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How I Bagged a Job at Bloomberg within 8 months of Learning to Code

Every week, we talk to Nigerians around the world about money and how they make it.

This week, we are featuring Osas, a 23-year-old who recently secured a software engineer role with Bloomberg within 8 months of learning to code.

Let’s go back a bit, what was it like studying Petroleum and Gas Engineering? Did you see yourself working in that field with any big plan in place?

When I was a student, even though I saw myself having a future in that field; I wasn’t fixated on one thing. I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket.

Before I graduated, I already had multiple CVs, a CV for Petroleum and Gas Engineering, another for Business and Data Analytics, I then created another CV for Software Engineering. It was me sowing my seeds everywhere.

At what point during the lockdown did you decide to just go ahead with learning Software Engineering?

Around January/February most of my software engineering friends were already getting their offers because it’s towards the ending or beginning of the year that most tech companies doing international recruitment start their process.

Hearing them get their offers was a form of motivation that was lingering even during the lockdown and with NYSC and having nothing else to do. Well, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  

Also figured the lockdown would last quite some time and since I don’t have an NYSC certificate, I couldn’t apply to so many Nigerian companies. The ones I would have been able to would probably be small interviews and I didn’t see the benefits.

Before I make a major decision I like to do a benefit analysis. Most internships in Nigeria are just time and stress and the remuneration is very little with the way the labor market is set up.

I considered Web development before I settled on software engineering.

So I went back to learning Python from scratch on Youtube before moving to online courses. 

Before you decided to get into coding, what were you up to?

I was waiting for NYSC, mostly unemployed. My service year would have started in March. My matter entered voicemail when lockdown started and they had to cancel NYSC. I decided that I couldn’t let Nigeria waste my time and all my guys were into software engineering. I said; “Me too, let me do software engineering. As per tech guy is the in thing, let me try my luck”. 

Oh wow, so it was an inspiration from your tech bros. What else pushed you to go ahead with learning how to code?

It was off and on for a couple of years. I wasn’t really into programming but I started with some basic Hello World Programming and Java for a week or 2 weeks then got tired. 

Then I tried my hands-on beginner stuff for Python in 2018, got tired of it too. I had to leave it for schoolwork because I didn’t have the time. 

Money was the most important factor this time. I saw that the financial benefit that comes with most tech jobs are mad. The money inspired me to continue and not give up. 

Did you see yourself achieving all this within the 8 months timeframe that you did? What was your projection?

I didn’t have an 8-month plan, but a one year plan. When I started, I spoke to my brother because he’s studying Computer Engineering and a couple of other people.

Talking to them helped me create a framework I would follow. The most important thing was to learn technologies, then produce projects, and then go ahead to apply everywhere.

Keeping it in mind that I could start applying to tech companies towards the end of the year. That was my target.

That’s interesting. Asides from Bloomberg, were there other companies you applied to? Which ones did you come across?

There’s this thing called  FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google). These are the big 5 tech companies that people target.  So I had a list, not a physical list though because I don’t like writing things down. I’m a lazy person generally.

I just make most of my list and plans in my head and go with it. 

I had a list of companies I was going to apply to. A lot of Youtube channels are dedicated to applying to tech companies for interviews, and all. 

After applying at the big 5 companies, I came across most of the other companies from watching those Youtube videos.

Youtubers sharing their internship experiences with York, Dropbox, Uber, Lyft, and a lot more. You know almost all companies have an engineering division for software engineers, so you can apply anywhere.

About your learning process, what other resources did you make available for yourself to learn asides from Youtube?

When I started, I didn’t know exactly what I needed to learn, but I knew I had to start with Python. After watching beginner Youtube videos on Python, I took a course on the Microsoft edX platform. It was a beginner course with no certification. I spent about 2 weeks learning. 

Then I took another beginner course on Udemy, it was a 45-hour course, I didn’t finish the course but got towards the end before losing interest. A bulk of the knowledge I gained on Python was from the Udemy course. 

I moved on to Free Code Camp website where free courses are offered to beginners. I didn’t finish that course too. My relationship with online courses is that if I don’t pay for it, I just take what I need, abandon it, and move on. It’s an unhealthy relationship. I know.

