Money Stories With Feranmi

Money stories with Feranmi

Money stories is a new series we recently started at Zilla, where we talk to Nigerians about their experiences with money and how they manage it.

In this money story article, Feranmi talks about how travelling around Nigeria at a young age influenced his desire to explore the world and people’s cultures. He also talks about his business, rectifying money mistakes and his plans for the future.

Tell us about yourself, please

My name is Feranmi. I love to cook a lot and I hope to get very rich one day, to be able to travel the world and explore different cultures and food. But right now, I work at Flutterwave as an organic growth marketer. This means that I focus on bottom-funnel growth for our retail products. It’s been an interesting ride. On the side, I run a food business called Ni Fries.

Where did you grow up?

Quite an interesting story. My parents are clergies, so I found myself moving around Nigeria a lot. One time I was in Abuja, some other time, I was in Lagos, another time in Port Harcourt. I’ve been to a couple of states, and I like that because it made me appreciate cultures and understand how to relate with people better.

Did you enjoy moving around when you were younger?

Yes, I did! It gave me a vast experience of different cultures and made me appreciate and enjoy food more. It’s also the reason why I can eat anything.

Did you ever get an allowance as a kid? 

There was never an allowance, I only started getting an allowance in secondary school, I don’t exactly remember the amount. I know I used to receive gifts, and I would save like 50 bucks, 100 bucks, or 20 bucks, and the first thing I used my money to buy for myself was a Glo SIM card. I had no phone, so I would steal my mom’s phone from time to time, take out her SIM card, and put mine in. I didn’t get my own phone until my first year in uni in 2011.

Did your parents ever talk to you about money growing up?

We talked about every other thing, but that’s something we never talked about – saving or spending money. I don’t remember us ever having a conversation about that.

Why do you think it didn’t happen?

This is just based on assumption, but I think their backgrounds may have played a role. I don’t think they had the same experience while growing up, so they weren’t intentional about it. I want to be intentional about it with my kids because I have seen how those things can affect a person, particularly with money management.

How would you describe yourself when it comes to money? Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m learning how to save now. I started learning how to save when I joined Cowrywise (I worked at Cowrywise before I started working at Flutterwave). I have always been a big spender. For me, I think it’s more of a case where growing up, I didn’t have certain things and I would tell myself that when I grow up, I’ll have them. It seems like fun, but that mentality can lead to trouble. I have learned that because you have the cash does not mean you can afford something. I found myself spending excessively and got into debt. It has even affected a couple of things surrounding business- not about touching business money for personal needs, but about making spontaneous financial decisions. It’s one thing to know how money should work, it’s another thing to implement it, and I’ve been learning it gradually.

How far ahead do you like to plan financially?

Not very long. But I’m getting older and I need to settle down, so I’m planning for five years now. I really need to travel around the world to try various foods.

How do you manage your money? Do you have any budget that works for you?

I used to have, and I use percentages as opposed to just amounts. I learned from Cowrywise, that as your income increases if you just save using amounts, you may just end up saving 20,000 Naira even if you earn 1 million Naira. With percentages, if your income increases, your savings also increase. I have made some bad money decisions in the past, so I have to clear those burdens and start budgeting afresh.

What are your money dreams or goals?

I’m very interested in research. I studied Economics in school, and even though I wasn’t a serious student then, I fancied the idea of digging into things and understanding how things work, particularly systems and cultures. I’ve always wanted to travel around and have gardens, for instance, let’s imagine I travel to Morocco for about 6 months, and I set up a garden, cook their food and learn about their culture, I would also do the same thing in other countries I visit. That’s my dream.

Do You think you’re on track to achieving those goals?

Not yet, but I’ll be from September 2023.

How did you handle money mistakes you made in the past?

One way I’ve started to handle my money mistakes is by being transparent. I’ve been transparent before, but I would still make mistakes. However, over time, the intensity of the mistakes has reduced. What has helped me is being transparent with people close to me and having them keep me in check. When they notice I’m going in the wrong direction, they try their best to stop me, and it’s been very helpful.

In the past how did you handle it as opposed to how you’re handling it now?

I didn’t handle it at all.

If I gave you 10 million Naira what would you use it for?

Well, I’ll set up stores of Ni Fries- one in the UK. The UK because we have an influx of Nigerians there who want to have a taste of Naija food.

How did you start Ni Fries?

I just like to cook, so I entered a business competition to start a business, and I was given some money. That’s how it started.

What was the last big thing you bought and was it worth it?

I think the last big thing I bought was my AirPods max, and it was worth it and is still worth it because the sound is really good.

Does the current inflation problem affect you? And how much does it affect you?

It’s terrible, I won’t lie. Particularly when you run a food business.

How do you deal with it?

In an ideal setting, when you price your products, we have what is called an inflation gap. So let’s say raw materials are ten Naira, you would cost it at 15 Naira and factor it into your pricing so that if the actual price of the raw material becomes 11, 12, or even 13 Naira, you are not increasing the prices for your customers, and when the prices don’t increase, you can put the inflation savings in an emergency fund.

I would advise that people invest that money so that whenever prices increase, you can take out of the savings and buy materials without having to increase your prices for customers. That’s how it should work ideally. However, Nigeria being Nigeria, you will plan an inflation gap, the next day it will increase. We just need to work with higher margins and buy a lot of things in bulk. The major problem businesses like ours face is access to credit to buy things in bulk so that even if you need to increase your prices it will take a long time.

Note: If you would like to share your money stories with us, send us a DM on Instagram or Twitter. We’ll reach out to you.

If you have any questions, please let us know. You can reach us on 08147198097 or email us at (9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday).

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