What It’s Like Having 3 Sources of Income and Moving into an ₦850K Apartment in Lagos

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

This week, we are featuring Inara, a 25-year-old multifaceted badass who works as a visual artist, fashion designer, and fashion model. She talks about how she balances all three businesses, moving into her first apartment this year, and her love-hate relationship with money.


Halo Invest gives you access to the best financial insights, insider tips, and tools to help you improve your relationship with money.


What’s been your biggest flex this year?

Renting my apartment.

Congrats. What has that been like for you?

Exciting and tiring.


I’m happy to have my place but then unforeseen expenses always pop up.

Like fluctuating light bills, recently my light was cut because a neighbor defaulted on her payment. My other neighbors and I contributed double our usual pay to get it restored.

The same thing happened the following month and no one wants to cover for anybody again. Hence, I’m left with always running the generator which is tiring.

Sorry. I can’t even imagine. How long has it been since you got your own place?

About 4 months now.

What was your living situation like before now?

I was living with a family friend which was pretty okay. But there was the issue of long-distance and endless Lagos traffic.

The Lagos traffic is never worth it. Why did you decide to get your own place?

I needed a place to live I suppose. 😂

What was it like finding a place?

It was stressful. The houses I wanted are pricy considering location as well. Finding a place that was nice and budget-friendly was a Herculean task.

What locations were you looking at and what were the prices like?

Apartments at Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki were around  ₦700k to  ₦3.5million. I eventually got a place in Victoria Island for  ₦850k.

Did the apartment meet your expectations?

It’s fair for a first apartment and yes, it met my basic expectations. Though I’ll definitely leave when I can afford something better.
Let’s just say I’m in transit at the moment.

Love that. It only gets better! What was settling in like for you? In terms of furnishing your apartment?

It was pretty okay, I got some stuff from my family like a spare air conditioner, fridge, couch, bed. etc.

So, I had to just handle some repairs, logistics, and installation costs.

My extra expenses cost me a little over a ₦100k.

How much do you spend in a month?

An average of  ₦200k plus. It varies from month to month.

Last month my highest was on my social life because of my birthday. This month, it’s self-development, so my percentages fluctuate.

How do you make money?

I wear different hats and that includes being a fashion model, a fashion designer, and a visual artist. That’s where my greens come from.

Energy!🤑 How did you get into these different spaces?

Modeling was pretty random, I wasn’t looking at being a model initially. I did a shoot with a lady because she liked how I looked.

Then, a friend recommended me for a shoot with a brand. I saw the potential in it and I started doing more shoots with more brands.

I always loved art as a child. In high school, I started drawing and would paint and draw for people. I started to sell my paintings as I got older with more understanding of making money.

Just like art, fashion design also started early while in high school. I honed my skills over the years, got exposure from the NICE program by British Council, and worked with fashion brands.

Now, I head an eponymous design studio which I consult and design for fashion brands whilst also being the Co-founder and head designer of a premium bridal brand named Curvy Woman Bridal.

This is really amazing. How do you manage/balance all of this?

Whenever I’m not shooting, I try to itemize what I need to get done with regard to art or fashion in a day or week.

I work out my timelines when working with brands, I can decide to work on a collection for 2/3 hours every day. It really depends on the workload.

For the bridal business, my business partner helps at times when I’m not available to get certain things done.

Basically, I never try to overpromise and then underdeliver. I would rather give myself enough time so that I don’t rush myself and I can deliver quality work.

So you work remotely? What’s that like for you?

Yeah, I do. I like that I am in control of my time, so I can have a flexible day.

I’m not taking permission from HR to not show up to work, I get to decide when I want to rest.

I’m also in control of how much I make, I’m able to give clients my prices and then negotiate with them.

How do you get clients

Referrals, cold emailing/calling, networking

What’s the most challenging part of your work?

I guess the uncertainty of it all. Unlike a 9 to 5 job where you are expecting a certain amount every month, mine is uncertain.

For me, some months are better than others. I have to make money because the bills will come up whether I like it or not.

It’s also quite interesting because it’s not limiting.


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What’s your relationship with money like?

I always tell myself that I live in abundance. I made some plans at the beginning of the year that didn’t work out but I’ve been surviving and I can say that I’m comfortable where I am at.

It’s not the expensive rich aunty life I’m aiming for, you know, to be able to wear a thong and shake my ass on a yacht in Dubai but I’m grateful I can afford the basics that I need.