I took some courses on Coursera much later when I needed to learn Data Structures and Algorithm. It’s more of a computer science thing that most tech interviews focus on. It’s a big deal at interviews because they would give you problems/tasks to solve and come up with optimal solutions, algorithms, and all.  I took that seriously because it’s a major part of passing interviews and getting job offers.

So, a friend of mine recommended a couple of courses on Coursera and ended up doing just two of them. Finished both and got my certificate. It took a month for each of them.

Seems like you took a lot of free courses, was there anyone that was financially draining and that you spent a lot of money on? 

The only course I paid for was an Udemy course that had a 90% discount. It was like $10. I probably spent like 3500 or so, the dollar wasn’t so high yet. 

Once you know what you are looking for, you would be able to find free resources. 

So you just took advantage of it. that’s pretty good.

Yes, even with the Covid-19 situation, a lot of learning platforms were offering free courses. So I made sure to take full advantage of that. 

What did your financial plans look like before you got the Software Engineer role at Bloomberg?

After a couple of months of learning, I was able to create some projects, create a website and web applications, and so on. I looked towards freelancing on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. My brother gave me the motivation to register on those platforms. I did that for about a month.

I had no plans to apply for the Software Engineer role at Bloomberg but someone sent me the application on Whatsapp around July. A month before that I was already freelancing.

Were all your freelancing jobs paid gigs? 

Yes. It’s survival of the fittest, you have to hustle your way because clients would come on the site and want to finish projects they have started or start something new.

You have to be able to sell yourself properly when freelancing so you can get jobs.

Payment is made after work has been completed.

Interesting. Now that you’re moving into a new space both physically and financially, what are your financial plans?

I don’t have solid plans at the moment. But a major plan would have to do with making reasonable investments. 

Bloomberg would be providing accommodation for 30 days, so after the first month, I would need to get permanent accommodation. Excluding normal living expenses.

I started doing some Forex investments last year, with Covid 19 and the entire market being in disarray, it wasn’t something I wanted to continue. I would consider the stock market now because it is less volatile than Forex. It’s not a fleshed-out plan yet but when I get to that bridge I would cross it. 

Is there any major impact you think this move might have on you? 

A major impact would be the fact that I would be leaving my friends and family. That’s the major thing for me. I like to advise people to leave Nigeria if possible and I would miss my family a lot.

Everything else, moneywise and such,  I think I’m pretty much settled on that front. I just like looking at money in my bank account, I don’t have so many pressing needs. 

I am also thinking about starting a Youtube Channel.

That’s really cool. What do you have in mind? What is it going to be about? 

It’s not going to be a lifestyle channel. I’m going to focus on teaching, like a tech channel talking on Data Structures, Algorithm, and just interview prep.

If you open my Youtube page, there are a lot of tech channels in my recommendations from the past months. 

Did you face any challenges during the 8 months of learning? 

The months I started doing actual interviews, assessments, and interview prep was particularly challenging for me. Preparing for tech interviews is generally not a healthy process.

There’s a site called LeetCode for practicing Data Structures and Algorithms, you would hear people say you need to do like 100-200 LeetCode questions, I did about 400 LeetCode questions split across two accounts. I would spend hours and days on my laptop, even missing breakfast. And I like food. If Osas of 2019 should hear that I was missing breakfast.

I was skipping classes to eat when I was in University but I started willingly missing meals. I would be on my laptop solving problems continuously during the period for the interview prep.

When I received the email invite from Bloomberg, I had to intensify my preparation for the interview.

Do you have a career plan for the next couple of years? 

I have a basic career plan there is, which is to move up the ladder. Currently, I am an entry-level software engineer at Bloomberg, which is the starting point for fresh graduates. I want to give myself a one to two-year period to move up to a middle or senior-level software engineer position.

In 5 years, I would like to see myself as a senior software engineer, maybe at Bloomberg or any other tech company. I’m not sure yet, but time will tell.  I would love to work and earn like a senior-level software engineer soon. 

What advice would you give anyone trying to make a career switch?

My situation was sort of ‘kele kele’, because it seemed like the universe wanted me in quotes – to do what I did. It started with my friends getting offers, then pandemic, and NYSC being canceled.

