised. I wasn’t careless with it at all. I was even sure it never left my room. Still, I didn’t locate the book. Life went on without that information.
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Early this morning, while preparing to go with a group of people for a conference, I began to search for “the parable of the dollars” in that picture. I bought this book three weeks ago. I read the preface and was happy it’s a loaded book. I hoped to read it later. Today would’ve been the ‘later’. I’d just read it when I’m less busy during my outing.
.
However I couldn’t find the book. A complete mystery. I searched my book pile over and over again. It was obviously not there but my eyes would not receive that report. My eyes kept going over each of the books. It troubled me a lot. I can’t lose my books. I didn’t give it to anyone. Where is my new book?
.
I recieved a call that the group I was to go with was ready. I left unsatisfied and the first thing I told my friend when I saw her was “I can’t find my book”. That was my preoccupation for a long time. My missing book.
Tonight, I searched again. Still missing from my book pile. Then I got on all fours and pulled out a drawer of another completely different set of books.
Finally, both of these books were buried under those books.
.
I rejoiced. The first thing I did was take a picture and type to the same friend on whatsapp “I’ve found my books”.
Then I understood.
If scripture says the woman lit up a lamp, took a broom and swept everywhere carefully and diligently until she found the lost coin, then it must be true.
She didn’t think “I have other coins“. I also didn’t think “I have other books”. I didn’t say this book is worth just a little amount and I’ll replace it. I did everything for it.
One book but every one book matters to me.
One soul but every one soul matters to God. When I found it, I, immediately in a spirit of merriment, took a picture and sent it to my friend. I was in essence saying come and rejoice with me. Again, I’m telling you all, come and rejoice with me. I’ve found my missing book that matters to me. I’m serious.
But beyond that, does the whole of heaven really do what I did? Does the host of heaven go down all all fours, digging and digging and digging for one soul? Searching for “just” one sinner?
Did they do that for me? Are they doing that for you or for that person you love?
Wow.
Wow.


And what’s up with this rhyme, people? The book is “the parable of dollars”, in reference to the story of the parable of talents in the bible.
The story I quoted in the post above is the parable of the lost coin. My own experience is the parable of the lost book. 😊
Please rejoice with me. And forever remember how interested heaven is in you and yours. Just remember all fours!

BOOK REVIEW– Smart Money Woman

Title: The Smart Money Woman
Author: Arese Ugwu
Publisher/publication date:
Matador, Troubador publishing ltd/ 2016.
Review
I didn’t know what to expect from this book, I only hoped in all sincerity that it wouldn’t bore me because at the time I picked it up, I had no patience for troublesome reads.
I had seen recommendations(not reviews) of it on the internet. My friend Chizaram gave me the e-book. If you’re interested, you can e-mail me.
It wasn’t a boring read in spite of discussing a bit of what is often considered the ‘professional stuff’ in finance. It takes the form of a light hearted fictional read. Considering the reader is aware the book isn’t for all purposes fictional, the lack of exceptional fictional narrative skills, is forgivable.
For me, it was an enlightening read.
The foreword was written by Nimi Akinkugbe, CEO BESTMAN GAMES, money matters with Nimi. She wrote:

”For many people, the subject of personal financial management can be somewhat daunting. The book presents the basic concepts of earning, budgeting, spending , borrowing, saving, investing as well as behavioural and emotional aspects of money In a personal way that makes it easy to personalize.”

This book isn’t vague about the ‘woman’ mentioned in it’s title, even though it is very well profitable to all sexes. It uses the story of a Nigerian woman, Zuri, to bring home the points.
After each chapter, there are highlighted lessons in which the concepts explored through story telling for that chapter, are discussed. Afterwards, there are exercises for the reader to carry out, for example, calculating your own net worth.
Zuri, a 28 year old senior manager at Richmond developments( a real estate firm), has good financial potentials as she earns a salary which the average Nigerian aims to earn. Regardless, Zuri discovers she is broke. This is a journey on how she climbs out of it.

”Broke means, if you lost your primary source of income today, you wouldn’t be able to maintain the lifestyle you have become accustomed to because you have no assets to rely on”

”Broke people think its about how much you earn and spend while rich people know it is about how much your are able to convert of your current earnings into an asset for the future.”

This book broaches the manner in which money is spent from the perspective of different individuals. We take a look at all four of Zuri’s closest friends together with their families and what financial strategies they employ.
It also broaches the subject of peer pressure(especially payment for aso ebi*); building an emergency fund; articulating what it is you exactly want your money to do for you in life; sacrificing comfort; having financially conscious friends with the same ideals who gear you on to financial accountability; setting boundaries in helping family relations; the impact of societal gossip; handling money fears, financial analysis; diligence at work; having a partner who understands financial success; the making of Wills in Nigeria(how it’s seen as a taboo); discussing family securities etc.
Furthermore, the role of employers and other mentors in the society is also considered; the benefit of organizational programs such as WIMBIZ (the largest and most substantial women organization that empowers working women in Nigeria).
Exploring this book, as is the same with other works of literature, you must be conscious of what you’re learning. Some other people can float through the whole experience and end up not realizing the gem of wealth in the book(perhaps just admiring Tsola).
Some of the points well scored in the book:

  • The average wealthy Nigerian has an ayeye** mentality. Upon the death of someone in the book, the family threw a big burial party despite the fact that the deceased’s will had been read and huge debts had been unraveled. Family finances must be discussed. Understand your spouse’s money personality. Is there life insurance? What are the responsibilities of each family member?
  • It teaches you that you should understand investment. Don’t just assume you’re cool because you’ve started investing. What are your investment goals and strategy? What is your risk profile? know the classes of investments that exist and very importantly, speak to an investment adviser or stockbroker.
  • As an entrepreneur, do you have financial records; balance sheet, cash flow, profit or loss statement’? or are you just shining teeth that ”hello I’m an entrepreneur”?
  • Everyone doesn’t have to be an entrepreneur.