I save every month from whatever money I make. Sometimes, I save a little too much because I end up with little to spend on myself. I use to save 40% but now I try to save 45%-50% depending on what I have in my account.

Money and I have a love-hate relationship. It really hurts me when I have to spend my own money. I miss someone else taking up that responsibility for me😂. I hope myself and money become best friends or lovers eventually😂.

Asides from saving, do you invest? And what kind of investments does your money go into?

I usually go for low risks, low returns. My appetite for risk is quite high, I lost a lot of money to Forex at the beginning of the year. It did teach me a lesson not to invest in things I don’t fully understand.

I believe investment comes in different forms like investing in my business. That means buying gadgets that I think will make my work easier or purchasing an app to automate my work.

I invest in beauty as a model. Sometimes, it might just be one’s ‘packaging’ that gets a client to choose a model for a project.

Self-development and health are also investments. I would like to invest in real estate eventually, I mean I am paying rent to someone anyway.

I love that. Investing in every other area of your life 👌🏾

Did you have any ridiculous experience while house hunting?

Nah, I didn’t.

No one was asking me if I was married or telling me not to bring men to my house or giving me a curfew.

I had asked these things prior to getting the apartment. I was prepared, thanks to the women who share their stories online.

What advice would you give anyone, especially women trying to rent their own apartment?

Searching for a house that’s budget-friendly can be a tough one, so be open to letting people know so they can recommend if/when they’re aware of any new gig.

If you see it, you like it and can afford it, just get it because it may be gone the next day and that takes you back to square one.

It’s best when your apartment has its own prepaid meter so you’re not sharing with anyone else as that can cause problems for you.

You may not be able to control this but electricity can turn out to be a problem so ask to see their previous light bills to ensure they don’t have debt that you will then inherit when moving in.

First houses are like experiments. That’s where you learn your mistakes concerning housing and hopefully don’t repeat them when getting your next apartment.

What’s one thing you looked out for, that was a non-negotiable while househunting?

No matter how small the flat was, it needed to have kitchen space and frequent light.

What’s an annoying expense you wish you didn’t have to spend money on?

Electricity and food. 😭 More like all my expenses are annoying.

I don’t want to spend money.😂

What’s something you wish you had a lifetime supply of?

Cash, Funds, Ego, Pounds & Sterling, Dollars. 🤑

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 if you would like to share your story too.

Money Notes

Money Notes #11 – The Bi-Weekly Newsletter from Halo Invest

Two notes in one month. 

Only the most useful, relevant, and practical entries on finance and money. 

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Money Tip

Knowledge you can use

If you are really big on the idea of thrift shopping, then you already know that it’s the best way to snag items you need at affordable prices.

Popularly known as Okrika or bend down select in Nigeria, thrift shopping has become a trend in today’s generation as more people look to spend less and save more.

The beauty of it? You don’t have to break your account to thrift shop.

Sometimes, we can get lost in the moment of thrifting that we end up splurging all our money on every piece of clothing, electronic or miscellaneous item we can get our hands on.

So, how do you put a cap on your thrifting so you don’t end up spending the money you’re trying to save?

1. Don’t buy things you won’t use: Always ask yourself why you need it and what you would use it for? If it’s not relevant, don’t buy it. Don’t be a hoarder, it’s not worth it. 

2. Set aside the amount you want to use for thrifting: Be specific and reasonable about the amount you want to spend on thrifting in a month or at a particular period so it doesn’t go into your other expenses.

3. Lock up your savings: If you are addicted to thrifting, it’s probably for the best that you lock up your savings so you don’t dip into it later.

4. Take a mental note (actually, write it down) of what you already have so you don’t end up with similar items. 

5. If you have old items that you don’t use anymore and they are still in good shape, you can decide to make money by selling them off or by giving them away.

6. Always pay attention to details: You don’t want to end up with items that are torn, spoilt, or broken. Even though they are pre-owned items, you want to make sure they are still in good shape or need minimal repairs so it lasts long in your hands. 

7. Thrift shop with friends: Going shopping with friends is always a good way to put your spending in check because they have an idea of what you need or would likely not need.
8. Lastly, whether you are thrift shopping online or offline, always compare prices or cut down prices when possible. There’s no point in thrift shopping an item that is similar to the price point of a new one.

For You

Fun, useful stuff you will absolutely love!

This is the perfect guide to collecting your money from a Debtor.

How this Photographer plans to earn $2000 more and retire before 40.

If you had to choose between love and wealth, which one would you choose?

The Motley Fool’s take on what stocks could double your money sooner than you think.

How to avoid going broke during wedding season.

