The elephant in the room: Year-end bonus

You need to have a financial safety net for when companies can't pay bonus cheques Click To Tweet

Cash Roulette

Many of us dream of the plans we will carry out with our year end bonus. We have already lined up a string of events which we are going to splurge on, and have soon- to-be-bought outfits picked out mentally. In addition to that we have, the vacation plans, the children’s school apparel and school stationary for the next year. We basically plan out an entire budget (read: splurge) from our upcoming bonus.



The elusive 13th cheque

It may happen that one is so accustomed to receiving their bonus cheque every year-end that it ends up being a customary thing; where no consultation is had and there is an expectation that this will definitely come to pass.

However, most companies give 13th cheques based on the performance of the company in a particular financial year. Other companies offer a bonus on the premise of whether an individual has performed their duties exceptionally or not.

As such, it is always important to never just assume that you will receive a bonus. It is important to inquire with human resources, the company accounts division or your immediate supervisor. This will assist in managing expectations from friends, family and yourself about what you can or cannot spend on.


Most companies give a 13th cheque based on the performance of the company in the financial year Click To Tweet


Money makes the world go round…

Or does it? There are a myriad of things that money can help us achieve. But, is it the be all and end all of our lives? Oftentimes companies are not able to pay out bonus cheques in a particular year. In this case, it is advisable to have a financial safety net which will assist with the year end and early year costs which come after festive shenanigans.


computer keyboard and present on table


In order to ensure that you are not caught between a rock and a hard place; the first step to building a healthy financial lifestyle would be to save a portion of your monthly income. A little bit every week or month (depending on your remuneration structure) will definitely will go a long way.


The myth about ‘goals’

In the 21st century everything either qualifies as or is a goal. An aesthetic, something to live up to. Everyone is in a perpetual and often self-inflicted rat race. We want to be better, own more, drive the best and live in an affluent neighborhood. Even if all of this at an often high cost to the self. Alleviate this pressure by being certain of your finances before making commitments.


No is a complete sentence

We need to learn the art of saying no to situations which do not grow us or expand our territory. The aim is to lead a life that will not be drastically altered whether you receive your bonus or not. It is possible for one to lead the ideal life without having to break the bank to get there. It requires self-discipline and a huge dose of honesty.


You should lead a life that will not be drastically altered whether you receive your bonus or not Click To Tweet


Bonus or no bonus?

The aim at all times should be to ultimately lead a life of financial freedom. If this means having a side business/job on the side, then so be it.

Truth is that for most of us, one source of income is not enough. Some are fortunate to have partners who balance things out in the home because of a dual income. However, it is possible to live your best life and stay out of debt at the same time. Financial freedom should be the new cool, the ultimate aesthetic.


Do you have any financial tips on budgeting for the festive season?

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

How to effectively manage contracts in freelancing

3 tips on how to beat procrastination as a freelancer Click To Tweet

Once in a while, a freelancer finds herself under the obligation of completing contracts for a period of months. Usually, emotions go from really excited (about that money of course) to interesting, to daunting and finally, to lethargic.

As is human nature, procrastination creeps in, like a thief in the night. (Okay, that last bit was too much, but you get the point). So, below are tips on how to crush your contractual freelancing gig like a #MotherlandMogul.

Bullet journals

Yes, I know, journaling is a task on its own, but bullet journaling helps greatly when it comes to actually doing your job. It basically consists of to-do lists organised on a daily basis. All you need to do is tick off each item on the list at the end of each day.

This helps you cover every detail on the job. It also forces you to think about the development process of the task ahead. Think I am kidding? This is one of the most agreed upon activities to increase productivity.

Set an agreed time to update your client

Usually, a client that has no time during the entire contract, or one that has no idea of what is required, will start pushing you around at the last minute. They will then get to asking the most ridiculous questions, which can turn into a circus, to put it gently. We also cannot fail to discuss a particular nagging client that lives to terrorise your sleep, and operates in opposite time zones.

For such clients, it is necessary that you provide updates as regularly as possible. Agree upon a date that works for both of you. This way, if you go off-track from the results expected, your client can easily guide you to what is required.

