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Growing up in Nigeria and in an African household, men and women are raised to think about money and finance different. Men are taught to pursue wealth more aggressively than women are. Men are the head of the home which means they ‘have’ to be the main providers so they were always accustomed to looking for and building wealth to take care of their family.
That’s all well and good, great even.
The only [big] problem is that while men are given all the financial literacy, a lot of women are lagging behind because they’re dependent on their husbands.
But as Oprah said, a new day is on the horizon and I believe its on the horizon for women who are really ready to take charge of their future, including their finances.
Buy a nice pair of Valentinos today or buy a house tomorrow? These are the decisions we need to start coming to terms with. Look pretty, yes. Spoil yourself, of course. Dress nice, hell yeah! But think big picture. What does your life look like five to ten years from now? How are you planning to get all that you need to take care of yourself?
I love Zara, to a fault maybe. But when I woke up and started to smell the flowers, I realised life is more than pretty clothes and buying Zara as regularly as I did was highly unsustainable for the life I wanted to live. Even when I increased my income, it was important I didn’t increase my spending unnecessarily. That’s the real challenge; holding yourself back from ’treating’ yourself just because it’s payday. I’m not saying don’t enjoy the present, neither am I saying save all your money and live under a rock. The point is having a good saving and spending balance.
The point is having a good saving and spending balance
For example, for every [Zara] item I get in my closet, I have to have sold two items that cost more than my single item of purchase. If I’m buying a coat for £90, I need to have sold two bags for at least £100. This way I’m only trading items in my closet and even making a small profit from it. I don’t think anyone would’ve cared if Oprah wore Macy’s jeans on her first show or carried a Topshop bag to her first event. Many years down the line and she can afford anything and is one of the richest women in the world. Not to say she didn’t look nice or bought herself anything expensive, but I believe she saw the bigger picture and made sustainable and generational wealth for herself. She chose to leave the Valentinos today, so she could get the house tomorrow, and get the Valentinos the day after tomorrow.
Ladies, let’s get in more discussions about ways to improve and increase our finances. Whether its just how to shop without splurging, or learning where to put our money to make us some more, whatever it is, dear African girl, let’s talk about money.
Guest Post: Bukiie Smart (Personal finance and style blogger)