7 steps to Managing Your Finances while on campus

So you get your school allowance or money from your side hustle and you’re ecstatic! Next thing you know, you’re flat broke and now all you are left with is the billion-dollar question…

How did this happen?


Managing your personal finances while on campus can be hard, but we have a few tips below to help you survive sis!

1. Create a Budget

A budget is simply a statement showing how you plan to spend your income. Creating a budget starts with being realistic. This means that you are realistic about how much money you currently receive/earn and how much you spend or hope to spend.

The word budget can come off as scary and intimidating to most of us and where does one even begin?? Please keep in mind, a budget is super important to have to maintain financial stability while in school.

Let’s be honest. No matter how much money you have, it will never be enough to cover every single thing you need to buy. So budgeting is one key way to ensuring that you spend your money on the things that truly matter to you.

Document everything you spend your money on, from mobile data to hair supplies to that take-out from last weekend to groceries, clothes, and stationery, all while being realistic with your current income.

This helps you take charge of what exactly you want to spend and sticking to it helps reduce impulse spending on things that you don’t really value.

If you can't save when you earn in thousands, it will be difficult for you to save when you earn millions Click To Tweet

2. Save, Save, Save!!!

Your allowance might be small, but truth be told, if you can’t save when you earn N20,000, it will probably be difficult for you to save when you earn N20,000,000. This is because your expenses and tastes will inevitably rise in response to your new income. In light of this, the best time to start saving is now!

My favorite tip to share for saving is to open a savings account and DO NOT get an ATM Card or Mobile/Internet Banking for it, you’ll thank me later.

Transfer a certain percentage of all the income you get, (including the money you lobby out of relatives, yes, even that) into that account. This makes it difficult to access the money at will.

Another option is to use a piggy bank. A lot of small businesses make and sell beautifully designed ones to order. Put some money into the box and only open it for emergencies or to invest.

Finally, you don’t have to attend every brunch, every party or buy every dress on sale, I promise you won’t die if you don’t do all the social activities in one month. Always stick to your budget.

3. Budget money for the fun things too

Include an amount of money for the fun things you love to do and buy. If something extra comes up that is not in the budget, politely decline and if necessary you can include it in your budget for the next month.

Spread out these kinds of purchases over different months. For instance, you could buy that dress this month, go for the Wizkid concert next month (or when we’ll be allowed outside again, stay safe!) and buy those new shoes a month later.

4. Take advantage of Student discounts

Don’t be embarrassed to use your Student ID to get the student discount on a movie, event or even products. Look out for these discounts and coupons and make the best of them.

However, with everything else in life, moderation is key. Don’t splurge on everything simply because the word “SALE” is attached to it.

5. Get a Side Hustle

Can you make wigs, create content, draw, do makeup, code, etc? Then get a side hustle – sharpen your skills and monetize them.

Spread the word about these skills and confidently charge money for them. This will serve as an extra source of income for you.

6. Flee Debt!

You’re too young and too cute to be in debt sis. Try not to borrow, especially if it is not urgent. Live within your means always.

Not only do unpaid debts make your relationships sour, it also reduces the amount of money you have to spend on yourself when you receive your next income, making you run out of money early and pulling you back into debt. See, it’s a vicious cycle.

If you must borrow – please try to pay back as soon as possible. Don’t hide from your debtors – be transparent, this ensures that if you ever need to borrow again, you are creditworthy enough for friends to comfortably lend you money.

Whatever you do, run away from debt!

Always live within your means Click To Tweet

7. Already up to your neck in debts?

Don’t worry – create a space in your budget for the repayment of these debts. Split them up into manageable bits, create a plan to repay, and discuss this plan with your debtors. Back up your words with action and ensure that you pay back as planned.

I wish you the absolute best as you SLAY your financial goals!


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Evelyn Ngugi: Hard Work Only Makes Things Better

The YouTube world has grown exponentially in the past few years thanks to more and more people using it as a platform for content creation.

YouTube has produced big names in the digital world such as Lily Singh, Patricia Bright, Jenna Marbles and the like. Kenyan-American YouTuber, Evelyn Ngugi is well on her way to the creme of the crop of content creators with her channel, Evelyn from the Internets which currently boasts 150k+ subscribers and even got the stamp of approval from the Queen bee herself, Beyonce.