I would be at a PPA (Primary Place of Assignment) in some company by now if NYSC wasn’t canceled. Comparing it to where I am now, that would be very sad. 

Using 8 months to complete everything I did might not be possible if you have a full-time job.

Since I was mostly unemployed before I got into freelancing, I had control of my time. I was putting about 10-12 hours per day into learning. 

My advice is that you have a concrete plan. Try to dedicate a couple of weeks or months to plan what exactly you want to do. 

Have backup plans: Plan A, B, C. That way you have something to fall back on if things don’t go as planned. I won’t advise anyone to just quit their job outrightly for the sake of switching because money is very important. You need to be able to pay rent, eat, and cover other essentials. Except you have enough money in your account to last you a couple of months or however long you plan to make your switch into a new industry.

Lastly, the internet is an amazing resource. It’s an underestimated resource. Also, network and ask questions from the people in the industry you plan to work with. Either through LinkedIn or your contacts. 

If you enjoyed this, then check back every week to stay updated as we bring new stories from Nigerians and their thoughts on money.

You can also reach out to us on social@haloasset.ng if you would like to share your story too.

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LifeStyle

8 Things to Know to Become Your Own Financial Planner

Not a lot of people consider getting a financial planner to help put their finances in order. Those in need of a financial planner can either not afford one or don’t deem it necessary. But who really is a financial planner?

A financial planner is a professional who helps individuals or corporate bodies meet their short or long-term financial objectives.

The truth is you don’t really need a financial planner. In fact, you can take on the role by yourself with ease.

Every day, we find new and affordable ways to do things without breaking our account. People now rely on DIY videos and Google as a guide to solve problems that would normally require professional assistance.

Expert advice on how to budget your finance, investments, and more are now easily accessible on the internet. So planning your own finances will not be difficult.

So if you want to improve your personal finances and become your own financial planner, here are 8 things that you absolutely need to know!

1. Finance Should Interest You

Becoming your own financial planner requires you to read and learn about finance topics and terms.

You don't have to be in love with finance but learning the basics about investment, loans, taxes, budgeting and more will go a long way in understanding how you too can manage your finances without needing an expert's advice. Click To Tweet

We know finance can be boring. A lot of us even shy away from money-related conversations.

Following finance blogs and social media accounts like ours will help build your interest and show you fun ways to learn and improve your finances.

2. Create Financial Goals

Determining what your goals are will help you figure out what needs to be done to achieve them.

An expert financial planner will always want to know what goals you would like to achieve, so you can be advised on how to save or invest appropriately to meet said goals.

Are you trying to start a business, a family, build a house, travel or get a degree?

No matter how big or small your goals are, identifying them now is the best thing you can do, in order to actualize them. Prioritize your short or long-term goals according to the level of importance and time.

Write down your goals. How soon do you need it to be achieved? How important is the goal? What do you need to do to achieve it? These questions will give you an idea of what savings or investment plans will work best for you.

3. Get Used to Making Financial Decisions as your own Planner

Making financial decisions can be hard sometimes, even uncomfortable for some.

If you’re going to become your own financial planner, now is the time to get better at making those big decisions.

It helps to talk to friends that understand finance. This way, they can act as your financial adviser at the beginning. It gets easier as you go.

4. You are in Charge of Creating Your Savings Plan

The next step to becoming your own financial planner is to figure out how much of your income you need to save.

You are in charge of your finances and that includes saving. What you can do is determine if you want to save weekly, monthly, or annually. Choose the one that works for you.

An easy way to start is to follow the 50-30-20 rule. 50% wants, 30% needs, and 20% for savings. Before allocating money for savings, make sure you have paid off any debts you owe.

Splitting your income into these three categories is great for starters and helps build a structure with your funds. Also, figure out what you are saving towards.

Once you get comfortable with this, you are able to watch your savings grow.

5. Learn How Investment Works

The moment you decide to become your own financial planner is the moment you should start learning about investments.

You should be more curious about the investment opportunities that exist and figure out which one works best for your short or long-term goals. Click To Tweet

Investing based on your risk appetite allows you to invest wisely and cut down losses. You can work your way up from smaller investment plans to high-risk ones as you gain experience.

6. Tracking Your Finances is Simple

A good financial planner tracks his/her client’s finances.