”you know leveraging on your set skill to maximize your earning potential doesn’t have to mean starting your own business, right?”

  • What you can do to leverage your earning potential, is to maintain a habit of thinking outside the box and to have multiple streams of income. In essence, not necessarily following the herd mentality that comes from over glamorizing entrepreneurship, if that is not your thing.
  • Look beyond making money, seek to create value, to make an impact.

There’s some humour and general consideration of what it means to live in Nigeria.
I consider this book helpful in that the vibe it gives off is one of the author trying to help the reader. She goes ahead to critically explain even the downside to engaging an investment firm, what questions you should ask etc. She insists no one should dismiss your concerns. In essence, be the boss of your own money.
However, I am not wholly in support of the story’s plotline.
I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to anyone on a quest to learning on finances (and you should be!).
Excerpts:

She felt like she was no longer on a career ladder to nowhere…Zuri had discovered she was her own hero

The smart money woman has positioned herself for success. For her, improving her net worth is more important than improving her wardrobe.

”In sub-Saharan Africa, less than one percent are born into wealth, and under ten percent are born into middle class. In general, we are not taught in any formal framework, how to keep money or grow it- basic personal finance skills are difficult to learn. As a result, when a young adult starts earning more than they need to survive, they still end up living from paycheck to paycheck”

”What you deny or ignore, you delay; what you accept and face, you conquer”

”People associate the word budget with scarcity or a reduction in station in life. Therefore budget is a word they’ve come to resent. The truth is budget is something that tells you how to allocate your resources, and it should reflect what you value”

”Your network is your net worth”

”Soji and I never discussed about money without tension. At first, it was normal because that was how I grew up as well. My parents never really discussed money with us or with each other. But now with everything that is going on, I realise Its something we should have discussed even before we got married”

”The cardinal rule is when you invest; don’t invest in anything you do not understand.”

Have you read my post on Finance and perspective? What is your view on managing finances? Have you read this book? Are you interested?
* aso ebi stands for the culture of sewing the same clothes for big events
**Ayeye is a Yoruba word meaning fanfare.
As always,
Love, Debby.

Finance and perspective

Only self-discipline keeps you learning when there is no one marking your script. Only great managers of self become great leaders tommorow.”

-Excerpts from Engaging the power of self discipline.
We’re meant to improve on ourselves, as humans. When we stop, there is a problem.
We’re to constantly assess ourselves and make necessary improvement.
Any dimension of life you do not have a firm grip on, has room for improvement. It doesn’t matter if that dimension is oily, get good gloves, do something. You should have a grip on it. That’s discipline.
No one wants to get to that stage in their life when they wonder if it’s not too early to regret. Regrets are awful. Regrets are terrible.
For major matters however, it’s best to have a firm grasp pretty early in order to avoid regrets. Live consciously, live with an aim to get better.
Personally, finance has been an aspect I’ve not had full grasp on.
I’ve never entered debts nor had financial difficulties but I cannot categorically say that I can control my finances. Some months, it’s yaaay. Some months it’s naaaay. I wouldn’t even tell you which one surfaces more often.
I spend easily once I’m shopping. My shopping cart just gets fuller and fuller with pretty things, relevant things, yet all the same, things I can do without.
Just on wendnesday, I had an appointment with a natural hair stylist. As the high-maintenance lady that I can sometimes be, I agreed to spend some amount of money. This agreement was over three times what I budgeted to spend before we had our meeting. I was won over by my love for my hair and by my satisfaction that she was quite knowledgable in her field. It took some holy-spirit inspired thinking at night for me to change my resolve. Yes, I still love my hair. No, I don’t like breaking agreements. However, we need wisdom to make wise decisions. We’re people of integrity and we stand by our words, yet wisdom is pivotal.
In the bible, Proverbs6:1-3 says

“My son,
if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake,
2 you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise.
3 Do the following things, my son, so that you may free yourself,
because you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Humble yourself,
and pester your neighbor.
4 Don’t let your eyes rest or your eyelids close.
5 Free yourself like a gazelle from the hand of a hunter and like a bird from the hand of a hunter.

Are you currently taking a decision financially or otherwise which you need to back away from, carefully consider that passage.
Financially, work towards savings and investment, it never hurts.
Work towards discipline. Have a grasp on your finances.
I took another step by following @clevergirlfinance on Instagram. I’m assured those constant tips on the page, would go a long way.
I’ve also subscibed by e-mail to newsletters on their website and I advise you do too. It’s a really helpful platform. I feel richer by simply having discovered their website.
You may not be earning your own money yet ( probably as a student) but why wait till then to get a grip on financial management?
A man is not yet old until regrets take the place of dreams.
-John Barrymore

Do you have plans for your finances? Do you always live by your budget? Share your defeats and achievements in the comment box, let us learn from them.