Money stories is a new series we are starting at Zilla, where we talk to Nigerians about their experiences with money and how they manage it.
We had a discussion with Aderinsola, a 23 year old product designer who used to spend a whole lot of money on clothes, loves enjoyment and is just starting to understand the whole world of finance. Enjoy.
Tell us a bit about yourself, please?
I’m Aderinsola, 23 years old, and a product designer at Eden Life.
Where did you grow up?
Did you get an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it?
The only allowance I remember receiving was when I was in secondary school. Our break time was spent in the tuck shops at school. My parents gave me 100 or 200 Naira as break money, I’m not sure if it was daily or weekly, but I think it was daily.
My options were quite limited with that amount, I could only buy one meat pie and one sausage roll, and wouldn’t be able to afford a drink. I never really saved the money. The only time I think I saved was when I wanted to get these really nice cookies that were sold. Sometimes, I would end up borrowing money from a friend to be able to buy more stuff at break and return it later. Or I would skip break times so that I would have more money for the next week.
Did your family discuss money growing up?
I don’t remember much but I don’t think they did. During my late teen years, my dad told me about getting stocks and shares in companies, but he never really explained it to me; I think he expected me to do some research. I did, but I did not understand half of what I read.
One time, though, he gave me a book called “The Richest Man in Babylon” (which I still haven’t finished), but there’s this one tip that stood out to me that I have started implementing. It was about saving a percentage of your earnings. The book helped me try to get in the habit of saving money. I say try because I started and failed.
You said you barely saved in high school. How would you describe yourself now- a spender or a saver?
Can I be both?
In 2020, when I got my first job, I was earning pretty well considering what I’ve heard people earn at their first jobs. I was saving based on the tip I got from that book about saving a percentage, but because I was also spending a lot of money without restraint (mostly on clothes that I didn’t need), I ended up constantly dipping into my savings. That happened for the longest time up until about the middle of last year.
Fast forward to now, while I definitely still spend (because I prioritize my enjoyment), I’ve put structures in place so I don’t touch my savings unless something comes up that requires me to. So, yeah, I’m kind of both a spender and a saver.
How far ahead do you like to plan financially?
I don’t think I plan far ahead, because finances are still something I’m trying to understand. For instance, for the longest time, I just save because I read in a book that I was supposed to save. I had no specific reason for saving. At some point, I tried talking to experts in the financial space to understand how exactly saving was meant to work. Since then, I’ve managed to work around these questions I have.
The only planning I currently do is towards travel. I want to be able to travel and have more fun because omo this life is stressful. I save a percentage of my earnings, no matter how little, every month into a plan in Risevest.
It helps when I have trips planned because then I don’t need to worry too much about finding a lot of money to afford the trip. For instance, I’m going on a trip with my friends soon, and while my Travel savings don’t cover the entire budget, what I’ve saved so far will definitely come in handy.
I’m also saving towards getting a place of my own, but I currently prioritize traveling over it
How do you manage your money? Do you have a budget that works for you?
Cowrywise introduced me to the 50/20/30 budgeting rule in the middle of 2020, and since I generally need structure to do certain things, following this rule diligently prevented me from having money that’s just lying around.
I categorize all my money into specific buckets to help me manage how I spend them. So I have a bucket for transport, a bucket for food, a bucket for data, a bucket for “chopping life”, a bucket for friends and family, and so on. This helps me know what my money is for at all times.
I used to have a shopping budget but I’ve scrapped that (for now) because I’ve spent too much on clothes and have way too many clothes that I haven’t even worn. Clothes are honestly what used to finish my money, thanks to Instagram.
Have you ever made a big money mistake in the past?
I’m not going to lie, I regret all the money I spent on clothes. I don’t exactly regret getting clothes. I don’t know if this is a money regret per se, but I think my regret is not being more deliberate about the kind of clothes I got. I didn’t consider whether I would actually wear these clothes or where I would wear them to. I just got them so I ended up with a lot of clothes I didn’t end up wearing.
Nothing else comes to mind, I don’t think I have made a really bad money mistake, and I hope I can keep it that way.
Have you considered getting thrifted clothes?
It was thrifting that was the issue before, I used to follow all the thrifts on Instagram and Twitter.
And you know how you have to stay on their pages when they post because it’s usually one item per clothing right? I was even more devoted to their pages because not only did I have a hard time finding clothes in my size, but I also had a hard time finding stuff I would like to wear. So I’d stay focused on their page because I felt that if I missed out on certain items, I may not find them again.
I had to unfollow them at some point, it was that bad.
What are your money dreams or goals in life?
I don’t have any active goals yet, but I dream of having enough money that I can do anything I want without having to think twice. I’m not entirely interested in being a billionaire, but if I end up as one, that’s fine too.
I just want to have enough money to support my friends whenever they need it, contribute to projects that are close to my heart, travel without saving for months, spend money on the people I love, and buy lots of cute clothes.
Would you say you’re on track to achieving these dreams?
I can’t really say yet, to be honest. If it’s based on my current reality, I’d say no, mostly because I’m not putting in the work to achieve them yet. I’m half putting in the work and half just waiting certain things out. The first step to achieving them though will be to earn a lot more.
If I gave you 10 million Naira right now, what would you do?
I’ll most likely save most of it in Risevest. Then I’ll send money to my friends and family. Asides from that, I don’t think there’s anything I need right now.
Although now that I think about it, I’ll definitely get a place and furnish it. But the rest will be saved in Risevest. And if I ever see something I like, I could just get it.
What was the last big thing you bought? Do you think it was worth it?
The last big thing I got was either my phone or the iPad I got for my mom. I don’t regret getting them. While I didn’t need a new phone badly, it has its advantages and I’m glad I bought it. My mom needed a new iPad too, and I’m happy I was able to get one for her.
Does the current inflation affect you?
I think I’m cushioned. I have been cushioned from a lot of things my entire life, so I don’t know how several things work, especially the economy. Prices are rising, and somehow I’m not too bothered. I feel weird saying that. It’s not because I’m comfortable enough to afford anything I want at whatever price, but it’s more like that’s how life is and there’s not much I can do about it.
I think the major reason I’m cushioned is that I stay with family, so I don’t have to worry about certain things like buying food or fuel or any of the other things that affect other people.
All I do is stay at home, go out and have fun whenever. The only hike in price that affects me really is when I want to buy Berry Blast or pay for Bolt.
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