You should be able to monitor how money comes in and goes out of your account to ensure you’re making good use of your money. If you can handle tracking your finances, then you are on the right path.

Being able to account for your spending habits teaches you how to manage your funds because you become more aware.

You should also track your savings and investing habits. Make sure you’re up to date on how well your savings and investment portfolio is doing.

7. A Financial Planner Always Settles Off Debts

If you have a ton of debts to pay off and you think you can avoid them, then you are only setting yourself up for more trouble.

It is dangerous to think you can go about creating savings and investment plans without paying off debts. Debts will always come back to bite you.

If you are owing anyone, now is the right time to start identifying how best you can settle those debts before putting your money into other goals. In fact, the earlier you pay off debts, the better. Click To Tweet

Creating a debt pay-off strategy helps you reach your goal faster. No one likes to be in debt, take small steps to paying off those big debts today!

8. Make Sure you Have Insurance

Insurance is something you might want to consider getting to protect your assets against unforeseen events or circumstances. On a long-term basis, it’s important to have insurance as it would save you a lot of money.

Generally, there are seven types of insurance one can have:

  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Auto Insurance
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Liability Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Long-term care Insurance

If there’s one insurance you should consider getting, it’s health insurance.

It’s simple, some companies have insurance for their employees of which a certain amount is deducted from their pay to cover their plan every month. Your health insurer can use this to cover certain medical bills.

As an individual, you can also find a good health insurance provider that you can use to build your insurance plan monthly.

Did you find this article useful? Drop a comment and share to someone who would too.

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LifeStyle

9 Holiday Memories Every Nigerian Can Relate To

There are a lot of holiday memories every Nigerian can certainly relate to. Rumour has it that we all had the same childhood growing up.

So let’s take a look back at all the memories we made celebrating the holidays.

1. Going Christmas Shopping

The sweetest part about Christmas growing up was all the Christmas shopping that went down. You got new clothes for the holiday and your mum got you shoes twice your size so you could grow into them.

2. Those Visitors That Dash Money

What’s better than visitors coming over to your family house? Visitors that dash you money when leaving. If you had 1000 naira for the many times your mum gave you that “don’t collect the money” look growing up, I bet you would be rich by now.

Another trick our mothers used was ‘let me help you keep the money’. We all know what that meant.

3. Attending Christmas Parties

I bet you remember those fun Christmas parties you used to attend where you get to see ‘Father Christmas’ and go back home with a party pack.

It’s all fun and games until they bring you out for a dance competition and you have to show off your dancing skills.

4. Gifts from Uncles and Aunties

The highlight of the holiday was all the gifts you had to look forward to. Uncles and aunties would come visiting bearing gifts like barbie dolls and toy cars.

Bonus point if you had family coming from abroad with those Celebration box chocolates. It was definitely something to look forward to.

5. Spending Money on Banger

All the money you saved up as a child used to go into buying banger. Your siblings and friends would go on the street throwing bangers for fun.

The thrill of the sound and lights from the fireworks made growing up a lot sweeter.

6. Buying Balloons

Crying for balloons was probably your hobby during the holidays. Every chance you get, you spend 5 naira on balloons at the mallam’s kiosk.

I bet you’re familiar with the “try your luck” balloons. The biggest balloon was every child’s target, but no matter how many times you try your luck, it was impossible to win.

7. Party Rice

Jollof rice was the order of the day, at home, and at parties. Apart from the deliciousness of the rice, the big chicken on the plate made you happier.

8. Christmas Decorations

Decorating the house was a lot of fun. You got to decorate the Christmas tree and add lights around the house with your siblings and parents. The tunes coming from the Christmas lights set the tone for the holiday.

9. Getting Your Hair Done

You know it’s the holiday season when your parents take you to the hair salon to get your Christmas hair done. All the girls get their hair relaxed or braided and decorated with those fancy beads while the boys get their hair cut.

Now that you’re grown, you have to take care of such expenses yourself.

Did I miss anything out? Tell us what other interesting holiday childhood memories you had growing up Nigerian.

Share these memories with your friends and check out this article on 5 ways to detty December on a budget.

