Sunday, 27 January 2013

Savings 201: What should I do with my Savings?

If you have read my Savings 101 article, you should remember I told you that a part of all you earn is yours to keep. It could be 10%, 30% or even 50%, you determine how much you can comfortably save.

 If you have not read it I will implore you to do so for you to fully grasp what I am saying. January 2013 will be dedicated to Savings.

 I have a short story to tell you. I have a friend that once saved from January to December many years ago. She did this cooperative society savings. The norm was to save for a year and receive your savings with little interest generated from loans given to people through that year.

 My friend saved N2, 000 (two thousand naira) monthly and ended up collecting around N26, 000 (Twenty six thousand naira) at the end of the year. That was good, she saved. The part I want to dwell on is what she used the money to do.

 After collecting the N26, 000, my friend went shopping! She bought clothes, shoes and accessories and down the drain went the savings for a whole year. This story takes us back to this write up’s title “What should I do with my savings?”

 The savings I asked you toset aside is not money for emergencies, no. It is not money meant for your children’s school fees, not meant for your house rent. It is not meant for medical bills and it is not meant for shopping. It is the money meant for you, money for your retirement, money towards your wealth accumulation.

 We will use a monthly income of N300, 000 as example, you can always slot in your own income value to do the analysis. If let’s say Mr. A earns N300, 000 monthly. Like I advised, he has to pay himself a part of what he earns. Let us assume Mr. A pays himself 10% that makes his savings N30, 000. If Mr. A is a Christian, he pays another 10% as tithe, which is N30, 000. Mr. A as a family man has a wife and children, he feeds them, clothes them, he pays house rent, school fees, medical bills, phone bills and any other bill. Deducting N30, 000 for savings and N30, 000 for tithe, Mr. A is left with N240, 000 to pay every other bill he has to pay including taking care of himself. This is where living below your income comes in.

 I know several times we are tempted to use part of our savings to sort out some needs, if you are dreaming of a future where you don’t have to wait till month end or a future where you don’t have to live on loans, you should never take from your savings. You will see reasons you should not do so.

 The savings I asked you to set aside is what I will call SEED MONEY. Seed money for what? It is for investment, for investing into a business venture that will provide you with the kind of future you envisage for yourself and for your family. This seed money will help you towards wealth accumulation.

Please note the size of your paycheck has little to do with your ability to accumulate wealth. What counts is your ability to regularly save your money and wisely invest what you have saved. It does not matter if you earn N80, 000 or N600, 000 monthly.

 The money you save is meant to be invested in any business venture where it will grow. It could be stocks, real estate or viable businesses. It will help you towards generating passive income. Active income is the one you collect monthly after working for a number of hours as agreed with your employer while passive income is the one you make even while sleeping. You don’t have to be actively present to make such money

 For the business people, you should also learn to save a percentage of your profit from each sale you make. You also need passive income. You need to move from self – employed to business owner.

 So we have established that you need to put aside percentage of what ever money you earn or you are given for investment purpose. You can’t spend all your money and expect to be rich without setting aside some for breeding purpose.

 Saving alone is not enough; you have to learn to invest it. Savings is what you have when you accumulate your cash while investing is what happens when you make the money work for you and thus earn more money. It is imperative you learn how to make your money work for you.

 You have a price to pay. You have to give up some of today’s pleasures and luxuries in exchange for tomorrow’s financial security.

 Look out for more on Savings Series.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Savings 101: A part of all I earn is mine to keep.

I will be dwelling on Savings this January. We all know about savings starting from piggy banks, you remember those days? That was when we were young and we had to save the kobos and the nairas. Those days were the foundation of our saving lessons.

Now we have savings accounts and a lot of other accounts specially designed by banks to help us save.

Do we really practice savings?What we set aside in our savings account, can we really call it savings?

OK, let's start

How much do you earn in a month? Two hundred thousand naira? Four hundred thousand naira? Fifty thousand naira? We need the amount so that you will know the amount to set aside each month.

Have you heard about the "paying yousef first" concept? Yes, paying yourself first. You worked for the money, you earned the salary but most times you end up paying yourself last or not paying yourself at all. You pay the bills, take care of the home, take care of the children and neglect yourself.

Last year 2012, how much did you save? how much were you able to set aside?

If you were to be sacked or retrenched, how long can you last with the amount you have in your bank account?

Are you living from salary to salary? How much have you spent out of the January salary you have not been paid? How many things did you buy on credit?

Now back to paying yourself first, it is the savings I am talking about.

No matter how little the amount you set aside, the amount you save, it should not be leser than 10% of your salary. For instance, if your salary is one hundred and fifty thousand naira, your monthly savings should be at least fifteen thousand naira.

No matter how tight the month is, get used to paying yourself at least 10% of your monthly salary.

That will be a start. Let us do the mathematics, if you do that every month, by end of this year, by December 2013, you should have One hundred and eighty thousand naira set aside as your savings.

You can say it is small but it is a begining, it is better than having nothing.

Who says it has to be 10%? It can be 30%, it depends on you.

