The Smart Money Woman is a story of Zuri, a gifted woman working in the investment sector going through times of financial hardship because she was unable to plan her budget and balance her spending.
Personally, I am very selective with books but my friend made me read this one by all means. I had my bias for Nigerian books, especially one on personal finance.
Such a great book, I must say. The lessons are very clear and easy to understand, it’s basically about upper-middle class women in Nigeria who splurge constantly on luxury. Even the most financially literate should read this easy guide to personal finance, if only as a gentle reminder.
The Smart Money Woman aims to offer women from Nigeria inspiration and support in pursuing and managing their financial dreams. The author Arese Ugwu, is the owner of the website, Smart Money Africa.
The book talks about women with bad debt habits who typically go into debt buying things their income cannot support, for instance, items that don’t appreciate in value and most likely can’t cover the cost of the debt over time.
At the end of each chapter, there are some short financial advises for women and a few exercises to understand their starting point and create a road map and action plans to get to their desired financial goal that will help women track their expenses, think about the right savings and investments.
The book helps women to create a plan for emergencies – around 9 months that can be covered in terms of rent and main necessities, in case of unemployment – setting financial goals for the year, put your money at work, by buying portfolios and investing in land or real estate.
It’s an interesting tale of 4 friends who have been “keeping up with the Joneses” with no clear strategy on how to maintain their lifestyles, set aside emergency funds and trim the excesses.
Some are just hunting for a rich husband, some are the real breadwinner but not officially acknowledged so, by fear of not affecting the social status of the man. Some are just advised to downplay their achievements in order to be more attractive.
The story of Zuri is relatable as many single women get obsessed with turning up at the most expensive weddings/ parties to have their pictures in tabloids/ celebrity magazines and blogs but are neck-deep in debt and hoping for their Knight in shining armour to rescue them.
The book breaks down the fundamentals of living a financially upward life. It is a thought-provoking book about personal finances, having clear goals (financial and otherwise) as well as recognising personal skills and knowing how to apply them.
Over all it’s a really good read. Of course, my favourite part of the story was Zuri and Tsola’s relationship, how he helped her achieve financial freedom and their vacation.
The usual expectation from some women (I’m one of them) would’ve been that when she met Tsola while she was broke, he would have easily given her money to sort it all out (her debts) of which she’ll probably end up broke. Instead Tsola advised her on how and what she needed to do to get back on her feet.
The book makes you take a long, hard look at your financial life. In the social media age where everyone is obsessed with looking successful rather than actually being successful, it is time to put the changes into action.
‘The most successful people are the ones who are able to articulate what they want for their lives. Success is deeply rooted in having a solid plan that is tailored to what you want’. A must read for every woman