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LifeStyle

How to Start Investing With Little Money

We have all been made to believe that investing isn’t meant for everyone and you need around a hundred thousand or more to get started.

This isn’t true. However, there are a lot of statements like this about investing that make it hard for people to give it a try.

In the past, investment opportunities were not readily available so investing was not a thing a lot of people considered.

But these days, thanks to the advancement of technology, it has become a lot easier to invest and you can start with as low as 1,000 naira.

So if you’re trying to figure out how to start investing with what you have, here are 6 tips that will help.

1. Cut Down Your Budget

This isn’t as terrible as it sounds. If you take time out to assess your budget, you might find out that there are some expenses you can live without.

Those expenses have little to no benefit on your lifestyle.

You can consider shifting the funds for those expenses into an investment that would yield returns on your money.

2. Make The Most of Your Salary

Your salary would do you a lot of good if you started allocating a percentage of it into investments in the long term. All you have to do is find an investment plan that works for you or suits your risk appetite.

Depending on how much you earn, take out 20% of your salary each month and invest it immediately.

Let’s say you are investing 10,000 naira a month for 12 months, that’s about 120,000 naira with a percentage of interest on your investment.

3. The Cookie Jar Method

Most people like the idea of physical savings, be it saving in a kolo or wooden box. Starting out with saving is a good step in the right direction.

If you decide to save like this, the accumulation of those savings can be put into an investment plan in the future.

An easier way to go about it is to automate your savings with a savings app, this way you never have to worry about it.

Putting your money in a savings app allows you to earn interest overtime.

Start saving as low as 500 naira a day or 5,000 naira a week or month. based on what you can afford to save.

By the end of the year, if you saved 5,000 per week, you would have saved up over 260,000 naira with interest. You can then decide to put the money into an investment that would grow with time. Allowing your money to grow slowly and steadily is worth it.

4. Investing in Government Bonds

Investing in government bonds like Treasury bills and securities is good for people with a low-risk appetite.

Government bonds are good because you get moderate returns on your investment in a short period. Click To Tweet

Payment is guaranteed on maturity date as it is backed by the government.

5. Try Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are the simplest and best way to kickstart your investment journey. You can invest in stocks, bonds, and other assets with any amount you would like to.

Mutual Funds give you access to a diversified portfolio with low risk.

Everything is taken care of for you as professionals help to manage your investment when you save with an app. All you need to do is watch your money grow.

6. Start Investing in Yourself

There are countless opportunities out there that can help you improve your skills or build new ones.

If you are willing to dedicate time to learning a course or developing a skill, search for affordable online learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, etc to begin.

This is the best way to invest in yourself. If you are doing it for your career, it’s a step closer to going up the career ladder (promotion and new job opportunities) as you gain more knowledge in your field.

You can decide to get a new stream of income or improve your skills for your business, either way, taking a course to help you work on yourself would do you a lot of good. Click To Tweet

Look at it as a way of increasing your income. Ensure that the cost of the course is worth it.

The opportunities to invest your money are endless. You can start investing with these strategies we have discussed and let your money increase with time.

Have you tried any of this before?

Share your experience in the comments. Don’t forget to share this article or check out similar articles on the blog.

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LifeStyle

5 Ways to Detty December on a Budget

It’s that time of the year again, so get your detty december budget ready!

Every Nigerian looks forward to December. We get to detty the whole country with enjoyment. Now, the only thing that might be stopping you from getting the full December package is your account balance.

In the past, you have probably experienced running out of money by the end of the year because you maxed out your salary or savings on concerts, restaurants and events.

So how can you make this year different?

Here are 5 smart ways to make the best of Detty December on a budget.

1. Host a BYOB Party

This is a cost-effective way to make sure you don’t miss out on all the holiday fun because you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

A BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) party or potluck is a great idea for Detty December on a budget because it allows your invited guests to come with drinks or meals that can be shared. Think about it. #DettyDecemberOnABudget Click To Tweet

Bonus points if your guests bring Jollof rice or small chops!

2. Share Bills with Friends

The secret to cutting down costs in December is to split the bill with your friends. You can carpool with friends to events or anywhere you all plan to meet.

Share meals at the restaurant or go with the food platter which is usually inexpensive when in a big group.

