To be economical with the statistics, more than 60% of couples in Nigeria start their marriage with debts. In fact, some of them pay these debts for years into the marriage and some are still paying today. What I’m about to share with you are tested and proven ways you can start your family debt free and have a debt free marriage.
So I heard you found the man or woman of your dreams and you’re engaged. Congratulations! Now it’s time to plan the wedding. Your destination is Dubai, right? Hehehehe! The Lord is good. It’s a noble thing to celebrate your wedding with friends and family but doing it at the expense of the financial stability of your family doesn’t worth it. But if you have the means, common let’s paint the town red.
Three years ago when I wanted to get married. When I went to tell my uncle and he quoted this scripture for me. “Seek ye first the kingdom of cash and all other things will be added”. Then he asked, do you have the funds to venture into marriage now? I smiled and said yes! Long story short, I got married to my lovely wife and life has been good.
Guess what I did not take any loan from anyone. A few family members sent in gifts and volunteered to do a few things but that was it. I bore the financial consequences. And I can tell you for a fact that the peace and stability with which you start your family matters.
I know couples who started fighting the following week they got married because of money. I’ve heard and I’m sure you would have heard of couples whose marriage didn’t last one year because of ‘money palava’.
The truth is MONEY is a crucial part of marriage and can’t be overlooked.
Are you about getting married but don’t know how to fund it? Here’s how you can do it. –
1. Set a Budget: This is the very first step towards achieving a debt-free wedding ceremony. Sit with your wife/husband to be and agree on the budget. Inquire about the must-do activities and plan them first. In my case, I had my budget in MS Excel and stuck with it dearly. Once you’ve settled the must do’s go to the optional ones. It’s not compulsory to cook all the types of food you have in your village to get married.
2. Pre-sell yourself to your In-laws: Before the marriage talks begin, you have to sell yourself as a SON, not their daughter’s husband. As a man, you’ve got to know how to negotiate and sell rightly to be successful in marriage.
Never put up the wrong impression about yourself to your in-laws before the marriage. While selling yourself, get to know who calls the shots and establish a good rapport with him or her. Is it the dad, mum or uncle that wants to show you pepper?
Know this person beforehand and find their weak spot, who the person listens to or fears. If the man likes to drink, never go to his house without a bottle of his favourite drink. Be his friend and pamper the family before the marriage talks begin.
3. Negotiate Everything: Now that discussion about what is required has started, it’s a good time to show your skills by reducing the list of requirements your in-laws may have imposed on you.
Don’t show off your small money. Tell them you can’t do all except for the “Must Do’s”. There are several ways to do this, but firstly accept the list and go home, cross-check with your budget and sit your spouse to be down to discuss it. Then agree on what you can afford. You can now go back and negotiate. This is where all the good seeds you’ve sown should produce some results.
Sometimes you may do the negotiation yourself or send your spouse to be or even an elderly member of your family. Let her go and cry for her parents, tell them you have big plans for her and the entire family so they should not eat all at once. Sweet talk them till you get a rebate.
4. Save Ahead: I advise you start saving for the marriage project at least 2 years before the time. If you have a budget of 1M for instance, and you save 50k per month, in 20 months, your total marriage bill is covered. See there’s no magic, you’ve got to be very intentional about this.
Saving in instalments for each project helps you have financial ease. What if you save four years ahead? For a budget of 1M, you’ll only need to save N20,833.33 per month. This is the smartest thing to do whether you have fiance/fiancee now or not.
If you start saving for your marriage ceremony today, you will be able to win arguments of “buy me a shoe or human hair” faster. You will also avoid wasteful spending and best of all you will be able to afford your own wedding.
It is a thing of pride to be able to afford your own wedding. And have the donations and support from friends and family as spare funds.
This is getting too long and so I’ll end this first part here, watch for the second part… But in the meantime, lemme know your thoughts in the comment section.
Don’t forget to get a copy of Money Bliss Book where I shared how to save effectively and enjoy the now while securing the future.
Till I come your way again,
I’m Robor Bliss, a financial Strategist. I help individuals plan their Finances to enjoy today and have a secured tomorrow.
Watch out for the concluding part.
ARE YOU EATING YOUR TOMORROW TODAY?
Last week, I talked about financial planning. Today I want to ask you a simple question. CAN YOUR FUTURE AFFORD YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL LIFESTYLE?
This is a story of Ade my friend. He is a young man with big dreams. He got a high-paying job almost immediately after he graduated from the university. He was earning a good salary and living in a big apartment which cost 30% of his annual salary. His car was awesome, he spent another 15% of his salary on fuel and the rest was spent on the upkeep of his family.
Two years later, he lost his job and all attempts to get another job didn’t yield positive results.
With nothing to fall back on, he sold his car three months later at a ridiculous price and had to withdraw his children from the expensive school they attended.
