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Waiting For Payday…

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Giddy with excitement, Jane made her way into Surulere Mall. Hardly glancing around, she found her way into Pretty toes, a massive suite on the left side of the mall. Three weeks ago, on an outing with her friends, she had discovered the shoe of her dreams. A classy, chic and unusual Jimmy Choo, nothing could stop her from getting it, not even the fact that she had no money. Instantly, she gave the sales lady 20% of the price to tie down the shoe, promising to return as soon as salary was paid. She got her alert today and was now at the mall to fulfill her promise.

Two weeks after, Jane dragged herself into the house, hissing as she realized there was no power. She called the generator guy again, and again he insisted she needed seven thousand Naira to fix it. Just seven thousand Naira, and she couldn’t afford it; except she wanted to walk to work the rest of the month. Who could have guessed the generator would pack up? It’s not that her job pays too little; she could just never spread it through the month. This month for instance, if only she had not bought those shoes or the human hair from Bimbola’s stylist. Now she barely had enough for essentials like car maintenance and the month was merely on its 15th day.

Many people can relate to Jane’s dilemma. You welcome salary with excitement, settling bills and buying at will for the first few days until your dwindling account gives you a red sign, forcing you to stop. You are already broke even though it’s still a long time to the next pay.

However, this situation is easily avoidable by simply drawing up a personal budget. A few days to your salary, write out the amount you are expecting and a plan as to how it will be spent. Start with your savings, then the ‘must haves’; items that are essential to your wellbeing like house maintenance, food, transport, electricity. Etc. Proceed to the ‘would like to haves’ like aso ebi for your cousin’s wedding and the food processor your wife won’t stop talking about. Up next is the ‘Can do withouts’ like the belt you want just because it is fine or a new toy set for your baby who already has a lot of toys. Often, as you write the list and input the corresponding cost, you discover the ones you will have to postpone or completely delete. You can use the percentage system to divide your income or actual values of items on the list. Remember to leave something for entertainment, emergencies and your faith (if applicable).

It is important to put the budget in a place where you can easily see it as the month progresses; by your bedside or on your phone. Your success rate depends on your compliance rate. The more you stick to your budget, the more money you have for the things that matter.  You will also be able to save consistently. You can set up a direct debit order to your Money Market Fund to ensure nothing gets in the way of your savings or financial goals.

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11 Comments

  1. "changing moniker"

    June 29, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Spot on!!!
    I can relate to what Jane faces!!!!

  2. olajumoke

    June 29, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I love the way it was broken down:
    1. “Must Haves”
    2. “Would like to have”
    3. “Can do without”

    I will certainly heed to this advice. Thanks.

  3. olajumoke

    June 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    How does this money market work? Has anyone used ARM Money market fund? Please advise. Thanks.

    • Debs

      June 30, 2016 at 9:19 am

      @Olajumoke, I use the Money Market Fund, started like two months ago. You transfer money to it just like your regular savings account, the difference is that your money grows faster because of the competitive interest rate and the returns they pay quarterly. The interest rate changes but it is always much more than you can get saving in a regular account where your money just sits. It works for me sha.

  4. Gabe

    June 29, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Nice update, seems to be the story of my life at the moment, waiting for that precious pay check…

  5. Meah

    June 29, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    This is currently my story but unlike Jane, I’m not a big spender. Sure, i give myself a spontaneous treat occasionally but its nothing outrageous. What i”ve realized is that no matter how well i plan, my salary is stretched between paying bills, sending upkeep money to my folks, deductions for savings etc. All these leave my account balance gasping for breath before the second week in the new month. I have finally seen the light and now believe all those books that say monthly salary cannot make anyone wealthy, irrespective of how much you earn. The solution is simple: we all need multiple streams of income a.k.a side hustle. Thats the only way to break out of the monthly brokeness cycle.

    Need the services of a competent commercial lawyer? hit me up at [email protected]

    • Nkechi

      June 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Yeah, sometimes it is not just enough. Standard of living is higher sometimes, therefore we should have multiple streams of income. Something I like about me is this; Don’t need to attend all slated parties. I accepted just one aso ebi last year. Sorry but I can’t outstretch finances. Husbands and wives when financial issues arise, those people will not be there o, as adults they expect you to be smart. Don’t let finances ruin your marriage. Spend wisely.

  6. Spirit

    June 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I can definitely relate. For me spontaneous shopping is the major cause of “imbalance” before the salary even comes. I am trying to live the life of having functional pieces not just buying because its beautiful. “YOU CAN’T WEAR TWO WRIST WATCHES AT THE SAME TIME” that is my new motto, I hope to stick to it LOL

    • Mabel

      June 30, 2016 at 4:11 am

      The method that works for me is putting the value of my labour to the product. If a dress requires me to work eight hours or more to pay for it, I will not buy it. If a lipstick is three hours of labour I don’t get it. When you figure out how many hours you have to work to pay for some of these things, it definitely put things into perspective.

  7. AANUOLUWAPO OYEDELE

    June 30, 2016 at 9:32 am

    hmmm, i work strictly with budget, august budget is ready self, nothing can come and shoot up my budget, i have a fixed amount for miscellanous and also for unforeseen situations. It helps a lot

  8. larz

    June 30, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I usually only spend current month’s Salary on regular essentials plus savings, I never spend my current salary on nice to have or luxury items within the same month. I usually wait until my next pay check.

    It helps me in two ways,
    a) it means I can deal with unforeseen emergencies like Jane did. Anyone that own any asset/ property (using property/ asset loosely here to mean car, houses, generator) should have money kept aside for unplanned maintenance/ repairs.
    b) if you still want it that bad at the end of the month then it is worth getting. We sometimes buy things on impulse that if we gave enough time, we wouldn’t want anyway.

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