Where has all the money disappeared to? This is the age where financial literacy for women is needed more than ever! Whether you are just starting out in your journey to be financially savvy or already an expert, these tips from African finance experts can be a quick reminder and will also inspire you to continue on the journey to financial freedom.
“…don’t relinquish the financial health of your life or home to your partner; always give your input and direction. Single ladies don’t postpone your wealth creation activities until after you are married (which is not guaranteed) or have kids (which is also not guaranteed).
Start creating a legacy NOW. Set up your own family trust, establish and define your own investment philosophies. Every individual is ultimately responsible for his or her financial health and outcome. You can’t blame anyone else later in life if you are in financial distress”.
– Samke Mhlongo-Ngwenya, Founder Justsamke.com
The time to start is now!
“Lots of people in their 20s don’t save or invest because they are waiting to get a better job or start a business to earn more money but the truth is most millennials spend 30-50 percent of their paycheck on entertainment while they claim they are too poor or too young to save and invest but the reality is by the time you get to your 30s you realize you wasted a golden opportunity… time!
It’s better to start putting a little aside when you have minimal responsibilities and take advantage of the power of compounding interest. You have to find a balance between having fun and having funds. Sometimes It’s okay to miss out to stack up”.
“You worked so hard for your money; you owe it to yourself to ensure you protect it”.
–Nimi Akinkugbe, Author “A-Z of Personal Finance”
Say no to overspending
“In order to build wealth and actually accomplish your money goals, you have to keep your spending under control. Start by tracking your spending in a detailed way – one way to do this is by keeping spending journals where you write down every transaction you make every day for 30 days (reviewing your spending each evening).
This exercise will not only show you trends of where your money is going but it will keep you conscious of how and when you are spending”.
“A useful tool is to budget. Create a budget and live on a budget”.
– Omilola Oshikoya, Life and Finance coach
Know The Difference
“…there is a huge difference between savings accounts and investment accounts. Knowing this will help you plan better for the future, help you choose the correct financial products and set you on your way to financial freedom”.
–Nicolette Mashile, Founder Financial Literacy with Nicolette Mashile
Don’t do it alone, seek professional help
“…use an experienced fund manager, portfolio advisor, investment advisor or whatever you call it to manage your entire equities. They have access to tons of historical data. And with their skills coupled with advanced analytical tools, they are able to advise on rates and purchase of equities to maximise the full potential of your returns. Also note that, the experienced middleman will advise you on risks and diversification plans.”
–Abeena Brigidi, Investment Analyst
Finally, I leave you with the words of Mapolu Makhou, Founder Woman and Finance, “being financially conscious is not easy, it is hard work, but it can be done. Nothing good ever comes easy! Stay committed”.
So, you delved into freelancing. You jumped head first (or first dipped your toes, whichever works for you) into being your own boss and now nothing can stop you from working in your pyjamas. First of all, big hearty congratulations.
Not many make it past opening a freelancing account somewhere, let alone enlist clients. And now that we have gotten the pleasantries out of the way, let us get into the nitty gritty. The big girl stuff. Mogul business.
It is essential that you realise that like any business out there, freelancing has its peak seasons and its really, and I mean, reallylow seasons. This being said, it is essential that finances line up throughout these seasons. Let’s get to it.
Know your market
This is the basis of any business, and it applies even in online businesses. Knowing when the seasons’ peak and when they fall is essential in managing your money.
In academic writing, for instance, seasons pick at around March-April, August-September and in December, which is the end-of-semester months. If one is freelancing designs for say, at a corporate company, it is essential that you understand their fiscal year and how they pay or contract employees then.
Know your worth
Some people may have you believe that since you are freelancing your services, they have to pay less that is required.
Knowing the pricing on your product and service is crucial in you making profits, in the long run. So, do not undervalue or overvalue yourself.
Granted, there is not much revenue that you put in when freelancing unless you are renting office space. Your internet plan, however, will straight out flatten your morale if you are not careful.
Choose an internet plan that is affordable for you, and that you know you can easily manage even when literally no clients are coming through because it will happen.
Ride the wave
High seasons in freelancing are really high, and what goes up will hit rock bottom with the same momentum. When that tide comes in, ride it like your life depends on it.
Work through the day and night, stock up on coffee or energy drinks, never see outdoors, whatever it takes, stock up on that money (just remember to factor in self-care, of course).
Stock up on some emergency cash
Yeah, things happen. Your regular client finishes school, your contract ends, life goes on. Set aside some money for an emergency just in case your bank account is depleted.