Which one of these do you wish you had done differently in your 20s?


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How I Plan to Earn $2000 More as a Photographer

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

This week, we are featuring Ife, a 24-year-old who works as a portrait and product photographer. She shares her journey as a photographer, dealing with people as an introvert, and her plan to retire before 40.


Halo Invest gives you access to the best financial insights, insider tips, and tools to help you improve your relationship with money.


How do you make money?

I work as a portrait and product photographer. I provide my services commercially

So tell me, why photography? What inspired your decision to get into it?

So this is a long story ish 😂 and I wrote about it some years ago but I’ll share the link.
It was mostly accidental or is the right word incidental?

Love it. Your photography journey is beautiful.

How much would you say has changed since you wrote that article?

I’ve grown a lot and I’m more grounded with Product photography now.
I’ve got more gear 😂. I’m also more confident about my work.

How were you able to get yourself more gear? Did you have to save towards them or dip into your savings?

I saved/save for some, I got gigs that helped me buy some.

I also got some as gifts 😂.
My friend bought me my first strobe (it’s a type of artificial light).

Friendship goals! You mentioned taking a Canon basic DSLR class, what has your learning process been like so far?

I’ve been self-learning and trying new things.

How do you spend money in a month?

I auto-invest 35%, pay myself 40%, save 10% for emergencies, and 10% for gear.

What does the remaining 5% go into?

Nothing, I just leave it.

What are you currently saving up for? Anything in particular?

My retirement 😂.

That’s actually what the 35% is for,

Then, I personally save for enjoyment out of what I pay myself.

I also have a “birthday fund”. Birthdays are a big deal for me so I save towards my birthday every year.

When is retirement for you?

Hopefully before 40 😩.

I don’t like working at least not on other people’s terms.

Energy. What do you do on your birthdays?

Anything I want 😂.

I try not to set expectations, I just go with the flow and do whatever I want, buy whatever I want, eat whatever I want.

Last year, I made a list of 24 things to gift myself for turning 24 and bought them.

Wow. I’m taking notes. What’s the most recent thing you bought that improved the quality of your life?

Hmmm, I think moisturizer.

My regular moisturizer went out of stock for a bit and I decided to try another brand but it turned out to not hydrate my skin enough 😂.

Thankfully my regular came back in stock and I got it.

Yes to a life-saving moisturizer. Back to photography, how do you get your clients?

Most of my clients find me, referrals, social media.

Amazing. Some of your work has been featured on Times, Mefeater, Elle, and others. How do you feel whenever your works make it to such international publications?

Excited and happy.


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You have some personal projects you’ve worked on in the past, what inspires your projects?

Personal experiences, beauty, random things, colors.

What shoot or personal project have you done recently that hit close to home.

The Skin series, that’s a project that has hit closest to home. But it’s not recent.


It’s about living with acne and I’m someone that has acne.

I wasn’t one of the subjects of the photo project but it was inspired by my experience and the experience of so many people around me.

Are there any photographers that inspire you?

Not really but there are people whose work I admire.

Like who?

Natalia Gw, Ramona Rosales, Ayobami Ogungbe, Ty Bello, Itaysha Jordan, Marc Tran, Ethan James Green, Niyi Okeowo.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced doing your job? If any?

Sometimes it’s “people-ing”.

I’m very introverted and sometimes people mistake it as me being a snub 😂.

Have you ever lost a customer because of this? Or how do you handle not letting it affect work?

Actually, I haven’t 😂 but I’ve had a bit of friction because of it.

I psyche myself to not be so quiet 😂 but sometimes I can’t help it.

Being an introvert and working with people is an extreme sport. What personal and financial goals did you set for yourself this year? If any. How’s it going so far?

On personal goals, To live more mindfully and rest more, I’ll say it’s going very well.

Financial goals, it’s going well but Nigeria is ruining the gains so criennnnnn.

In terms of your income. Are you looking to earn more this year? And how much?

Yes, I am, like 2000 dollars more per month 😩😭

In dollars, love it.💸
How do you plan to achieve this?

Doing bigger projects and making passive income from my work via prints (I tried to start this already but I’m tired of selling things 😂, I wish it would just sell on its own 😩).

How do you manage your time?

My schedule is in my head 😂💀.

I make a lot of lists and prioritize accordingly. But seriously, most times my schedule is in my head 😂.

What tips do you have for anyone in photography or getting into it but struggling to earn income?

I’ll say to continue putting yourself and your work out there. It’s hard but do it 🥺.