Evelyn recently took a trip back to her home country for the first time in over a decade and spent some time meeting her internet cousins (her name for her subscribers) and discovering Kenya again as an adult.

SLA managed to get some time to chat with the hilarious Texas native on her growth in YouTube, her thoughts on the creative industry in Africa and what’s in store for her in the future.


You started making YouTube videos way before it became the IT thing to do. What got you interested in that medium of sharing?

Tinkering with different media has always been an interest of mine. As a child, I would dub my “radio show” over old cassette tapes.

As a teenager, I would enlist my little brother to record “TV shows” and burn them onto blank DVDs. YouTube/the Internet was just next up, in terms of accessible technology.

How has social media helped grow your brand?

I’m more interested to know what people think my brand is, to begin with! Social media changed the game because it makes people and their processes accessible. For example, we used to only be able to interact with musicians or actors when their work was released or they had a press interview.

With social media, those barriers are gone. It’s scary and cool but mostly cool. Social media helps grow brands by putting creators directly in touch with consumers.

Focus on making an amazing product first. Social media algorithms will have changed 10 times by the time you’re ready to advertise - Evelyn Ngugi Click To Tweet

We love that you stan hard for various Black Girl Beauty Brands. What advice would you give to young women out there looking to start and/or build their own brand?

Focus on making an amazing product first. These social media algorithms will have changed 10 times by the time you’re ready to advertise anyway.

So many people want to be a “brand” but they don’t actually have a product yet.

 

You recently took a break from the daily routines of life as explained in your recent video. Why did that happen?

The break was the decision and goal I made for late 2017 and the rest of 2018! Something about being 27, girl… it makes you realize that you are in control of your time.

Do I want to spend the tail end of my precious twenties feeling stuck, or do I want to pivot into something greater? I chose greater.

What inspires you as a creative and what drives you as an entrepreneur?

I’m definitely a creative, but not an entrepreneur (yet). I think that’s just a misconception of being on the Internet. I’ve been #TeamHaveA9to5 my entire adulthood (which isn’t long) and I’m only now figuring out if I want to work for myself.

What inspires me as a creative are how innate and infinite my imaginations are and how hard work only makes things better.

So toddlers are creative, but those toddlers eventually grow up and become Martin Scorsese or something and that’s just incredible to think about. Not even trying to be funny, but as an entrepreneur, I imagine not being homeless or hungry would be the biggest driver.

You cut your own check and that sounds stressful fam!

You recently visited Kenya for the first time in over a decade. What are your thoughts about the creative space in Kenya vs other African countries?

Hmmm – that’s such a huge question for a first generation kid-essentially-turned tourist! From my brief time there, I noticed creative folks were frustrated.

What does it mean for music to sound Kenyan? Fashion to look Kenyan? When we talk about Nigeria or South Africa or even neighboring Tanzania, some of those things are more clearly defined or accepted.

I think Kenyan artists need more financial, governmental, and societal support to elevate Kenyan creative works where they belong.

Who are your top 5 YouTubers?

I feel like these answers change every time – thanks to YouTube algorithm! So right now, in no particular order:

KickThePJ: He’s just fantastical and whimsical and embodies what I still admire about YouTube. Making stuff up. Making stuff with your hands. Combining the two. A multi-media filmmaker.

Beleaf In Fatherhood: As a single, child-free person, it is difficult to find a family channel that holds my attention. This family combines my love of dope music with an attention to detail and story that is unmatched.

Oh, and it’s #blacklove all the way.

Patricia Bright: She is OG YouTube. She is still here. And she’s killing it. I think she’s gorgeous and hilarious and if you can make someone who wears black 90% of the time (me) still be thoroughly entertained by a 30-minute video of you trying on clothes??! SUBSCRIBE.

F0XY: Jade has such a distinct comedic tone and voice and I just want her to win. Because if she wins, I feel like I can too. She’s relatable like that. Inappropriate and so, so relatable.

Lavendaire: She is a sweet whisper of lavender essential oil infused vapor that calms me down and helps me be productive all at the same time. Gorgeously branded channel and impactful content.

Do you plan on moving on from YouTube to mainstream television or the big screen?

My plan for 2018 is to do more screenwriting and share more stories – both my own and those of my fellow earthlings.