Contractual jobs in freelancing should not cause chaos, handle them by managing your time & client Click To Tweet

Money upfront

Usually, you will not miss a particular client that will ask that you complete a portion of the work without pay ‘just to see how you would fare’. What happens is that such a client will take your work, approach another freelancer, and go ahead and ask her to ‘show him/her what they can do’ without pay as well.

If such a client approaches you, provide a sample of previously done work that is similar to what is required. Always agree on being paid a portion of money before you start off. Alternatively, have a third party withhold the money until various obligations are met.

Other than managing your time and client, contractual jobs in freelancing should not cause chaos. These are actually some of the most envied jobs in the freelancing world so, eat your cake Mogul.

Unmarried womenconomics: Managing your finances for the future

You may want to start saving ahead if you plan to marry and have kids in the future Click To Tweet

So you are just like me. Young, wild and free. In the bloom of youth. No husband has stamped his logo on your heart yet, and there are yet no children to wrap themselves around your legs, displaying embarrassingly in public with cries and tantrums, making you wish they were old and married off already.

But we all know someday the story may change. No more Maybelline fit me foundation shades as a priority on the list. Instead diapers, school fees, and their ilk of expenses will be the main components of your monthly and by extension, annual budget.

So in the meantime, how do you manage your finances in preparation for the future?

Here’s how:

Be self-reliant

Do not rely on someone else, like a boyfriend or “Sugar Daddy” (yes, we all know they exist) for your financial security. They may or may not be there for you forever, but at least you know that you will always be there for you.

Get a job, a career and try to make your own money. Also be open minded about educating yourself on how to manage and invest your money. After all, it’s your money. Trust me, you will rather keep a keen eye on it, than have someone do that for you.

There are too many I-trusted-my-money-with-someone stories gone bad and you do not want to be next on that tall list.

Like all others, your financial discipline depends on your mental strength. Click To Tweet


A budget is simple; it helps you to know how much you have earned versus how much you are spending. Above all, you need to know what you spend most of your money on. It’s as simple as putting down all your figures on that notepad, or downloading Fast Budget or AndroMoney on Google Play Store.

Either way, you will know if most of your money is invested in the Friday and Saturday night outings with the girls, or if you are spending more on make-up than you absolutely need to.

After such a “divine revelation”, you will know which activities to cut down on and if you need get an alternative yet cheaper means of transport to work.


Think long term about how you want your financial future to look. One too many Whatsapp chain messages have accused the average African of prioritizing consumption over savings and it is time to prove the outside world wrong.

It starts with a mindset change, and for us at SLA, it starts with the woman’s renewed mindset. Unfortunately, statistics has also not been kind to our gender. Per a recent study by mutual fund company, Vanguard, men have 50 percent more money saved for their retirement than women do.

Even after earning less, it appears women cannot resist the urge to splurge. so let us prove them wrong. Although this is not necessarily a battle of the sexes, small acts of saving play the most significant role in determining if you can live your desired lifestyle.

Let us determine to put a percentage of the salary down, untouched. So walk to that bank, open up a savings account and place a monthly standing order on your current account. Or?

“Money, like emotions, is something you must control to keep your life on the right track.” 
 Natasha Munson

First save, next invest

Saving is not enough. It is woefully inadequate. That money cannot just be there breathing. Do your own research on acquiring financial assets; will it be a Treasury bill, a fixed deposit or mutual funds?

Let the money make money for you. Click To Tweet

It could even double as your emergency fund for that rainy day. There is a lot of information out there for avenues to invest. This is a great place to start. Better still, you can talk to a qualified investment officer about the options for investing.


Learn from your money mistakes. Do not let them sentence you to a life of financial misery.

All the blood rushed from her head to her eyes when she saw that red dress, and in a split second of not weighing the odds, she pulled out her purse, counted that thick wad of stash, and exchanged it for a dress which she will later find out to be one size smaller.”


Can you relate? (Yes. That was a hushed whisper, but I heard you.)

We simply learn from our past mistakes, and the next time our friend above will think twice about wanting that dress, and purchasing it. She now has the present and future to correct that slip-up. The same should be for you.

So what if you are an impulse buyer? Seek counsel. Read a book to help you snap out of it. What if you are the contemporary African female Santa? Learn to control your philanthropic escapades. Examine your spending streak, look at your money mistakes and put measures in place so you do not repeat them.