Also, reach out to people you’ll like to work with.

Why did you decide to go anon on socials?

I like being unrecognizable, like a wallflower. I also like controlling my personal space, the thought of so many people having access to me makes me anxious.

On days I slightly show my face on Instagram for instance, I avoid the account till the story expires 😂

What’s your biggest fear about money?

Being poor. I’m really scared of poverty.

What’s something you can’t go a whole day without?

Doing my skincare routine.

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 if you would like to share your story too.


How I Can Afford to Live in a 1 Million Naira Serviced Apartment in Lagos

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

This week, we are featuring Binjo, a 27-year-old who works as a Growth Partner at a venture capital firm. He shares how he got his apartment, saves for rent, and the biggest challenge he has faced since his move.


Halo Invest gives you access to the best financial insights, insider tips, and tools to help you improve your relationship with money.


What’s your current living situation like?

I live alone in an apartment.

How long have you been living there?

I’ve been living here for about a year and three months.

Sweet. Before now?

I lived with my parents. Honestly, I miss not paying rent 🙃.

I was getting to this. How does it feel living in your own place?

Well, I now have to be responsible when things spoil. That’s annoying but some days, I question my decision to move out.

Like when your flusher breaks in the morning.

I never had to worry about these things. I would just tell my dad and he would find a plumber.

Otherwise, everything is good. Much freedom, much appreciated.

So why did you leave then?

My parents live in one of these overpromise and underdeliver estates.

The power was horrible, the internet was even worse, I couldn’t stay out late because the area wasn’t secure.

What made you realize it was time to move to your own place?

My parents actually started to nudge me out 😂 . They were like: ‘So when will you move out? You should start looking for a place.’

Also, because of the issues in that area (My God, the traffic was awful), I was very unhappy.

Is where you’re staying now any better? What’s it like?

The power situation is great, I don’t live too far from most places and I don’t worry too much about staying out late. Although these days in Lagos, I’m generally more careful. Also, the internet is amazing 😍

What was the process of finding your own place like?

It was stressful at first because I was seeing houses I didn’t like in places I didn’t like with ridiculous asks. I eventually used one of these tech-ish websites to find a serviced apartment.

How much did it cost?

As at last year, it cost just around 1 million naira, this year I have a new landlord and they’re moving quite crazy with the costs.


Well, everything in Nigeria is now more expensive. Let me not name names.

Since it’s a serviced apartment, what did you have to spend money on during your move?

Furniture. Omo. Furniture is so expensive. Electronics, Air Conditioner, Fridge. I paced myself, so I didn’t buy everything at once.

Do you remember how much everything costs?

By the time my furniture was done, I had easily spent an extra 1 million naira.

Also, my rent is flexible so I paid for the first quarter and moved in.

How did you pace yourself in getting it all done?

I bought stuff in the first month, others in the second month, others by the third month.

Were you saving towards it or you paid from your salary each month?

I had some savings but it was a significant chunk to just remove all that money. So, I took my time.

I moved in before I got my furniture for example. So naturally, I had to wait for it to be ready from the carpenter.

That makes sense.
How much do you spend in a month? Can you give a breakdown of your living expenses?

It really depends on the month, but in an average month:

6% on transport, 16% for charity – tithe and offerings, money to my parents and sometimes my sister.

Another 16% for groceries which includes my meal subscription and other essentials from the supermarket. I usually spend about 6% when I eat out or order in.

About 3% for data and credit. I don’t call people much so I never buy too much credit. It’s always Uber or Bolt drivers 🙃.

Let’s say 3% as well for skincare. I don’t buy skincare every month and the costs vary but being a fine boy in this Lagos costs. Going to the gym takes 3%.

I typically set a shopping budget which is like 4%. Sometimes, it includes just skincare. Other times it’s clothes and stuff.

Another 3% for self-care which is therapy, washing my hair, getting a massage, pedicure, etc. Whatever is left will go to savings, rent, investments, anything else I want to buy, etc.

What kind of investments?

So, I’ve always invested. Even if it’s only ₦5,000 I have left, I’ll invest it. Crypto isn’t built for investments but I’ll put some money in some crypto. I’ve been doing this since 2017, it has paid off well.

Then Eurobonds, so I can invest in USD.

I might buy some stocks – US stocks but none of that Apple, Tesla kind of thing.

I know a lot about technology so I lookout for companies that are yet to expand outside of the US or the west – which means they’ve barely scratched the surface of their potential.

Then I’ll put some money into some investment plans. It really depends on how I’m feeling, and what I’m learning.