This actually goes for all businesses. It is standard.
Follow the 50/30/20 rule on cash
Personal financing is basically what will take you through freelancing. Know what you are spending your money on, track your receipts, cut down on the ‘for show’ products, and follow the 50/30/20 rule.
50% of your income is used on basic expenditure (like rent, food), 30% settle your debts and maybe a few luxury products, and invest with the 20% that remains. Or, follow this SLA guide prepared to cushion you from spending everything.
Network, network, network
Even in the low seasons, remind your clients that you are available, and ask them to refer you to other clients. Networking and good service are crucial in this business. If you are working in your pyjamas and at the convenience of your home all day, something has to give.
Munozovepi Gwata is an ambitious entrepreneur and an aspiring Chartered Financial Analysts and Hedge Fund manager. She is the founder of the Aworks, a conglomerate with subsidiaries Arete’ Tech, Kukura Capital NGO and Kukura Capital Investment Trust.
Her personal mission statement is to inspire people throughout the African continent and to create innovative solutions that will bring upon development, wealth, and success for the continent.
Munozovepi’s goal is to build Awork to the same status and standard of Berkshire Hathaway which she has no doubt that she will accomplish.
Why is financial literacy important and why start an organisation that educates people on the matter?
I believe financial literacy is extremely important just like learning Maths and English. It is the fundamental skill that equips people with the essential ability to effectively save and make money.
Unfortunately, nobody is really taught how to manage their personal finances. Not at one stage in our lives do we come across financial literacy education in the mainstream education system. I find this very alarming and I am a strong advocate that financial literacy should be included in the mainstream curriculum.
The consequence that we have now, is that people are not equipped to manage their personal finances and they do not know how to save or grow their money. Therefore, instead of having the opportunity to pass down wealth to the next generation, they are passing down poverty and debt.
I felt that I could no longer sit on the sideline and watch this continue to happen, this is when I decided to become a part of the solution and build an organization that addresses the problem.
In starting Kukura Capital, did you decide to go solo or have a business partner(s) and why did you decide to go solo/partner up?
In starting Kukura Capital, I decided to go solo. I do have a great team of friends and family that help me and soon we will be adding another 8 new team members to the Kukura Capital team.
When I started Kukura Capital it was only an idea. A lot of people, even though they shared and agreed with my vision, didn’t share my hard work ethic, and because of this, I did not manage to find a full-time business partner.
It still worked out great in the end. I was given a lot of good advice on how to develop the organization, leaned on some great books and to my surprise in such a short time we have managed to pick up and maintain a great momentum. We also have the support from other well established NGO’s and Institutions which is great.
When did you establish Kukura Capital and what has been the biggest lesson you have learnt thus far?
Kukura Capital was established last year in November and it was inspired by my own journey to learn more about the financial industry. In gathering information, I kept thinking to myself there has to be an easier way to learn about financial literacy, and from there Kukura Capital was born.
The biggest lesson I have learnt? I have to say I have learnt so many things, but the biggest lesson is that knowledge is truly power. As an organisation, one of our main goals is to make knowledge about financial literacy easily accessible and to break down the complex concepts of finance and make it simple and easy to understand and apply.
Doing such a simple task has proven to be powerful. When you tell an individual of any age, be it a high school student or a young adult, that if you save this amount of money every month and reinvest it either in the market, or in a business and you can get this x% in return, people’s eyes really light up, and they really do change their spending habits. The things people always say to me is: “Why didn’t anybody tell me earlier? I would have been a millionaire a long time ago.”
What gave you the courage to start your organization? What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of going into business?
Fortunately enough, my past experience in leadership positions and community involvement gave me a lot of confidence to start. Also, having a business and finance background also gave me the confidence to start Kukura Capital.
However, to be honest, I didn’t really think too much about it, I really believed what the organization stood for and went for it. That would be my advice to anyone starting a business. In addition to running Kukura Capital I also run a FinTech business and when I started I had plenty of doubts but I quickly moved away from any negative thoughts and just went for it.
In addition to that, I will advise anyone who wants to start a business to fully commit to their business and make sure that they love what they do, so even when it gets tough they are still driven to keep going and succeed.
You have recently finished a children’s book “The Rich Life of Thabo”, what brought about the decision to write a children’s book on financial literacy and in what format and where will the book be available?
I really love this book and wrote it with my talented friend Charisa Mujuru. I am really excited for this book because it is definitely going to inspire a lot of young kids to be like Thabo.