New year is always full of resolutions, forget about this yearly ritual resolution thing you do, let's take the practical steps towards success together. Let us cultivate the habit of saving and paying ourselves first.

Also learn to do it with the cash gifts you get. If you are given ten thousand naira, set aside a thousand naira for yourself, let it go in to your savings.

It might be difficult at first but with time you will get used to it.

Follow me in this January series on savings and I bet you that your 2013 will be off to a good start.

If you need to ask me questions on savings, you can send me mail at or

Friday, 23 November 2012

Expand your Horizon, the Toyin Salahdeen Lesson!

Toyin Salahdeen is a big brother I share ideas and thoughts with.

 There was this day we were discussing, I can't remember what exactly, but what I will never forget was him telling me not to limit myself by not spending what I have. He told me to always think of how to make more to accomodate the need I have.

For instance, if I need to buy a car, I should not just restrict myself to buying the tokunbo or second hand, I should also think about what to do to raise money for a brand new one. Such mentality has really helped me. It reeks of motivation, it screams dream bigger. It makes you think deeper and is always an eye opener.

You can also tap into it, always dream big, reach for greater heights and expand your horizon. Dare to leave your comfort zone.


The Rule to taking advice: Code Eye Operation

Advice most times come without even being solicited. Everyone has something to tell you, they have a bettter way of doing the things you do and they are apt to share it with you.

There is nothing wrong in taking advice but always follow this rule, take advice from those who walk the walk not those who talk the talk. Take advice from an expert on the subject and who is also successful at that thing you want to do. Avoid the "tried it and failed" group.
Anyone successful would have failed at several attempts before eventually suceeding, so they know when to encourage you not to quit, they can feel what you are feeling and they understand what you are going through. Let their hindsight become your foresight.

Let me leave you with this thought, would you go for an eye operation performed by a foot surgeon? Would you go for an eye operation performed by an eye surgeon that has never recorded success in all of his operations?

Think about it.

Who is your Role Model?

Reading Robert Shemin's Book titled "How come that idiot's rich and I'm not?", I quote from page 82:

"If you would like to achieve success really quickly - in any field of endeavor- you might consider taking a little short-cut which is known as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) "modelling". To make use of this technique, what you need to do is to first think of someone you know who is already achieving the success you're after. Just try to do that now... see if you can think of someone who fits the bill; someone who is already successful doing the very activity you need to improve. Once you have identified your "model" you need to analyse exactly what it is that person is actually doing to produce the results. Once you know what your model is actually doing, you can work on doing the same things and, by the law of cause and effect, you can also produce the same results. The modelling approach is sometimes referred to as "fake it till you make it" but there is nothing fake about it. You are simply using a scientific approach to the analysis of methods.... Eventually, those new behaviours - the ones that are producing the results - will sink deep into your own personality and you'll change for the better. So ultimately, you'll not need to "fake it" because you'll become the genuine article."

It is not a new thing, you have been asked several times to identify your role model. I want to ask you to only go a step further, critically study your role model and copy what he or she does for a while. I guess the results you see from your efforts will determine if you should continue or not.

All I am asking you to do is to act as if you have made it in that field you wish to play, see yourself doing all the things you admire in your rolemodel/mentor till you eventually get there.

Afterall, if they have become successful, so can you!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Strength in your Weakness

I read the story below somewhere and I have decided to share it with you. Even in our weaknesses, strength lie therein. You never can tell how useful that weakness you feel so bad about can become. Infact it could be your motivation for success.

Don't let me sermonize keep you from reading the story.

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.

"Sensei," the boy finally said, "Shouldn't I be learning more moves?"

"This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament.

Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches.

The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match.

Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out.

He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. "No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue."

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him.

The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion. On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

"Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?" "You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defence for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."

The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

"Sometimes we feel that we have certain weaknesses and we blame god, the circumstances and our self for it but we never know that our weakness can become our strength one day.

Each of us is special and important, so never think you have any weakness, never think of pride or pain, just live your life to its fullest and extract the best out of it!"

- Courtesy: Vicky Nandavar

Friday, 12 October 2012

Fables and Stories Series: 2. The Fish Baking Story

A little girl was watching her mother prepare a fish for dinner. Her mother cut the head and tail off the fish and then placed it into a baking pan. The little girl asked her mother why she cut the head and tail off the fish. Her mother thought for a while and then said, "I've always done it that way - that's how grandma did it."

Not satisfied with the answer, the little girl went to visit her grandma to find out why she cut the head and tail off the fish before baking it.

Grandma thought for a while and replied, "I don't know. My mother always did it that way."

Headless and tailless - I cut off head and tail to make the fish fit in my baking plate
So the little girl and the grandma went to visit great grandma to find ask if she knew the answer.

Great grandma thought for a while and said, “Because my baking pan was too small to fit in the whole fish”.

(Ack M Hamanova)


It is good to challenge some belief systems and assumptions.

It is good to question some activities that have become routine. Even in business and everyday living, why do you always fill that form? Why do you have to do that first? What is the reason behind that taboo?

When you understand the reason and logic behind an activity you can then improve on ways of tackling such.