That’s interesting.

I also look out for companies building technology infrastructure – cloud computing, new server structures, security infrastructure, stuff like that. Sometimes, I just buy the S&P 500 or an IT index fund.

You have it really figured out.

Lmao, we’ll see in 10 years. No be so?

What pushed you to start investing?

I learned about investing early from my parents but I didn’t invest as an adult until say 2016? I’m not sure.

I read smart money woman and some other books and the whole thing was mind-blowing to me.

In 2019, it dawned on me that investing in Naira didn’t make sense, regardless of the promised returns.

So, I read up on the options available and started to invest in Eurobond funds.

Thankfully, that was the same year apps that allowed one to invest in global assets launched in Nigeria.

In your experience, is investing in yourself the best investment one can make? And how do you invest in yourself even?

Yes, investing in yourself is basically doing things that help you provide more value to the world so you can earn more but also so you can work and worry less.


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Would you say your job has helped afford your current living situation? And how?

It definitely has. I can save better and plan for the future. Rent is probably my biggest expense annually. I work remotely so the cost of moving around every day is cut.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since you moved in?

The biggest challenge is the Naira o. My cereal went from 800 naira – 1100 naira to 2100 naira – 2300 naira, in just under a year. Things are up by a lot! Today, they said Chivita is now 800 naira, LMAO. It’s just juice.

I used to eat a lot of Pringles. Now I don’t bother because it makes no sense.

So that just means cutting out some stuff but I would like to buy Pringles without thinking twice 😂.

Do you plan to move out of this place in the near future?

Yes. The plan is to move out.

On a scale of 1-10, how has having your own place improved the quality of your life?

10, by a lot.

What advice would you give anyone trying to get their own place in Lagos?

Save up, share with friends if you have some, don’t leave your parents house out of pressure – freedom is nice but peace is nicer

What’s something you wish you invented?


What’s a financial red flag you watch out for in people?

There are many:

  1. Showing off unnecessarily.
  2. Earning well but always needing extra income to supplement.
  3. Posturing to be who you’re not online.

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 if you would like to share your story too.


Here Are The Best Ways to Collect Your Money from a Debtor

Asking for your money from a debtor can leave you feeling like a pest. For some people, it’s easier to let go and never ask again, while for others, there’s no other option than to keep pushing.

If you are reading this, then you have probably been in this situation before and know what being owed money feels like.

So to help you through situations like this, we identified 8 things you can do to get your money back.


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1. Sign an agreement

Before you even think of loaning a person money, you should consider having a written agreement. This way, they don’t get selective amnesia or activate denial mode when it’s time to pay back as it will be on paper, signed, and sealed.

Make sure you both have your names, signatures, the amount borrowed, and the deadline for payment on that paper.

It’s always best to have proof.

2. Send a reminder

We know no one likes having to remind a borrower about the money they owe.

Debtors never use the same energy they put into collecting money to pay it back. That’s why you need to be shameless about collecting your money back.

Message them often and randomly to remind them that they need to pay you.

If a client/customer owes you money, send the invoice as often as possible till they pay up. Keep your approach friendly if you don’t want to lose that customer or friend.

3. Call them out on social media

If they still haven’t paid up after several attempts to get your money back, go the social media route. Apparently, it works.

4. Pay them a random visit

Pull up at their house uninvited. Don’t leave till they have made the transfer.


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5. Give them an ultimatum

If some time has passed since they borrowed money from you, give them a deadline.

It is frustrating when you need the money for urgent matters and they keep postponing payment. An ultimatum will help them realize that you aren’t letting it go.

6. Collect a collateral

Did you know that you can collect collateral from someone before lending them money?

If you decide to do this, you want to make sure that whatever you collect is of personal value to them and can be sold off to pay back your money or at least some of it.

People are more likely to pay back on time when you are holding on to something they value.

Again, make sure you document everything. You don’t want to be falsely accused of theft.

7. Get them to pay in installments

If the borrower is unable to pay all at once, you can allow them to pay gradually.

Let’s say a person owes you 150,000 naira. You can get him/her to pay you 30,000 naira for the next 5 months until payment is complete. Document this agreement too.

8. Take legal steps

So the agreement you signed didn’t get them to pay up? It’s time to bring in the lawyers. All the better if you can afford to or you have a lawyer friend that would be willing to carry your case on their head.

We spoke to a lawyer and she explained the process.

Before you involve lawyers, you want to make sure that the money is worth the stress, especially because the lawyer will charge for their services.