Thabo is the main character in the book and he lives in a township and one day he decides that he is tired of never having enough pocket money so him and his sister, under the guidance of their grandmother, decide to start a business. The book really discusses the ups and downs of business and also the importance of giving back.
The reason why it is a children’s book, in particular, is for two main reasons. Firstly we want to instill financial literacy skills into children from a very young age so that they can grow up with a broad perspective and understanding about money. The second reason is we also want to help instill a culture of reading in children from a young age.
We plan to have the book in the form of a hard copy and will be focusing on distributing the books to primary schools and through book drives throughout townships in South Africa. We will also have an e-book version available for download on the Kukura Capital website.
You are planning to have accredited online financial literacy, business and entrepreneurship courses. How will these courses be different from those that are already available to the online community? Through which institution(s) do you plan to have your courses accredited?
We are planning to have a financial literacy course available on the website in the near future. Also, we believe ours will be different in the sense that it will be categorized to fit the needs of the three main age groups that we have identified as our target market.
We plan to design an online course that mirrors a game for primary school students to be engaged while learning. For high school students, we will focus on designing a course that bridges between video content and written content. Finally, for our more mature audience, the course is going to cover more advanced and complex aspects of investing.
The objective of the higher level course will be, that once an individual has gone through the course, they will have a strong knowledge and know what are the best saving plans and investment vehicles to achieve their financial goals are.
I think what will make our course stand out the most is that it is written to cater to the South African market, of which most online courses are not. Most online courses recommend retirement packages and other products that are only available to Americans because the course is designed for an American audience.
Ours will be tailor-made for the South African community. We do plan to make sure our courses are accredited, that way people can participate confidently in the online courses and be assured they are getting quality information. We plan to do this through collaboration with established institutions. Right now what we have in mind are some brokers and teaching academies that are already established in South Africa.
What other exciting things can we expect from Kukura Capital?
We have a lot of things in store, as Kukura means “to make grow” as an organization it is our mission to keep growing. For the second half of the year, we are planning to launch a new exciting range of video tutorials covering the different aspects of financial literacy.
In addition to that, we have 5 workshops planned where we will be discussing, Website Design & Creation; Trading and Investing; Entrepreneurship: How To Start and Passive Income; and the final workshop will be about Saving, Budgeting and how to achieve financial success.
Last but not least we have big plans to launch the Kukura Capital App before December with high hopes that it will be able to help people curve the high holiday spending and start smart rewarding investing.
Black Panther or Ghost in a Shell?
I had to Google this question, but I think I will go with Black Panther.
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.
Most young women in their 20s and early 30s dream about quitting their jobs and starting their dream businesses. But if you ask them how they manage their salary, you will be met with “uuumms” and “eeers”. How will you manage your business income, expenses and plans of you can’t manage your salary?
Welcome to feminancial management! As women, we need to stop being controlled by our finances and take charge of it!
Let’s get started with 5 easy tips to begin taking charge of our money.
How many sisters budget their finances? Let’s talk about Achieng. Achieng is 26 years old. She works in a bank and her career is just starting to take off. Achieng lives from hand to mouth waiting for her paycheck at the end of each month. She spends on hair (with the natural hair trending, products are not cheap hehe!), clothes, social hangouts and such like expenses.
Come one week before pay day, she is already broke, with just enough cash to last her till exactly payday.
Does Achieng budget her salary? No.
Does she track her expenditure? No.
Has she allocated some money for investments or savings? No.
Her reason will be she just earns enough for her upkeep. Once she’s promoted or gets a better paying job, she will start saving. Chances are she will not. Actually, no, she won’t save.
What am I saying here in short?
Budget your income.
Distinguish between your “wants” and “needs”. You want that designer bag, you don’t need it!
Budget “Savings” as your first expense in your budget.
Once you budget your finances, you need the discipline to stick to the budget.
Meet our other sister, Fatma. Fatma is a 24 year old entrepreneur. She does online jobs and her income is intermittent. Once she gets paid, what does she do? Remember that nice dress she saw in that shop? She buys it and spends and spends and spends till she is broke and waits for the next gig to come along.
The truth is, budgeting is not difficult, but sticking to the budget is where the rubber meets the road. That’s where discipline comes in.
Track and monitor your expenses on a daily or weekly basis to help you stick to the budget.
Separate your finances as per your budget e.g. if it’s bills, pay them immediately your salary comes in, if it’s savings, put up a standing order to a separate Savings account
Remind yourself of the target, create a board even with pictures of your goal to keep you focused.
