Our #WCW today is a young woman who is passionate about money matters . Bola is a certified financial educator and money coach, and her major goal is to help women take charge of their finances and have control over of the life they want to live. Bola is based in the US and the information she shares is relevant to women all over the world. Read on as she talks about how her romance with money began …
Please tell us a little about what you do ?
I am a money coach, business strategist and founder of CleverGirlFinance, a platform that empowers and educates women to make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves. CleverGirlFinance inspires women to pursue their dreams of financial independence in order to live life on their own terms.
What inspired you to start CleverGirlFinance?
I started CleverGirlFinance because I wanted to help other women and have an impact doing something I really cared about which is personal finance and business strategy. I got the idea for CleverGirlFinance about two and a half years ago. I just had my twins and I wanted to be more present at home. At the time I was commuting quite far to work and I was spending way too much time away from my then infant twins. I had also started feeling unfulfilled and antsy and so I started brainstorming and journaling and writing down every idea that came to mind. And everything I came up with in one way or the other centered around or touched on finances and so I thought why not take what I love – personal finances and business strategy – and build a business around it. It took me a little over a year to figure this out but once I knew what I wanted to do, I took a leap of faith and launched CleverGirlFinance.
Interesting! so how fulfilling has it been?
Very fulfilling. It is so fulfilling to be able to help women achieve real results with their finances, from pay off or paying down their debt to meeting their saving goals. This is what motivates me to keep going – knowing that I’m helping people change their lives and plan for their futures and knowing that I’m making an impact in my own way in the world. Getting client emails saying things like “I’ve helped them have hope with their financial future where in the past they had no hope” or “now they finally have clarity with their finances” makes it all worth it and has helped me realize that I am on the right path and I am creating a movement and have been given a mission.
One of my best posts on your blog is about your epic handbag collection. In your case you could afford many of those bags but today we see young women buying a bag or human hair and paying 10 times, or taking a loan to go on vacation. Why are so many young women under pressure to be a certain way?
I think women especially feel the need to keep up appearances. I think it’s fine to have nice things. It’s ok to have expensive things, but it has to make sense especially in the grand scheme of your big financial picture. If you can’t afford it don’t buy it. No one is going to help out with retirement or your children’s college education but you. Therefore its imperative to create goals for your finances and delay gratification, once you hit your goals, reward yourself and move on to your next goal.
When time goes by and you look back at those things, you’ll realize it really wasn’t worth it. As Dave Ramsey says, “ live your life now like no one else will, so in future you can live your life like no one else can“. It’s all about planning accordingly and delaying gratification. Build wealth first and then you can have anything you want AND peace of mind,
Personally I have found that it is somewhat easier to budget in the western world, what budget or finance tips do you have for Nigerians especially with the current state of the economy where prices are prone to fluctuations?
I wouldn’t say that it’s easier to budget. Everything is easy access here, which makes it so much easier to get into financial trouble because purchases and the credit and loans to support those purchases are only a click away on your computer. I think regardless of where you are and regardless of the economy, it all boils down to discipline and consistency. It’s important to have a long term financial plan that includes not just savings and investments but also planning for emergencies and unplanned life occurrences like job losses, bad economies etc Also when times get hard, its ok to become a little bit more conservative with your finances. Scale down on the splurges and focus on the necessities. Bulk up your emergency fund while you can, save as much as possible, look for investment opportunities and educate yourself before you invest. Studies show bad economies usually result in the highest number of millionaires compared to good economies, this means there are opportunities and when things then tough people get innovative.
You have said how your mum inspired your financial journey what lessons did you learn from her and what lessons do you intend to pass down to your own children?
My mum is huge a inspiration but so is my dad . They taught me that every dollar counts and they taught me to be my own person. They showed me that money is a really important aspect of life and they way you use it really matters and ultimately impacts the quality of life that you have. That is what I will be teaching my children. They are only 2 now but as they get older they will be learning to save and invest and most importantly to give back.
How do you achieve work life balance as a working mum?
To be honest I don’t think work life balance exists. I just have to remind myself when to STOP and be present for my children. There is always work to be done for my business and on the home front. It never stops, the balance is more of an act and making sacrifices. There are a lot of thing I don’t have time to do because I choose to spend time with my family which is really my priority.
Thanks Bola, talking to you has been insightful. Keep up the good work and kisses to the twins!