Life is not fair you may think, but this has happened to a lot of people so much like Ade; over and over again. The problem is we don’t learn from other people’s experiences until we get the same results.
Now let me ask you again; CAN YOUR FUTURE AFFORD YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL LIFESTYLE?
I once asked a young man I counseled this simple question; Why have you not been saving? He responded thus.
Sir, you know I have to feed my family, pay rent, fuel my car and on and on he continued. I smiled and asked him to write out the exact amount he spends on each of the things he listed and he did. After that, I discovered that his car alone consumed 35% of his monthly salary. I will not go into all the other details but I told him to sell the car without thinking twice and buy a smaller one.
He was shocked. How can I sell my SUV? What will people say? That car is so comfortable, it makes my life easy he continued. I smiled and said, I agree that the car is good but it’s a big liability to you. It’s taking too much and not bringing anything back. If you can monetize the image it gives you then it’s okay.
Ladies and gentlemen, some of us have lived a financial lifestyle that our future can’t afford. That you can afford something now does not mean you should buy it. If you’ve lived a lifestyle of spending all you earn, it is time to #GetSmarterWithMoney. Shed all the excess weight off and channel your finances to more productive and profitable ventures so as to secure your tomorrow.
I’m not saying you should not live a good life but all I want you to answer is; Can your future afford it?
Why live large now at the expense of tomorrow. Do you not know that your income should be divided into 3 major parts? If you don’t know, look for the post with #GetSmarterWithMoney where I talked about the S.I.E Trinity (Save, Invest, Expend).
I just want you to learn from the mistakes Ade made. Bring your cost to the barest minimum and invest the rest for a secured future.
Don’t be afraid of what people will say. Sell off your liabilities and or turn them into investments. Your fancy car can do Uber too. That your expensive shore collections can be sold on OLX and the funds used to buy bitcoin. The list goes on and on.
The bottom line is, do not eat your future today because it is sweet, the taste will be so bitter tomorrow.
Till I come your way again,
iAM Robor Bliss, Owisi
Founder, Getting Smarter With Money
How to Plan your Finances like a Date!
I didn’t know how to woo a girl when I was in school but somehow, I met this pretty girl with some challenges. I helped her through them, encouraged her and provided a shoulder to lean on. And soon we were in love or should I say we were infatuated?
Anyways, we shared some good feelings towards each other and I started feeling and acting like her boyfriend. I cared for her like the younger sister I never had.
So I planned a surprise treat to take her out to an eatery and show her I’m the right one. It was one of the best new eateries in the heart of Ebeano Estate, Coal City but I could not afford two good meals. Even after saving for a month, but Robor doesn’t give up.
Gosh, I was out to impress and make her feel good. I planned this event for close to a month, saving and planning. I remember some of my biggest fears were, will she let me love her? What if she doesn’t agree to go out with me? I was scared but I took the step. Asked her to lunch and she accepted.
I wore my best shirt, and we embarked on the August trip to wonderland. It was magical. That was the first time I asked a lady out, a beautiful one at that.
We arrived and I asked, what will you like to have? She was shy or she wanted me to choose for her so she said ANYTHING. Well, thank God she did cause I had planned my expenses. I immediately suggested my plan and she accepted.
Like a big boy, I bought the plate of fried rice, big chicken and coleslaw by the side with a bottle of Coca-Cola to step it down. I took it with so much pride and delivered to her where she was majestically seated. Guess what, I only bought meat pie and a bottle of Sprite for myself.
We were eating and it was her turn to impress. She took the knife and fork and started eating slowly, I was just smiling and rehearsing my speech.
Now here is what got me angry, she ate the rice and was battling with the chicken because she was trying to cut it with the knife and fork and she wasn’t getting it. She gave up on it cause she didn’t want to embarrass me or herself. She then took the small part she could and left the main meat. I was flabbergasted! How could you waste my Hard Saved money like that while I’m having just pie. I didn’t tell her though but murmured in my mind. I asked nicely, are you sure you’re okay, she said yes.
So I asked the waiter for a bowl of water and washed my hands. I did Justice to the meat and at intervals, gave her some pieces.
Financial Planning Lessons from this Story!
The rest is history. We only dated for a few semesters before another dude took her away.
I told you this story to share with you how valuable PLANNING is. In this case FINANCIAL PLANNING. I had to plan with the resources I have to fulfil my goal. I deprived myself of some things to save up for one single date.
Let me ask you. What are you planning for? Know that nothing just happens. Often times we live our lives as it comes, one day at a time but we forget that things will not always be same. You won’t always have this strength.
What are your #FINANCIALPLANS for TODAY, TOMORROW, next MONTH/YEAR or the next 5 YEARS?
2017 is almost over. Have you started planning what you want to do in 2018?