Have I told you about Maame? Maame is a 30 year old stay-at-home mum. She recently had her second baby and can’t wait to shed the baby weight. What’s her goal? To shed off 20 Kilograms. What is she doing about it? Nothing!
What gyms or exercising videos has she researched on to start her off? None. Doesn’t that look like most of us making New Year resolutions? It’s definitely me. We make plans in our head about our financial goals but we don’t put in the work needed to reach those goals. After a few months, we’ve forgotten all about it or have a myriad of excuses on why we couldn’t attain our goals.
What can we do about that?
Write down your goals.
Break it down into sub-goals with time frames.
Lastly be realistic about your goals otherwise you will get discouraged along the way and quit.
Meet Bola, a 32 year old doctor. She is a high-flying woman with the world at her feet earning a six figure salary and living the life. What investments has she made since she started working 8 years ago? You guessed right! None!
Why? She doesn’t know where to start in investments. Is it real estate or stocks? She has no clue which direction to take. Most young women know a lot about their field in careers but no zilch about investments. But here is a chance to start somewhere
Find a field of investments that interests you, and research on it. Make Google your friend.
Mentors –talk to someone older, not even necessarily in your field who can guide you and perhaps you can learn from their success and failures.
Keep up to date with current trends. Keeping up with the Kardashians is great but keeping up with news and current trends and innovations will help you a huge deal.
Say hello to Esihle. Esihle is a pretty 23 year old in her first job after university. Esihle now has the “financial independence” she has been waiting for and no longer has to ask her parents for money. So where does she spend her free time?
Social media, just stalking her friend’s timelines seeing what they have been up to, posting photos on Instagram with hundreds of filters and catching up with her friends over drinks after a hectic week of work or just catching up with the latest series or movies.
According to research, the average millennial spends 9 hours a day on social platforms. How many years did she spend in the university learning about let’s say Journalism? About four years. How many hours does she spend learning about something financial related? Well, not enough.
If she took four years to study in University and can afford to spend 9 hours on social platforms, how much more informed can she be if she spent one hour learning about investment opportunities like stocks for example each day?
The point is we become empowered when we are more knowledgeable. We become knowledgeable when read and learn. We can only read and learn when we create time to do it! *Drops mic!
What are you waiting for? Get empowered! Start by using this FREE budget template. Take charge and remind your finances that you own them and they don’t own you!
As an entrepreneur, having the funding and knowledge you need to get your business rolling is one thing, surviving the fierce competition and unpredictable economy is another. But as a true #MotherlandMogul, when the going gets good, you know it’s time to expand.
Now what’s your game plan? Relax, we gon’ show you the way.
Join us on Saturday April 22nd as we discuss the steps to owning and sustaining multiple businesses. We’ll be chatting with Ehime Akindele, CEO of Sweet Kiwi frozen yogurt who founded Your Way Foods and set up three businesses all under age 30.
To survive in this changing world, there are some business rules you need to follow. Ehime left her banking career and decided to start her own business in Nigeria, launching the first frozen yogurt company in the country.
This webinar will teach you everything you need to know about business sustainability and capacity building.
Register below to get the exclusive link to the webinar.
Some of the topics we’ll cover:
Capacity building: The skills and abilities you need to survive in business
What you need to know before expanding your business
6 ways to sustain business growth
5 do’s and don’t for female entrepreneurs looking to expand
Date: Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
Time: 8:00am TX USA // 2:00pm Lagos // 3:00pm Johannesburg
Ehime Eigbe-Akindele is the founder and managing director of Sweet Kiwi Frozen Yogurt. She has a BA (Honors) from London metropolitan university in Business Information Technology and International relations.
She began her career with Amnesty International, then moved to Citigroup in Dallas, Texas and worked in their banking group, before she moved back to Nigeria and founded Sweet Kiwi.
Ehime is a Goldman Sachs 10,000 women scholar, a public speaker and has taken part in several motivational speaking events to inspire youths and not-for-profit organization called ‘Hands in Lagos’ with an objective to foster the spirit of volunteerism in the country.
It doesn’t matter if you’re making a little or baller is your middle name, we all have to deal with important money matters such as investments and personal finance. If you’re climbing the corporate ladder, trying to launch your own business, or managing your family independently, join us on Thursday March 23rd as we discuss personal finance and investment options for young women.