If you are that friend that likes to cover the bill; cancel that 'bills on me' behaviour this holiday. You are not Father Christmas. All your friends should come with their wallet for outings. #DettyDecemberOnABudget Click To Tweet

Splitting cost makes things a lot easier and that way you can stay within your budget.

3. Get Your Event Tickets Early

To avoid buying concert or party tickets at the standard price, buy your tickets early! You can get tickets for some of your favorite events at Nairabox.

Also, be on the lookout for ticket giveaways or discount deals on shows. You never know when you might get lucky.

4. Stay in Your House

“There is rice at home.”

It is probably time to start taking your parent’s advice. When you feel the need to go out and you don’t have the funds, just let that statement sink in. Allow yourself to sit back, relax, and enjoy good food at home.

Make sure you have all that you need to keep yourself company at home – Netflix, internet, movies, good music, and most importantly food. #DettyDecemberOnABudget Click To Tweet

This will save you a lot of money. Sure you might experience FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but your account won’t miss out on anything.

5. Save for January

We all know January takes forever to end. A lot of us consider January to be two months long for many reasons. Sometimes it’s because we run out of cash before the next payday, other times it just seems long because it’s not as eventful as December and the days drag out 😒.

If you are going to survive the first month of the new year and start the year on a good note, then you should consider setting some money aside to see you through January. #DettyDecemberOnABudget Click To Tweet

It’s better to come prepared for the 80 days in January than to regret not budgeting or saving towards it.

You are definitely going to have a lot of fun this detty December and have money left over to see you through January if you follow this guide.

Share this article with a friend who should manage their spending this December.

And if you are thinking of travelling this December, you should read this.

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Features LifeStyle

5 Budgeting Mistakes You’re Probably Making as a Millennial

Today, being a millennial comes with a long list of struggles, and the budgeting mistakes that we have to deal with are on the top of that list.

As a millennial, you might prefer to ignore the idea of budgeting altogether because you feel it’s a lot of work or because you think it is not a skill you need to have in order to live your best life. This isn’t true.

If started at an early age, budgeting is a skill that will save you a lot of trouble and help you achieve financial freedom. Once you start earning a living, you should start working on the best way to spend your money.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you haven’t started budgeting, it’s not too late to start now.

To help you fix up and build better money habits, here are the 5 biggest budgeting mistakes you are probably making as a millennial.

1. One of the Biggest Budgeting Mistakes Millennials Make is Thinking They Can Live Without One.

I’ve got 99 problems and a budget shouldn’t be one.

You probably think you can avoid all your money problems if you don’t create a budget. This is the biggest out of the 5 budgeting mistakes a millennial can make when it comes to personal finances.

Living from income to income without having a financial plan can put a strain on your account, trigger a financial crisis and make you end up in debt.

You might think you're enjoying life without a budget but imagine how much simpler your life would be with one. #HaloMoneyTips Click To Tweet

Financial discipline will keep you from overspending and worrying about not having enough money.

To build financial discipline and avoid making the same budgeting mistakes other millennials are making, take time out every month to work on a simple budget that will guide your expenses.

This will not only help you put your spending in check, it will also help you save towards other long and short-term goals such as a master’s degree, a new car, house rent, a fabulous birthday party, travel plans, and so on.

Trust me, life is sweeter when you have a budget.

2. Not Prioritizing Enjoyment

Try to dey enjoy life, problem no dey finish.

Don’t rule out enjoyment from your budget.

A budget should help you track and manage how you spend, but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the fine things life has to offer.

It is much harder to stick to a budget when you don’t have enjoyment factored in.

Life is stressful enough as it is. You deserve a break from all the stress going on around you and in the world. Reward yourself from time to time when you can afford to.

If you have been thinking about buying that bone straight hair or Play Station 5, ask yourself this "Does this fit into my budget?" If it does, go right ahead! If it doesn't, think up other ways to treat yourself while you save up!… Click To Tweet

Create a reasonable enjoyment budget that gives you the opportunity to gift yourself the items you want.

Practicing self-care once in a while can definitely help you stay clear of other budgeting mistakes millennials tend to make.

3. Forgetting to Calculate Smaller Expenses

Small expenses matter.