Hey, I’m not talking about new year resolutions. I’m talking about GOALS and More importantly, #FINANCIALGOALS.
How much do you want to earn, save, invest and spend in 2018?
Once you start with how much you want to earn or save in 2018, you will get an idea of the rest.
In 2017, some of us lived our lives to impress like my girlfriend. You ate with fork and knife when you didn’t know how thereby not maximizing your meat. Don’t let 2018 be like that.
Instead, learn how to do it or jejely wash your hands and devour all 2018 has for you. If you don’t get my rhetorics, lemme explain a little. Don’t fake it, LEARN it.
Don’t be ashamed to ask questions. If someone is getting results you want, ask them. Don’t be PROUD and EMPTY.
Plan your 2018 Finances starting today. Start asking how you can increase your net worth and like my humble self in the story save for your projects. Deprive yourself of some immediate enjoyment for the good of tomorrow.
I want you to take 2018 as a dating project with this fine babe like my wife or this pink lips handsome guy like John Obidi that you can’t wait to meet. Remember you’re going to foot the bills, so start planning and saving for it. I hope I make sense? If yes, start now with your financial planning for 2018.
You know I value you right?
Yes! I do. #iValueYou
Till I come your way again,
iAM Robor Bliss, Owisi
I was looking for a quote on Saving Money when I came across this one by Benjamin Franklin.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”
I paused and pondered on it for a while before deciding to write a post about it. I quickly recalled how one small mosquito was singing unpleasant melodies in my ears the night before therefore causing me to lose sleep. If one tiny mosquito can spoil my whole night? Think about the harm those small expenses do your financial life.
You see, we’ve been told that little drops of water make an ocean and that is very valid but we only remember this when talking about the positive things like saving, patience et al. How about little drops of spendings make huge expenses?
How often do you take account of the little expenses that leave our pockets every single day?
They look insignificant but at the end of the day, make up such huge expenses that sink can your finance ship.
When I was growing up, my mum used to tell me not to buy perfumes. I told her I needed to smell good and she replied, who says you’re smelling bad? She told me, Robor, it’s not time yet. Use the small money we manage to give you on better things that will give you value. I remember how she will frown when she sees me buy something she perceives is not of great value. She always wanted me to spend rightly.
You may say she was right or wrong but I never forget that day. It was like a microchip that filters expenses was installed in my brain. I started to filter the valuable expenses from the not so valuable and the ones can wait till later. Today, I now understand she was teaching me delayed gratification.
See, it is not everything you can afford that you should buy else you sink your finance ship. I know people who cannot do without a bottle of drink a day. An average soft drink is now N100 and beer N170. If you consume one bottle a day for one month, that will total N3,000 or N5,100 and at the end of the year, you would have spent N36,000 on soft drinks or N61,500 on beer.
Now pause and think for a minute, do you know that if you invested the same amount in bitcoin, it will appreciate in value? How about buying some bags of cement for your mum to build her house or supporting someone who needs to pay school fees.
The most painful part is seeing people spend on things that are dangerous to their health. How on earth will a man be losing money and plotting his death at the same time? Tragic! Very Tragic.
Again I say, Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
I’m not by chance saying you should not look or smell good or have your favourite drink but exercise moderation in your spending and if you can, do away with some of them. Make those your regular expenses that don’t add much value to your life periodic and make the value driven expenditures more regular.
Once upon a time, I used to buy Suya every night on my way from work. My wife and I will devour the roasted meat over a movie but stopped after the day I calculated how much I was spending every week. Guess what we’ve been told red meat ain’t good for our health. But I only realized it when I felt how much was leaving my purse. I now only buy that when there’s a long longing.
When was the last time you bought a book and read it apart from when you were in school? What personal development course(s) have you taken lately? What trip have you made to spend time with people that add value to your life?
It’s not every time you should go shopping for your stomach. I dare you, go shopping for your mental development. Take a course, see a consultant for those ideas.
But how can you know those little expenses if you don’t keep track of your spendings?
You can start by getting my free petty-cash manager, an excel sheet that helps you record your daily expenses and track every single kobo that leaves your purse.
Bottom line, do not spend all your income on things that have little or no lasting value; block all the leakages you have right now before they sink your finance ship.
Founder, Getting Smarter With Money
I can’t remember where I was going but fate or God had sent me on an errand to save this lady from being devoured by a lion who had no regard for civility or candor.
It was dark, must have been a few minutes to 8pm in Lomalinda avenue, at the outskirts of the coal City. Yes it was lonely but my mission was more important.
As I walked down the lonely road in the dark sparsely illuminated by headlamps of few vehicles, I heard a distress voice of a lady who was about to be raped by a young man. She screamed with all she’d got and I responded. I ran towards her direction in a darker street off the main road.