Where those stories end up for your viewing pleasure isn’t necessarily the most important part of my plan. But if a TV show or movie wants to holla, I’ll definitely clear my google calendar!! Shoot!

What would you be if you weren’t a YouTuber?

YouTube is just a platform. I’d be doing the same thing I’m doing now, just on whatever website ended up popping off instead of YouTube. I’m a journalist, storyteller, funny girl, and hopefully, a friend in your head.

What is your mantra in life?

“Be thoughtful and silly.” That’s a quote from Hank Green about what it means to be an adult. Growing up and becoming boring/bored terrifies me, so I find comfort in that idea.

Being silly is still allowed – thank God. Stay childlike, not childish.


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Vulnerability: Your key to smashing goals this year

To be Vulnerable means to be open to all of life’s experiences Click To Tweet

Ours is a generation of people striving to make their lives look perfect all the time. We post pictures, we update our statuses, we buy new things with the idea that maybe if it looks perfect enough, it will start to feel perfect.  

We don’t know how to handle feelings of uncertainty, unworthiness, loss, heartbreak; so we post more pictures and look even more perfect…sounds familiar right?

Our inability to accept the messiness of life, the ‘imperfection in ourselves’ and the fact that sometimes we’re all just little kids trying to make friends on the playground has affected our quality of life and our ability to truly engage with each other.

The average 20-something- year- old knows exactly how much money they want to earn, by what age they should be married, how many kids they intend to have, where those kids will go to school…all this with a flat tummy, gorgeous skin and long natural hair!

It’s a lot on any one’s plate and has made life this series of ‘check-list moments’. It’s no wonder new year’s resolutions have been given a bad rap over the years, it stopped being about ‘the magic of new beginnings, the chance to hit the refresh button and start all over again’, and instead started being about self-reprimand, self-hate, and comparison to others.

In her brilliant book, “Daring Greatly”, Brene’ Brown explores how striving to achieve your goals requires an openness to being vulnerable. The ability to stand up and say, “January hit me hard, I wasn’t prepared for some of the things life threw at me, I missed the mark and now, I must start afresh”, can affect your quality of life and ability to truly engage with other people.

Our generation is afraid of vulnerability, and for good reason, we’ve all been told we are too much of something to achieve something bigger than ourselves; too short, too fat, too loud, too broke, etc,  and as a result, more and more people are afraid to even try, and those that do, are afraid to try at things that really matter- those big hairy audacious goals.  

According to Brene’, “Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness, will we be closer to the infinite power of our light”. To be Vulnerable means to be open to all of life’s experiences from a place of worthiness and self-love, not self-hate.

You are enough! Click To Tweet

Vulnerability is:

  • Starting over after that first business failed.
  • Speaking up about your relationships so that every abuse you experienced is never repeated.
  • Asking for more money, time, attention…if it is what will fulfill your needs.
  • Saying no to anyone who crosses the boundaries set in your relationship.
  • Committing to going to the gym after having fallen off your ideal weight.
  • Asking for help.
  • Presenting your product to the world and getting no response.
  • Having faith.
  • Saying ‘yes’ to love after a major heartbreak.
  • Admitting you do not know what to do, and then looking for the answer.
  • Letting go of some people because your business cannot afford it.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is about acknowledging discomfort and then using it in a positive way to enhance your life experience.  A few keys to enhancing your ability to manage vulnerability and therefore better able to live a wholehearted life are;

 

1. Be open

Sometimes the goals you want to achieve won’t be achieved in the exact path you expected, but it will always be worth it. You have to keep your heart and mind open to new ideas, a new career, new employers etc when it’s required.

2. Dare to show up

No matter how uncomfortable, unqualified or unprepared you might think you are, always show up. Your current life isn’t a dress rehearsal for your next life! If it’s important to you, you must show up.

3. Set and respect your boundaries

Set boundaries for your time, space and relationships, and after you’ve set your boundaries, respect them. Your goals this year are yours to achieve.

Vulnerability is being able to let other people know when they have crossed boundaries that you never intended to be crossed.

4. Wholehearted living

According to Brene’ Brown, wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. Too many people don’t think they are worthy of love, attention, support, promotion etc. This lack of self-love manifests itself in a myriad of ways that lead to people sabotaging the great things in their lives.

As you go about the business of achieving your goals this year, you must believe that you are worthy of all you are striving for. You are enough. You are enough. You are enough.