Don’t disregard those small expenses you think are non-essentials and won’t affect your budget. The accumulation of these small expenses builds up to bigger ones.

Factor your monthly data expense into your budget. Transportation or fuel money for your car should also be in your budget.

Think of those small things you purchase randomly or those urgent needs that come up once in a while and make sure they are in your budget.

Subscriptions for Netflix, Apple, and even your monthly gym expense (if you have one) should be in your budget. Sometimes we forget that these charges shake our account too.

Be sure to check what automated subscriptions you have on your phone that need to be recorded in your budget. Take out whatever subscriptions you don’t use.

You can check here to see a list of Millenial-friendly budgeting apps that can help you keep track of your expenses and avoid money mistakes.

4. You Don’t Like to Check Your Financial Statement

Are you triggered yet?

There’s nothing more painful than looking through your monthly financial statement and wondering how you spent all the money in your account.

You have pancakes at your favorite spot on the island every morning before heading to work, then you go partying with your friends on Fridays, and keep buying things you would never use. Then you become shocked when your salary finishes before month-end.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with indulging yourself, but you’ve got to be mindful of how often you do it, so you don’t run out of funds.

Imagine how excited you would feel if you knew where your money goes because you’ve been budgeting regularly and you keep track of your financial statement.

When you are aware of how you spent your last month’s income, you are able to make wiser financial decisions for the next month. Monitoring how money goes in and goes out is very key.

5. Millennials Tend To Give Up too Easily Because of Their Past Budgeting Mistakes

It’s not you, it’s budgeting.

You have probably attempted to work with a budget a couple of times in the past and it didn’t work out as well as you expected or you couldn’t stick to it.

If this is you, you’re not alone.

It’s easy to feel unmotivated and frustrated by the idea of budgeting but there are tips to make it simple and easy.

Visualise your financial goals and create a financial mood board to inspire you and push you to achieve your goals. #HaloMoneyTips Click To Tweet

Talking to friends who have similar financial goals can help you keep your eyes on the ball.

You can also get an accountability partner to inspire you and help you stick to your budget in a way that’s fun. Remember, budgeting can be fun.


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Emergency Funds: 10 Important Lessons from the Pandemic

If there’s anything 2020 taught us all, it’s that emergency funds are important because you never know what’s coming; you might have to face anything from a pay cut to a global pandemic.

When we were all talking about Vision 2020, Covid-19 was not in the picture. No one imagined that we would have to face a global pandemic, so a lot of people were financially unprepared. With no emergency funds to see them through the period, they were hit the hardest.

An emergency fund is a stash of money set aside for unexpected situations like job loss, family emergencies, urgent medical bills and other pressing needs.

The pandemic taught us a lot of lessons about being financially prepared for unforeseen events and in this article, we will share 10 of the most important financial lessons that we have learnt.

Lesson 1: Always Have an Emergency Fund

The biggest lesson we all need to take away from the global pandemic is that it is important to always have emergency funds.

This cannot be stressed enough – save for rainy days and access your emergency funds only in urgent situations.

An emergency fund is especially important if you only have one source of income. Your emergency fund should be able to sustain you or your family if you are the breadwinner of the family, for a reasonable period. Click To Tweet

Want to know how to start an emergency fund?

Save a reasonable portion of your income monthly and keep it separate from your daily spending account.

Financial experts advise you to have an emergency fund that can last you an average of 3-6 months.

Lesson 2: Never Panic Buy

Whatever you do, when stuck in an emergency – do not panic buy.

Panic buying is the action of buying large quantities of an item due to fear of future shortages or inflation.

You want your emergency fund to last you for the period of time required, this is why you should not buy things that you don’t need. Focus on just the essentials.

During the pandemic, a lot of people went overboard, purchasing toilet rolls out of panic and causing stores to run out of supplies quickly.

Not everyone can afford to buy in bulk, so when faced with situations like this, buy smart and be considerate of others.

Lesson 3: Budgeting is Key

Budgets help you keep track of your expenses and spend accordingly.

When you have a financial plan, you are not only able to manage your spending, you are also able to put aside money for savings, investments, and most importantly – emergencies.

By controlling the way you spend and what you spend on, you can make sure that you always have enough left over to cover unexpected expenses like gifts, hospital bills and more.