So renew that mind and let us get to the promised land. Similarly, the hackneyed quote says; “if you can dream it, you can achieve it.” Here’s a toast to all the money you will be saving and investing for the future.

May you be disciplined to manage your finances now!

May interest rates be high so that you earn more when you save and invest!!

And above all, may you enjoy spending it!!!

toast viola davis gif



For young African women: How to build wealth at every stage of your life

Multigenerational black women

This is part one. Read part two here

The Young African Woman – How to Build Wealth at Every Stage of Your Life

I recently attended a seminar where one of the key speakers mentioned that there are three main categories that are forecasted to thrive and succeed in this season: Youths, Africans, and Women. It is therefore a good time to be a Young African Woman.

In order to succeed as a Young African Woman and to ‘win’ in all areas of your life, you must be in control of your finances and build wealth. It is therefore important to understand the different stages of life i.e. the financial life cycle and how to build wealth at each stage.

I would start from the girl child, in order to ensure that we also empower our children, sisters, students, mentees etc.  This is the most important stage because if you get it right at the stage, you are likely to be wealthy.

There are different theories on the number of stages in a financial life cycle, however, for simplicity they’ve been split into 5 stages.

Stage 1: The African Girl Child

This is typically between ages 0-12. At this stage, we begin to understand the value of money i.e. N200 can buy more sweets than N100. We begin to have conversations like

Kid: “Mum, why can’t we buy a bicycle?”

Mum: “Because we do not have enough money at the moment.

Kid: “But mum, what about the money in my piggy bank? I have a lot of money in my piggy bank.”

Mum: “Honey, N500 is not enough to buy a bicycle.

Generally, we believe that money is to be used to buy junk food and also to buy toys. At this stage we receive pocket money.

Financially intelligent parents would begin to teach their children the basics of savings via a piggy bank or a kids’ account. They would also learn the concept of earning money by being paid for household chores as well as through mini businesses such as making and selling lemonade or bracelets etc.

I attended a conference where a speakers stated that when she was younger, her parents paid her whenever she did her household chores and that was how she learnt the value of hard work and earning money.

My daughters started their first business at age 6 and 3. During their Christmas holiday, they made personalized bracelets from beads and with virtues such as love, faith etc, and sold them to their aunties, uncles and friends. Shortly after, they received an order to make personalized bracelets for a birthday party. Within two weeks, they made about N30, 000. I introduced the concept of a piggy bank and also taught them how to give as well.

I also had a very proud moment the other day. My daughter had received some money as a gift from her uncle at Church to buy ice cream. A blind man came to ask for money and she heard me say I didn’t have any cash left. She then said to me “Mummy, he can have this money” and she gave him her ice cream money.

At a very young age, I opened investment accounts for my daughters with a monthly direct debit in place. Warren Buffet began investing also at this stage. He has also created an online club for kids called the Secret Millionaires club where kids learn the basics of entrepreneurship and wealth management. This is a good place to start.

Stage 2: The African Teenage Girl

This is typically between ages 13-19. At this stage, we develop a better understanding of money. Our needs include buying top-up cards for mobile phones, shopping and entertainment etc.

We understand that it is not everything you want that you can get. We also start earning money via jobs like baby-sitting, etc. In developed economies, at this stage, teenagers are sent to work in fast food restaurants or retail clothing stores to earn some money. Some teenagers are also required to work in companies as interns during holidays. Ty Bello, Nigeria’s renowned photographer started her hair styling business at age 15. One of Africa’s youngest billionaires Ashish Thakker started his first business at age 16.

When you get to University, you begin to understand the importance of managing your finances. In University, you are also introduced to the concept of credit cards, over drafts etc. It is important to educate teenagers on the pros and cons of credit cards and overdrafts. A lot of students get it wrong and end up in a lot of debt once they graduate from university, and this affects their ability to build wealth in other stages of their life.

Key things to consider at this stage include:

  1. Learn the value of hard work and earning money through internships, holiday jobs
  2. Start a business using your talents and gifts
  3. Start a savings and investing culture
  4. Be involved in the process of managing bank accounts and investing.
  5. Read books on personal finance

How did you fare in these stages as a young person? If you have passed these 2 stages, you can still share them with a young person or a parent who might need it.

In Part II, we discuss – stage 3: The Young African Woman,  stage 4: The African Woman, and stage 5: The Older African Woman.