My gosh, I had no idea what to expect but I responded anyways.
Lo and behold this guy was about to rape her. So I ran towards him with my bare hands shouted like a grown man and luckily he left her and ran away.
Quickly I helped her up, serched for her purse and phone, hurried her up and left the scene less he reinforce and return.
I helped her to safety, she boarded a bus and I went my own way too.
What if the boy had a weapon? I could have been killed for trying to sabotage his evil plans but my passion for Justice superseded my fear of the unknown.
I didn’t know the lady and have not seen her since that day, more than a decade already but I saved her from being a victim of such evil. She may be my friend on Facebook or my friends’ friend or even wife today. We may have met somewhere else but can’t even recognize her if she’s standing in front of me.
What if I didn’t respond to her distress call? She may have just become one of the numerous victims of rape in our society with a scar.
See, there are people in or on their way to distress today who we need to help with our voice, skills, strength and other resources.
What if you hold back? Someone will suffer.
I have dedicated myself to sharing my skills teaching about money one of the key things that make us alla smile or cry. The lack of it can make men do terrible things so we must know how to keep the little we have and use it to make more.
If you don’t have a financial plan for your life, business and family, you will spend all you earn. And spending all you earn is one sure, recipe for poverty.
Every income you get should be divided into three main parts. Savings, Investment and Expenditure (The SIE Trinity) following this exact order. You can use any percentage you that is convenient for you but it’s recommended that you keep you cost lower. The minimum I’ll recommend for S.I.E is 20, 10, 70 or 20, 20, 60. If you’re up to it, you can do 20, 30, 50.
This means for every 100k you earn, 20k should go into savings, 10k to Investment and 60k for all your expenses.
Do you know that some if not most poor people today once had enough money to perpetuate wealth? Infact some were very rich but now they’re barely surviving. What happened? Expenditures were given priority while savings and investment were not rightly done.
So today, I take that risk to tell you Don’t be like those… #GetSmarterWithMoney.
You could be the parent of my daughter’s partner, investor or student. Or even a parent of the president in coming generations.
Save Invest before you Expend.
Founder, Getting Smarter With Money
Did you know that money has wings? It flies but never dies, one will almost say it’s a spirit.
I’ve heard people say all sorts about money but you already know that I love to talk about it. My only problem is that it flies too much.
Growing up, the very day my dad or mom receives their salary is the day it finishes. I used to wonder why but now that I’m a parent, I found my answers.
In fact money is like a witch. How else can you explain how needs come up as soon as small money enters your hand? It’s like your bank alert sends some signal to all those needs or how does it happen?
That is how it is, has always been and will continue to be. Even in economics we were told needs always rise to meet you income. So even when your income increases the things you spend money on also do.
Now that we know the flying capabilities of money, how can we ensure it doesn’t fly away like the two little black birds sitting on the wall?
Here are a few things that can help you retain your money and send it only to where you intend it to go.
1. Know where your money is going.
Do you balance your account every month? Do you know the exact amount you spend on transportation, feeding, drinking, friends/family, cable, airtime and the rest?
If you want to keep your money and prosper, know exactly how much you spend every month. This helps with your financial planning and you know without proper planning, you may fail. So have an account monitor for your home or office. Credit your Expense account AKA Petty Cash so you can track where your money flies to each day.
2. Delay Spending
I’ve worked with different teams, stayed with family and friends and studied how they spend. The average income earner starts spending as soon as the money comes in. When this happens, you’re bound to misspend.
Allow your money to cool off for at least 48hrs before you start spending. This gives you time to filter important and non important expenditures.
It is advised to plan for your money before it comes but if you didn’t, allow it to cool off in the account before sending it on errands after you have planned for it.
3. Plan your expenditures before your income.
This is the king of the jungle. You need to prepare a budget for the week, month, year and the next 5years. This helps you channel your income to the right places.
Don’t you know a friend or family member whom you ask for money and tells you they don’t have yet they buy a car the next week or move to their own house?
Lemme tell you how that happened, the person truly may not have had money when you asked but had planned a lot earlier for that day.
People who plan ahead achieve much more than people that don’t. Some of our parents with there small income were able to build houses, buy cars and do some meaningful projects which some of us who are earning much more are not able to do till now.
Don’t get me wrong, I know inflation has made our money worth less than it was in those days but we can’t take away the plans some of our parents hard way back.
Gosh this is getting too long, I’ll continue on this next week but lemme ask you this…
If you continue your current financial lifestyle, what will you leave for your children; assets, nothing or liabilities?
I’ll give the first 50 people that comments *#GetSmarterWithMoney* FREE of charge, my petty cash planner that helps you plan and keep track of your finances monthly.
Financial Strategist, Web Developer,
CEO Ultra-Pace Solutions LTD.
Till next time,