The trick is to adjust your budget to accommodate the unexpected and other miscellaneous expenses so you do not have to use your emergency funds to settle them all the time.

Knowing how to budget teaches you how to manage money in a state of emergency. It makes you more conscious and confident about allocating and spending your emergency funds. Click To Tweet

For instance, if you quit your job, you are able to spend your emergency fund in such a way that it lasts you a long period until you get a new job.

Lesson 4: Use your Emergency Funds for Emergencies Only

Your emergency fund is not for shopping sprees, travel, or restaurant hopping.

Instead of borrowing from your emergency funds to pay back later, the wise thing to do is to use funds from your savings account for extra spending.

Always buy what you need, when you need it.

In order to avoid wasteful spending or dipping into your emergency fund, remind yourself why you need an emergency fund.

It doesn’t matter how tempting touching your emergency fund is, stay strong, your future self will thank you later.

Lesson 5: Consider a Side Hustle

Although, not everyone wants to jump on the side hustle bandwagon, having a side hustle can do you a lot of good.

Here are some reasons why you getting a side hustle might not be a bad idea:

  • You get an extra source of income
  • The extra money goes into your emergency fund
  • It serves as a backup plan in case you lose your job or decide to quit your job
  • You can use the extra money to pay off debt

During the global pandemic, a lot of people took advantage of their side hustles to earn some extra income and support their emergency funds.

Explore the idea of getting a side hustle that you will enjoy doing and making money from.

Lesson 6: Separate Your Investments from Your Emergency Funds

Whatever you do, do not make your investments your emergency fund.

Investments have short or long-term periods before you get your returns, there are also risks that come with investing.

This means that in case of an emergency, if your investments are your emergency funds, you might not be able to access your money.

If you want to improve your returns, you can invest a portion of emergency funds, but you have to make sure it’s an easily accessible low-risk investment product.

Beyond accessibility and facing the risk of losing all your money on bad investments, you don’t want to have to sell your investments at a loss when faced with an emergency.

An emergency fund should be readily accessible for emergencies, not locked up in investments. Don’t play with money you know you can’t afford to lose.

Lesson 7: Emergency Funds Keep you from Taking Loans or Being in Debt

Emergency funds can be used to pay off debt, but it is especially important not to go into debt.

You borrow less when you have an emergency fund, it also keeps you from relying on bank loans.

The only time you might be pushed into taking a loan might be if you don’t have an emergency fund or if what you have is insufficient.

If this happens to you, make sure you’re taking low-interest-rate loans or loans from family/friends that you can repay in bits.

Essentially, a life with emergency funds is a debt-free life. You should want that for yourself.

Lesson 8: Emergency Funds Give You Peace of Mind

There’s a sense of financial security having an emergency fund gives you. You are in control of your finances and can now handle whatever crisis or unexpected events might come your way.

Emergency funds put your mind at rest and keep you from living on the edge. Click To Tweet

There are a lot of unexpected events that life throws our way, so imagine the relief that comes from knowing you have money stashed away somewhere to take care of such situations.

Lesson 9: Decluttering Your Life Can Improve Your Emergency Funds

What does decluttering have to do with emergency funds? You probably have a lot of items at home you no longer use. Bonus point if they are in perfect condition. Quit storing up old items like clothes, books, toys, or spoilt appliances in rooms.

Take time out to identify those things that you no longer need and what you can give out, throw away, or sell-off. Yes, you can make money off your old stuff.

Sell those items to friends, neighbours, or online and put the profit in your emergency fund. Decluttering won’t only help with your finances but also allow you to become more aware of your space.

Lesson 10: You Don’t Have to Borrow From Family and Friends

During the pandemic, you probably had to turn to family and friends for money. This might have been annoying for you and for them, especially since everybody was trying to survive through the pandemic.

Don’t ruin good relationships with money issues, build an emergency fund so you always have a backup plan.

Encourage family and friends to start the emergency fund journey with you if you already haven’t, as this will ensure that in major crises like the pandemic, your funds will keep you secure and stop you from borrowing money.

If you enjoyed learning about the importance of emergency funds, then you will enjoy these articles that will take you closer to financial freedom.

Leave a comment and share if you have learned a thing or two from this post.