We’ll be chatting with Samke Mhlongo-Ngwenya, one of South Africa’s most recognized personal finance experts who offers one-on-one personal finance consultations through her company TNC Wealth. Samke obtained her expertise in debt management and wealth creation during her 7-year tenure as a private banker, now she engages in corporate speaking, panel moderation, career management and women’s issues as well.
Register below to get the exclusive link to the webinar.
Some of the topics we’ll cover:
What you need to understand about investments
3 financial questions every woman should ask herself
Planning a budget
Top 3 things to look out for when selecting an investment advisor
Identifying your investment goals (safety, income and growth)
Referred to by CNBC Africa as a “personal finance goddess”, Samke Mhlongo-Ngwenya is not just a personal finance expert, but also the youngest board member of State-owned mineral technology research council MINTEK, and founder of The Next Chapter “TNC” (coming soon) – Wealth Partners.
Samke is also a personal finance consultant, corporate speaker, thought leader, media commentator, and financial inclusion advocate.
Armed with an Accounting degree from the University of Cape Town, a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from Wits Business School, and an MBA from the same college completed with a research report titled “Factors contributing to over-indebtedness in black South African females”, Samke aspires to continue developing content that educates, entertains and empowers her audience.
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?
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.
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?
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!!
We’ve all been there. Working a job where your hours are 9-5 but you end up putting in 9-10 to show your commitment. After several months of putting in extra hours, covering for your absent coworker, or simply realizing your value, you’ve decided your wallet deserves some growth.
If you’re on the fence about asking for a salary increase, do a little self evaluation to determine if now is the right time to ask.
1. You’re in good standing with your boss
A couple of weeks ago my friend told me a horror story about someone who asked for a raise. This guy showed up to work late, took excessive time off, and wasn’t even with the company a year! That is a prime example of when not to ask for a raise.
However, if you and your boss are close, why not capitalize on your positive relationship? If you’ve noticed some extra pep in your boss’s step or she’s treating everyone to lunch, this might be a good time to jump on the opportunity and talk money.
2. You’ve done your research
Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon an article while reading through Forbes or LinkedIn —because you stay knowledgeable on workplace trends like any smart professional. If you came across this Forbes article about the fastest growing jobs in America, then you’ve most likely already started calculating the zeroes into your paycheck.
Also, Glassdoor also has a new function that allows you to determine whether you’re being paid sufficiently. So if you feel you’re being under-paid, this will do the work for you and determine how much professionals in your field are making.
3. You just took on a new project that’s above your pay grade
If you’ve been going above and beyond by taking on extra work, exceeding your goals, staying late, or covering for your “sick” coworker, it’s a good time to speak to your boss.
Not only will this highlight your value to the organization, but you’ll also let them know you’re no fool and you want your money.
4. The company is expanding
This means that not only will positions be opening up for promotions, but your company clearly has the budget to pay you more.
If your company is opening a new branch or creating a new department, this is your chance to showcase your skill set.
6. Everyone with your same title is ballin’
I’m not saying to compare yourself to others, but, if your accountant salary leads you to order malt liquor while your fellow accountants are sippin’ on Dom Perignon; it might be negotiation time.
Now that you’ve decided you need that paper, here’s how to successfully ask your boss for a raise:
Nothing compares to information from the source. Talk to people who have successfully been promoted within their companies. This is also a good time to reach out to a professional mentor.
If you don’t have a mentor yet, don’t worry, there’s an app for that! The Grip app gives smartphone users an easy way to network. It’s like Tinder for networking.
Make a list
It’s important to keep track of what you’ve accomplished. After all, they need proof that you deserve to be making more! When my mom (who is a CFO for a non-profit in Los Angeles) asked for a raise at a previous job, she decided to ask after taking on an advanced project. She wrote down her accomplishments from the project and used that to back up her proposal for a raise.
Your accomplishments should be specific and measurable. For example, at my current position I publish our office’s first eNewsletter. If I was proposing a raise, I would say, “I have contributed to the design and production of our office’s first online newsletter.
In the first six months the newsletter was distributed to over 3,000 contacts monthly and maintained an open and click-through rate of 20% and 250% higher than our industry average.”
Going in to sit down with your boss can be anxiety inducing. Therefore, plan out what you’re going to say and give yourself action items so you don’t sound rehearsed and stay on track.
Try saying something like; “I’ve been with this company for X amount of time and have accomplished A, B, and C. Seeing that I have reached these benchmarks I would like to discuss a salary that reflects my accomplishments with this organization.”
