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!


If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Key steps to Maximizing Your next Cash Bonus

Everyone can relate to that feeling of excitement when receiving a bonus and all of a sudden, you feel that your financial problems have come to an end. 

However, after a month or two, not many can account for how the money was spent, it seems to disappear with every other money that comes into the bank account (i.e. regular earnings). 

It’s that time of the year again when most companies will soon start announcing their financial results and employees can expect to receive communication on bonuses.  

Most bonus payments these days are performance related so if you receive one, it comes with a feeling of success and fulfillment that your hard work is finally being recognized.

Regardless of how much you are expecting to receive, it is important to carefully plan how you’ll spend it so that you can receive the most value out of it.  Proper planning will ensure that you are able to account for every penny that comes in and motivate you to work even harder towards the next bonus.

So how can you really maximize your bonus?

First and foremost, you need to reward yourself for all the hard work.  You have worked hard all year, dedicated your time and talent towards your company, and fully earned the bonus so you deserve to celebrate and treat yourself.  

Splurge on that expensive item that you’ve always wanted to buy or indulge in your guilty pleasure without feeling guilty for once.

However, keep this to 10% – 15% of your bonus earning and try not to go over the threshold in order to fully maximize the amount.

If you are a parent or working mother, you might feel the need to also spoil your family.  Why not?  They have supported you all year and been patient with you on those days when you’ve had to work late nights or work away from home so they also deserve to be rewarded.

Spend about 5% to 10% on the family and kids and buy everyone lovely gifts to appreciate them for their support towards your achievement.  

Consider allocating the remaining 80% of your bonus in the following order:

1. Pay off any debts that you owe

The cost of servicing debts is going to be higher than any income you are likely to receive on savings or investments.  

Except if your debts are non-interest bearing with no repayment commitments, it is more effective to pay off your all your debts before you think of saving or investing your bonus earnings. 

Treat your bonus differently from your regular earnings Click To Tweet

2. Put money into long-term savings or investments

Any money left after you have cleared your debts should go into your long-term savings or investments.

  • On average you should be putting 10% to 20% of your normal earnings into long-term (or retirement) savings or investments options on a monthly basis, so if you can, try to spend at least 10% to 20% of your bonus earnings in the same manner.  The money can go towards your pensions, ISAs, other long-term investments products or even your personal business venture.  
  • This money is important for securing your future in the days when you don’t have the energy to work as hard as you are working now.  Just as the saying goes to ‘make hay while the sun is shining’.  If you have not already started saving and investing towards your future, then maybe you can start with your bonus this year.
  • It’s never too late to start and $1 invested today can go a long way in the future with compound interest. 

3. Top up your short-term savings or emergency fund

If you still have money left after saving for the future, then you can use it to top up your short-term savings.  This is the money you put aside for the short term emergency spend that you don’t plan for (i.e. unforeseen events) or the rainy day.  

Naturally, you should already be putting aside at least 10% of your regular earnings towards this account to cater for the unexpected spending commitment.  The recommended practice is to have about three months of income in your emergency account as a minimum.

 Anything left can go into your miscellaneous account towards your next holiday or luxury spend savings (to fulfill your ‘wants’).

To conclude, the bonus is a special earning that you’ve worked for and it’s important to treat it differently from your regular earnings. 

A fully maximized bonus is more memorable and being able to account for every amount makes it feel even more rewarding.  A financial planner can assist you with savings and investments options that suit your goals, life commitments and risk profile (capital at risk).  Good luck with the announcements.

Hope you smile to the bank by getting a bonus payment that rewards all your hard work over the last year. 


Got a story you’d like to share with us? Share their story with us here.

Webinar with Bola Onada Sokunbi: Setting Up A Big Girl Budget (Mar 25)

We’re not sure we need to use too much grammar for this webinar. If your life follows the pattern below then you need to sign up ASAP.

When that paycheck alert hits your phone:

Two weeks later when you need to pay your bills:

Two weeks later when you get paid again:

And then later that night:

GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! You need to get it together. We are too grown and too ambitious to be playing games with our money. While money certainly isn’t everything in life, it can provide security and long term stability for you and your family. You don’t have to wait until you’re older and more settled to start caring about your personal finances.

On Friday March 25 we hosted a private webinar where we got real about Setting Up A Big Girl Budget. Personal finance expert Bola Onada Sokunbi walked us through how to set up a budget that is practical and designed for young women like us.

Some of the topics we covered:

  • How to find the spending areas that are bringing you down
  • What are the major categories your budget MUST include
  • The tools and apps you can use to keep your budget on track
  • How to motivate yourself to stick to a budget

About Bola:

Bola Onada Sokunbi is a money coach, business strategist and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a platform that empowers and educates women to make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves. Clever Girl Finance inspires women to pursue their dreams of financial independence in order to live life on their own terms.

Quick Read: Your 1 minute guide to startup financing

You already know that it takes more than a stellar business plan and an ace team for your startup to thrive. You also need financing to get your ideas off the ground. COLD. HARD. CASH.

But what type of financing is available for me, you ask? Well, you have 3 options:

1. DEBT FINANCING 

Your company receives a loan and gives its promise to repay the loan. It includes both secured and unsecured loans, and can be long-term or short-term.

Pros: You aren’t giving away any part of your business.

Cons: Defaulting on the loan = signing your life away.

2. EQUITY FINANCING

Your company obtains finances from potential investors, family and friends, business angels or by issuing an Initial Public Offer (IPO).

Pros: You are not obligated to pay a dividend

Cons: Equity finance generates capital from external investors in return for a share of the business.

Shark Tank Gif - Cash Flow and financing

3. MEZZANINE FINANCING 

This is a combination of both debt and equity financing. It begins as debt capital that gives the lender the rights to convert to an ownership or equity interest in the company if the loan is not paid back in time and in full. This type of financing allows the owner both debt and equity options.

Pros: Allows you to get the money you need without giving up a huge chunk of your company’s ownerships…as long as you pay your debt on time.

Cons: Interest rates are much higher than traditional debt financing.

Want to learn more about financing and savings options for your business? Visit PAL Pensions to learn more about their unique products for young entrepreneurs.