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.
In this money story article, Daniel talks about how an increase in his income influenced his spending habits, and how intentional he is about savings these days.
Tell us a bit about yourself, please.
My name is Daniel Abayomi, but I’m popularly known as PixelDahn on twitter. When I am not designing, I am either spending quality time with my loved ones, watching NBA or sleeping.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. That’s actually my state of origin as well.
Did you get an allowance as a kid?
Yes, I did. Growing up, we had money for a while. I remember my mom/dad would give me money for daily allowance that would last for two days.
Did your family discuss money growing up?
Not really. At least, not formally. I don’t remember having any conversation with anyone from the family about money.
What do you do for work?
I am a Product designer, currently at Meta.
How would you describe yourself generally: a spender or a saver?
I have always been responsible with money. Thinking back, there was a time when I was more of a spender. It was around the time when my earnings started to increase. I noticed I developed a taste for expensive items, and I became more generous than before. Right now, I am more intentional about how I spend and I have a solid savings strategy that I am actually following but I end up bending the wheels sometimes, you know what they say “chop life, make life no chop you”.
How far ahead do you like to plan financially?
When it comes to long-term financial investments, I already have some in place. I’m now thinking about short-term investments that will pay off in 6 months to a year. Balance is key. I think at the moment, my main focus is understanding my spending patterns and having more visibility into where my money is going.
How do you manage your money, do you have a budget that works for you?
I am developing a more robust budgeting habit. Like I said earlier, I need more visibility into where my money is going. I only make plans for money that I have with me, not expected funds. I have a list of what I spend on and I also create an excess buffer for unexpected expenses.
How did you handle a big money mistake in the past, and how do you handle them now?
To be fair, I’ve not really had any major regrets with money. I’ve always been critical about my decisions with money. I am still working on how to make smarter money decisions.
What are your money dreams or goals in life? Are you on track to achieving them?
I want to have enough to live a sufficient and fulfilling life. So, I want a soft life, but I’m also very content with what I have too. I understand that things take time sometimes, hence I strive for a balanced mix of patience and ambition. I’ve seen people mystify money a lot. I like to have money conversations with people; it’s enlightening.
If I gave you 10 million naira right now, what would you do?
I might just use it for traveling. I’ve developed a new love for exploring new places.
What was the last big thing you bought? Do you think it was worth it?
I didn’t buy it but I did spend quite a lot on housing recently. The question that I asked myself before making the payment was “how much more do I have to spend for my convenience?”, and I took it. I think it was worth it.
Does the current inflation affect you? And how do you deal with it?
Yes, it’s affecting everyone. Prices of things have skyrocketed. My cost of living has tremendously increased too. It’s really difficult out there and I’m hoping for the best. I keep most of my money in FX, that’s the only way to ride against the inflation especially because the naira keeps dipping. It’s quite harder to invest these days. Nothing is promised, so I’m putting more energy into savings.
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