Said no one ever…oh wait; that’s actually what renowned Personal Financial Management Guru Bob Lotich says. The first time I read that I laughed myself silly and with good reason. However, the more I read his thoughts the more I understood what he was talking about.
You know that feeling you get when you spend money that you don’t have, to do something that is probably not that important, like buying yourself a new pair of stilettos.
That feeling that lets you know that in a couple of days or weeks you’re going to regret spending your money like that? It will probably come to you when you don’t have cash for fuel a couple of days to payday. Or when you have to borrow money for lunch or fare, or both to take you through the last stretch of the month. That’s when you remember the money you spent on those stilettos and how absolutely unnecessary it was.
Guilt, that’s what that feeling is called and budgeting is how you get rid of that feeling. It’s liberating to know that you are buying a new pair of shoes or a new dress or going out for a drink when you know that you set aside some money specifically for that purpose.
Either you do, or you don’t
Generally, when it comes to budgeting people fall into three broad categories. You either don’t do it at all and you spend as need or want arises. Or, you budget only for the fixed major expenses like mortgage, rent, school fees etc. Or you’ve got budgeting OCD as far as your money is concerned and you have to know exactly how every shilling you have is going to be spent.
I fall in the second category as most people, where any other expense that is not considered major falls under the ‘’miscellaneous’’ box. I have come to learn that my miscellaneous box is where my money disappears to. It’s the hole in my pockets so to speak, every small expenditure planned or unplanned falls here.
Most financial management experts will tell you the first rule of budgeting is to know where your money is going. Now, this is a tedious process and can be far from fun. It’s going to need some discipline, but you can do it.
Know where your money is going
If you have never sat down to look at what your spending looks like on paper you will be shocked at what you discover.
Start by using one or two months —possibly even three for good measure, take note of every shilling spent.
Not only the big stuff but the little stuff as well, every time you buy airtime, every time you buy a bottle of soda for yourself or someone else or any time you have to get something for your children, whether you knew about it in advance or didn’t. This is the cash that slips through the cracks and easily goes without notice.
At weekly intervals sit down to put it all together and see what your spending looks like. This is the first step of budgeting. Once you have this on paper, cluster the expenditure into the major categories: household expenditure, bills, entertainment etc.
This process is important because once you have this picture in your mind, you will know where you’re overspending or you’re likely to overspend. Then, you’ll start making decisions on what needs to be cut off so that what goes out is equal to or less than what comes in.
Knowing how much you spend on an item on a weekly or monthly basis will also help you know when you can take advantage of some great offers when you shop in bulk. Are you ready to give this a go? Have a look at these exciting downloadable budget spreadsheets to get you started. Thank me later.
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Archel Bernard had a vision for a high quality manufacturing facility that could upgrade the production of her fashion company and provide sustainable jobs to women and Ebola survivors in her native Liberia. While she had experience running her business over the past couple of years and a passion for helping her community, what she didn’t have was lots of cash to invest in the brand new factory. That’s when Archel turned to crowdfunding over a two month campaign, raised $65,000 to create the Bombchel Factory.
Archel is going to share the strategy she used to turn her crowdfunding campaign into a project even the Kickstarter team loved by having it on the front page of their site! She’ll share the dos and the don’ts so you can create a crowdfunding campaign that gets you closer to your business goals.
Some of the topics we’ll cover:
The best way to develop a story that will really sell your campaign
How to build early support for your crowdfunding campaign
Creative ways to get media coverage and have people pay attention
How to develop prizes and rewards that won’t have you suffer after the campaign is finished
Archel Bernard is owner of The Bombchel Factory and Mango Rags boutique in Monrovia, Liberia. She moved to the West African country after graduating from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. She now specializes in dreaming up contemporary African womenswear, training disadvantaged women to sew her designs, and helping the women to become self-sufficient.
Archel’s mission in life took a significant turn amid the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia. She saw the devastation in the country she loved; a country still struggling to overcome civil war. Archel decided to open a factory to help the people of her ancestral homeland to rebuild. She named it The Bombchel Factory and herself, the Head Bombchel in Charge.
Bombchel Factory has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, Forbes Women Africa and other major news outlets. She is also a Richard Branson Scholar. Her designs have been worn by actresses in the online drama “An African City” and models in several international magazines. Archel’s successful Kickstarter campaign almost doubled its goal! She is a force. A visionary. A fashionista. But more than anything, Archel is a savvy and relentless business woman, determined to use her business to build lives. She’s come along way from selling dresses in her pick up truck, but there’s still so much more to do!