No matter your social class, being able to manage your personal finance is important.  Money is a key resource in our world today,  opening up opportunities for people and supporting them in achieving their dreams.

In this article, we will address three areas of personal finance:

  1. Saving

  2. Budgeting

  3.  Portfolio management

Why You Need To Save

Saving can be a way to plan for major obligatory expenses like rent and school fees.  That way, you are not worried when the payments are approaching or due.

Even if you earn a lot of money, living paycheck to paycheck puts you in a risky situation because you are not planning for unforeseen circumstances. For example, a health emergency, a car problem or any other type of emergency for that matter. It’s about being realistic because we can’t always predict accurately what happens in life. I also think that it’s a strategic and long term mindset to put monetary commitments to your future goals. For example, you can save to pursue further studies or to buy a house.

Beyond just saving money, however,  you could earn some passive income from investing in various financial instruments.

What If I Don’t Earn Enough

No matter how much you earn, you should still save.  Find a ratio that works for you,  even if it’s 5 per cent of your earnings. Because saving is a goal-oriented approach, after some time you start looking for ways to increase your reserves by spending less or trying to earn more. Some people believe that if you don’t earn a lot, your savings should be towards improving your skillset.  . In my opinion, this is the right approach because it invariably positions you to earn more.

If the goal is financial security or freedom, then your savings need to be sizeable.

Start Saving Early

Financial experts have long stressed the importance of starting early when it comes to saving and investment. The longer you stay in the culture of saving and compounding your gains, the more your money grows.  Don’t start tomorrow. Start now.

Budget

The first step to grasping your personal finance is budgeting. Shortly after you receive your salary, you should draw up a budget. Many financial experts use the 50/30/20 rule. That is, 50% of your income should go into meeting lifestyle needs while 30% should be for meeting wants and personal pleasures while you save 20%. However, I prefer a more frugal approach.  You should aim to save 50% of your earnings, and maintain your lifestyle with the rest. Anyway, if all you can save is 20 per cent, it’s OK.

The key point is actually saving before spending. Don’t spend first and then save what’s left after spending.

Maintaining an Investment Portfolio

Your investment profile will depend on your age, goals and appetite for risk. I stick to a ratio of 60 to 40. 60% of my earnings are saved in a money market fund. The returns are small and the charges are somewhat high, but it’s a low-risk investment. The remaining 40 per cent is invested across several fintech instruments spanning agriculture, real estate and stocks.

Here are a few pointers for managing an investment portfolio.

Diversify your investments

You’ve heard this saying so many times; “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Spread your funds across real estate, agriculture, and stocks. Always remember that no matter how well you can predict market performance, you are still guessing. So err on the side of caution.

Embrace traditional institutions and Fintech

The fintech space in Nigeria is still arguably green. There are so many opportunities for crowdfunded investments across the various sectors of the economy. However, you should be very cautious of fintech companies so you don’t fall prey like so many of us have. Follow this Nairaland thread where contributors share their experiences dealing with various agro fintech companies.

Invest in assets you understand

Understand the value offering in the business you are investing in.  Beyond that, however, having a good understanding of what you are investing in means you can interpret how market forces/ business environment affects your investments.

Minimize cost, expenses and fees:

You have to look out for additional fees or charges on your investments.  Traditional fund managers charge relatively high management fees. And other charges and taxes apply to your funds. This becomes another reason to diversify your portfolio across various investment types.  At the moment, crowdfunding fintech companies offer higher ROIs compared to banks or other fund managers and lower management fees.

lastly, Rebalance your portfolio often.

That is, from time to time, redistribute your funds to maintain your risk ratio.

 


Olutobi

My superpower is creative engagement; whether working as regulatory affairs professional at a pharmaceutical company or as a fashion art director. Malcolm Gladwell calls people like me, "connectors".

I try to read at least a book a month, I have a green thumb (not literally) and my favourite quote ever is " remember to play after every storm".

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