The amount of money is what determines whether it goes to a magistrate court or the high court. If it ends up at a magistrate court, you don’t necessarily need to get a lawyer but it’s advisable to do so. The high court on the other hand requires you to get a lawyer.

Also, the issue only makes it to court if you have made several documented attempts to get the money back and they didn’t work out. You will need a couple of documents to prove your case:

a. Documents of letter to refund.

b. Documents that show that the deadline for payment is overdue.

c. Documents to even prove that the person actually owes you.

If the judge rules that indeed there is a debt to be paid back (this is where the debtor tries to deny).

Then he will be required to pay back the debt and any other reasonable request the claimant makes, like paying for the lawyer’s fee. The court grants it in the case where it’s obvious that you didn’t have to incur a lawyer’s fee if not for them.

PS: If the money is like 10,000 naira, just go and tell your family members to help you collect it. Don’t bother the lawyers. Also, you need to prove that the money was borrowed and not gifted.

If you try using this guide to collect your money back from a debtor, let us know how it works out for you in the comments.

Tip: Never lend an amount that you aren’t willing to let go of.

There should be times when you are able to pardon the debtor if they are unable to pay back and you both have an understanding.

To avoid feeling like you have lost a lot of money in these cases, don’t lend money that you cannot afford to forget in the first place.

For instance, if someone asks to borrow 50,000 naira from you, you can decide to only send 30,000 naira if that’s the amount you are willing to forget if it happens that they can’t pay you back. Good luck!

Money Notes

Money Notes #10 – The Bi-Weekly Newsletter from Halo Invest

Two notes in one month. 

Only the most useful, relevant, and practical entries on finance and money. 

If you like our notes, invite your friends to subscribe here.

A recap from our Clubhouse table talk 

In case you missed it, we had our first Clubhouse session on Wednesday and it was a blast! 🎉

Our guest speakers talked about the different financial obligations that they have to deal with and how they handle them.

We touched on things like rent, electricity, transportation, black tax, dating, and self-care. And when it came to handling black tax, the general consensus was that it’s fine to help people sometimes, but it’s also important to shield yourself and your finances from entitlement and public expectations.

To stay up to date so you don’t miss our next clubhouse discussion, follow us on Instagram and if you want to speak at a session, send us a DM, we’re always happy to talk. 

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Fun, useful stuff you will absolutely love!

Megan Thee Stallion just kicked off an investing tutorial on Youtube titled ‘Investing for Hotties’ and we love it.

Salina’s story of living in debt teaches us all how to start making a financial plan.

This strategy might come in handy in showing you how to start paying yourself first.

Here’s how this marketing strategist is funding her baby girl lifestyle through travel.


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I’m a Marketing Strategist Funding My Baby Girl Lifestyle through Travel

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

This week, we are featuring Irene, a growth and marketing strategist who has figured out how to travel on a budget. She shares how she makes money, her experiences of visiting new countries, and plans to see the world.


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What do you do?

I’m a Growth and Marketing Strategist. I lead the marketing team of what’s on its way to becoming the number one personal finance brand in Nigeria, Halo Invest.

Tell me a little bit about how you make money?

I earn a monthly salary, and I run two businesses. One is a consultancy/service-based business for businesses and the other is a travel and lifestyle brand that allows me to be a baby girl for money.

If investments count, I have money scattered around a number of low-high risk investments with pay-off dates arranged through the year.

Baby girl for money? How?

Nothing more fun than getting paid to travel and see the world.

Rêvie (@brandrevie) basically allows me to find the best travel, hotel, accommodation, and experience deals.

I curate private and public experiences and trips and for the public ones, I get to go along sometimes.

I’m really just here waiting till all I can do is tour the world without worrying about money.

Actual goals! How did it all start?

People always think that they need a ton of money to enjoy life and I’ve always disagreed.

I’m great at planning and helping people find the smartest way to reach their goals.

I just took that skill and applied it to something I care about, enjoying life on a budget and creating beautiful experiences. And that’s how Rêvie was born.

How many countries have you been to?

I’m actually not sure but I know it’s not as many as I’d like. Not yet.

How many are you looking at?

Minus the war-torn zones and places where flight ticket prices don’t make any sense, I want to see the world.

I want to slow travel around the world, sip bottomless mimosas on boats, work from the beach, swim in the sea, and mentally scream with my eyes shut while jumping off a plane with friends. With a parachute of course.

Are you the enjoyment minister?

