While growing up in Nigeria, Bola from Clever Girl Finance watched her mother and father sacrifice for her and her three brothers. They worked hard, discussed the importance of financial independence, and imparted many words of financial wisdom.
Bola says, “My dad would repeat the phrase, ‘Penny wise, Pound foolish.’ It means it’s important to manage your money well not just when you have a little but also when you have a lot.”
Her father retired 15 years earlier than planned. Health concerns prevented him from working. But it didn’t stop her mother — she started working harder.
“My mother was the queen of the hustle,” says Bola. “She worked many jobs. She worked full-time as an investment banker, but she also had a soft drink franchise, a hair salon, and was part owner of a school for girls. She even owned a bakery.”
That hard work and smart money management put Bola through college. “My mom paid for all four years of my international college tuition including my books and my rent in cash.”
Bola majored in computer science with a minor in business. She studied in Austria, England and the United States. After graduation, Bola found a job and immediately mimicked her parent’s financial habits.
She contributed to retirement accounts, saved over half of her income, kept her expenses low and started a side hustle. In three years, Bola save over $100,000. “I think one reason I saved all that money was because my priorities were in the right place,” says Bola. “I knew people who made twice as much but barely saved any money.”
But Bola did have one weakness: handbags. And it cost her. “I felt I had worked so hard and needed to relax a bit and I somehow developed this very expensive habit of buying a lot of handbags that were getting barely any use.”
She came to her senses and, “A few years later and I sold most of them for what I paid, or for more than what I paid due to their name brands.”
Helping other women
In 2015, Bola started her blog. She explained her expectations: “To educate as many women as possible on how to improve their financial situations and make well informed financial decisions in order to achieve financial success.”
She believes women relate to money differently than men. They make less money and live longer – which means they should save more. Bola says, “with the right knowledge and education we are better investors and generally better with money than men.”
To help women succeed, Bola “provides women with financial guidance, and key financial tips and tools to inspire them to pursue their dreams of financial independence.” She also provided us with some key tips…
- Find a budgeting style you like that works for you and make budgeting your best friend. And leave a little room for fun stuff, too.
- Consider automating your finances. For example, your monthly bills, your savings and investment contributions. It makes things so much easier.
- Find an accountability partner – someone who is serious about their financial goals – and stay connected with them. Not only will they hold you accountable they’ll also motivate and encourage you on the days that things are not going so great.
Thank you for your words of wisdom, Bola.