For the times when being vulnerable seems like the hardest thing to do, turn to the immortal words of Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”


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Nomvelo Chalumbira: There are endless possibilities available to millennials now than there previously were

‘Lazy…entitled…’? Enough with the name calling!

Because some bold young ladies are challenging the way some describe millennials, and Africa is already celebrating their work!

Nomvelo Chalumbira, 23, recently graduated from Wits University where she studied journalism and is currently interning at Reuters Africa.

She is also the co-founder of Melenial Media, a digital-content platform created by two young black women, for young black women, with the aim of empowering them and supporting the great work they are doing in different spheres of society.  

What started as a blog is growing into a great media brand, and with a prestigious award already on their shelf, we thought we should get into the psyche of this aspiring media mogul, and also asked her to share some of her work with us.


What made you decide to start early, co-founding Melenial Media while still studying?

I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after university and felt that my degree had not prepared me for the job market, but I was always interested in media, and after doing a blog with my friends for a year, I wanted to start something that represented me and other black millennial women.

My passion was to be a part of the change of the media landscape in South Africa and not rely on building a career at already-established media companies.

In my third year, my current partner and I saw a huge gap in the market of voices of millennial women of color, and thus Melenial Media was founded.

There is no set path to success Click To Tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millennials have been called many (not so great) names, such as ‘the Me, Me, Me Generation”, as expressed in an article by a reputable magazine. What are your thoughts about this?

Times are very different and things are being done very differently. Many traditional industries have been disrupted and altered to suit the needs of the current generation.

For instance, the media industry is becoming more digital and fast-paced. We must all keep up with the new.

As an article in the Atlantic put it very well, “every generation has been a me, me, me generation”, so what is new?

How did you go from blogging to having an award winning media brand? What drives you as an entrepreneur?

It hasn’t been easy! Building a business has taught me discipline and perseverance, especially juggling studying full-time and doing Melenial. But, I absolutely love what I do and having the privilege to do what I love every day is a great blessing.

That has helped me get through the tough times, knowing that the reward is sweeter than the sweat. We try our best to be consistent and put out the best content.

Entrepreneurship is challenging but I have a great family support system. What’s even more exciting is being able to be a part of the advancement and empowerment of black women.

Please share some of your photojournalism work with us:

 

More Than a Barcode: Like identity, our sense of place is fluid; it changes as the place changes and as we change. One’s sense of place becomes part of their identity, and one’s identity affects the ways we define and experience a place. Therefore in the construction of identities, part of what one does is to instill place with meaning by attaching memories and experiences to the place.

 

Serene yet Strong: Mammy Setshogo fulfilling her regular duties of looking after and running a tavern household in Soweto. Here she is washing the household’s clothes and she looks serene, regal, strong and beautiful whilst doing a mundane chore.

 

 

 

How does Melenial Media aim to empower millennials and change such narratives about them?

Melenial Media showcases a diverse range of women doing great things in their respective fields. We are breaking down the stereotype and notion that there is one type of black woman.

The content you find on our site is interesting, fresh and relatable – not only to millennials but to any generation. We showcase that there is no set path to success.

Melenial Media shows that anything is possible if you believe enough in your vision.

We are breaking down the stereotype and notion that there is one type of black woman - @nomvelo_c Click To Tweet

From the work you have done so far with millennials, what potential do you think they have to make Africa even greater?

There are endless possibilities available to Millennials than there previously were. This makes the potential to do great things even greater.

With information, access, and opportunities available at our fingertips, millennials are creating their own opportunities and path.

Africa is a wealthy goldmine of opportunities and it’s all about seizing the moment and just going for it. And that is exactly what millennials are doing. They are not afraid to take a chance and create their own realities that suit them.

Africa is a wealthy goldmine of opportunities and it’s all about seizing the moment and just going for it. Click To Tweet

You won the ‘2016 Top Youth Culture Blog in Africa’ award in such a short space of time. What does the award mean to you and Melenial Media?

It was a humbling milestone to have reached in such a short time. It has made us realize that we are creating a sustainable business that is making a difference and contributing positively to society.

What we have created is something quite relevant in the current South African media landscape. We have started something unique, which I am extremely proud of.

...anything is possible if you believe enough in your vision. Click To Tweet

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