No actually, Princess is. I believe she’s @ministerofenjoyment on IG. I’m just @brandrevie 😄

How do you plan on achieving all that?

1st Step: Go fully remote.

2nd Step: Grow Rêvie

3rd Step: Maximise every experience. With some trips, you can do as much as 3 neighboring countries. Or arrange for longer layovers.

I like to travel in comfort so one thing we can be sure of is squeezing the best possible deals out of everything.

One time, I traveled through Benin and Togo to Ghana (where I visited 3/4 regions) with a friend. It cost me 150,000 naira and that included my flight back. And you can be sure that the hotels I stayed in were proper.

4th Step: Get a passport that’ll make travel easier for me and pick up new languages. (This would be step 1 but it’s not that easy so it’s a longer-term goal).

150,000 naira? How did you do it?

Research, negotiation, and relationships.

We did our research and mapped out a route plan with multiple stops on a straight line to Ghana and reached out to personal contacts to validate our findings and smoothen planning.

Speaking French helped with negotiations while splitting accommodation and in-town transportation costs helped keep the costs down per head.

I had it thought through with backup plans in case plan A didn’t work. Good thing it did. Well, for the most part.

What passport do you currently travel with? and have you faced any challenges traveling with it?

My Nigerian passport and it’s just generally stressful. People tend to look twice at it. Plus we don’t have access to as many countries as some others, so…

What passport would make travel a lot easier for you?

I’m not greedy, I’ll take any one of the top 10🌝

About Rêvie, what’s the inspiration behind the name? and how do you get clients?

Rêvie comes from marrying the French verbs ‘Rêver’ which means to dream and ‘Vivre’, which means to live.

It basically means live your dreams.

I get clients from referrals and social media. A lot of my clients become like family, we build experiences together and we stay in touch.

Then, they refer other people to me and reach out to know what plans are in the works so they know which ones to sign up for.

Ultimately, the plan is to build a strong, private community that will get access to a steady stream of deals.

As a lifestyle brand, we don’t handle just trips, we handle everything from currency exchange and transfers, transportation, and accommodation to lunches, events, and other curated experiences.

So I’m building all of that into an automated system that members can plug into any time.

Sounds really amazing. What plans are in the works this year?

Going through some restructuring post-covid so we’ve been on a long break. But we’re doing Nairobi and Mombasa sometime in September, the details are on my Instagram page (@brandrevie).


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How do you decide on what places to visit?

It’s a mixture of things. The kind of experiences people are looking for, the best places to have them, and the best places to find unique experiences.

Then I pull out my excel sheet and go with the one with the best budget-experience balance.

Last year, I picked Kenya and Rwanda over Cape Verde, Tanzania, and some others because I secured a really sweet deal on plane tickets. 150,000 naira return tickets per head to Nairobi, Kigali then back.

That’s a steal. How much would you have had to pay if you didn’t get that deal?

Regular tickets were over 300,000 naira.

How do you plan your own travel expenses? Do you save towards it?

😂 I’m always saving. I don’t even need a reason to save. I just always keep money aside so when it’s travel time it’s easy to pull out money.

How much do you save in a month?

I don’t have exact numbers because my monthly revenue fluctuates but my expense tracker tells me that I have 50% of my H1 income split between savings and investments.

The remaining 50% is for family, feeding, rent, utilities, entertainment, transportation, personal care, and charity.

How do you balance work and managing two businesses?

I haven’t found a balance. I wing it every day I wake up. But one thing that really helps is that I have competent teams set up for both businesses.

What advice would you give anyone who wants to start traveling but doesn’t know where to start or can’t afford to?

Start by looking around you. Identify the kind of activities you like, look for the most affordable ways to do them and then save up for them.

So, if you weren’t working as a marketing strategist. What would you be doing?

I like to say I would be a sugar baby. But I hear I’m not cut out for it. So I’ll just go with a pampered poodle. I would be living life as a pampered poodle. Not sure how, but it would be lit.

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

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All You Should Know About The Seven Deadly Sins of Investing

You are probably already familiar with the seven deadly sins – pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth, but how much do you know about the seven deadly sins of investing?

The seven deadly sins of investing are bad investing decisions that we make without even knowing.

If you are an investor, chances are that you have committed at least one or two of these without realizing it.


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1. Herd mentality

Sometimes, we get influenced by other people’s actions and decide to do exactly what they do. This is herd mentality.

It is a form of envy, so it qualifies as one of the seven deadly sins of investing. When we desperately want what others have, we tend to go ahead and do what they are doing or have done to get there.

It’s considered copycat behavior when you decide to make the same investment decisions without looking at your own financial situation or the valuation of that investment.

This type of herd behaviour causes you to do things like buy into a stock that’s already performing well when it’s a little too late.

Even though it doesn’t suit your risk profile and you can’t afford to spend money on that stock, you go ahead to buy it anyway because your friends are also talking about it.

However, the sad truth is you might end up at a loss if prices eventually crash.

What to do: Instead of following the herd, focus on studying the market and understanding how you can make investment decisions that are right for you.

2. Letting fear take over

It is important to focus on the long-term when it comes to investing. This will help you overcome the fear that your current investment may or may not be a major loss.

A first-time investor who knows little to nothing about how the market works will most likely freak out when he/she notices a dip.

However, you need to realize that the market will surely experience ups and downs so the obvious response is not to freak out if you see a dip.

As long as you have done your research and you know what you are investing in, you might want to let the stock do its thing without spending every second worrying about it.

What to do: The reality is, stocks will either go up or down, but holding longer can help your money earn good returns. You shouldn’t always be in a rush to sell out once a stock dips.

3. Hanging on too long

Hanging on for too long can be considered one of the seven deadly sins of investing.

Once you have watched your investment perform well over months or years, knowing when to sell becomes tough.

Sometimes you can hold on to an overpriced stock for too long because you are hoping it will get better even though your data says otherwise.

What to do: Have a sell strategy. Take time out to review your investments and ask the important questions that will help you know when to sell out:

a. Does the reason you bought the stock still apply? If yes, it can be a valid reason to hold on to it.

b. Has anything changed in the company? This could range from a change in the company’s management to a fall in the company’s market share or even sales declining. If these might affect your investment negatively, it might be best to sell.

c. Do you need the money? Your emergency funds should be totally different from the money you put into the stock market or any other investment.

It is expected that you will not need the money you put into a stock for a long time. You should only sell out if it’s very important or it’s time to use the money for what you invested it for in the first place.

d. Do you need to rebalance your portfolio? You should figure out whether or not you need to rebalance your portfolio and the best way to go about it

e. Is there a better investment opportunity? You should have some spare cash to expand your portfolio, but in situations where this isn’t the case, you can decide to sell a stock to buy into another.

4. Failing to rebalance

You don’t want to leave all your money in one investment, so you should consider diversifying in order to keep risk at bay.

Like we mentioned in the third deadly sin above, rebalancing your portfolio is one of your sell strategies to consider when you’ve held an asset for too long.

Investing in things like real estate, foreign and domestic stocks and commodities will help with the overall performance of your portfolio.

What to do: If you have a portfolio containing both stocks and bonds, figure out if there’s a need for rebalancing. This might be necessary for situations where one outperforms the other.

In order to create balance, you might want to consider selling the lower-performing investment to buy more of the higher-performing one.

Rebalancing your portfolio is something you can do at least once a year.


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5. Not getting familiar with the basics of investing

All things are difficult before they are easy‘ -Thomas Fuller

Most people believe it’s easier to jump into things without doing the work but the truth is acquiring the knowledge you need to start is way better.

When you’re too lazy to learn more about investing before you decide to make any moves, it means that you are prepared to face the risk of losing your money.

It’s slothful behavior to make an investment decision with little or no knowledge.

What to do: Put in the time, get familiar with what investing is, figure out your risk profile, and learn about the stock or investment before putting your money in. Hard work pays.

6. Complicating your portfolio

It’s easy to get carried away by the many investment options available to pick from when building your portfolio.

Sometimes, you notice a stock is performing well, so you buy, in hopes that you gain some profit. Other times, a stock or bond isn’t performing well and you buy hoping that it will eventually have its own good days.

You continue to follow this method of randomly picking stocks and bonds to invest in without any actual research informing your decisions. You might think your portfolio is diversified but it isn’t.

To avoid setting yourself up for losses, your portfolio needs to be properly balanced.

What to do: Be aware of what kind of investments you have in your portfolio. If some don’t need to be in your portfolio, you should take them out. You want to consider a portfolio with at least 60% stocks and 40% bonds, depending on how much risk you can handle. Here’s how you can create a balanced portfolio.

7. Paying Ridiculous Commissions

Different investment platforms charge varying commission fees when you invest with them. If you aren’t aware of the charges that come with investing on the platform, you won’t know whether you are losing money that could easily have increased your returns in the long run.

What to do: Try to pay attention to details and invest where you are charged at low rates, this way you get the best out of your money.

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