While the Smart Money Woman series(by Arese Uguw) trends on Netflix, here are a few lessons we believe would help your financial habits. Find out more in the article below.

Smart Money Woman is a Netflix original series, based on Arese Ugwu’s 2016 bestselling novel of the same name. It tells the story of a working-class woman’s journey to financial freedom, while trying to balance her career, her friendships, and her love life.

Directed by Bunmi Ajakaiye, co-written by Pearl Osibu and Jola Ayeye, and produced by Kemi Lala Akindoju, Smart Money Woman features an all-star cast which includes Osas Ighodaro, Ebenezer Eno, Eso Dike, Indima Okojie, Toni Tones, Kemi Lala Akindoju and Timini Egbuson, among others.

Set in urban contemporary Lagos, the series follows the lives of five millennials: Zuri (Ighodaro), Lara (Tones), Ladun (Eno), Adesuwa (Akindoju) and Tami (Okojie) who have been friends for years, and now have to navigate living and working in a fast-paced capitalist society. Zuri is having a difficult time at work and still has to deal with a complicated love life, Adesuwa has to hide the fact that she is the breadwinner in a marriage where she is continually disrespected by her husband and in-laws, Ladun is a stay-at-home wife who recklessly spends her husband’s money, Lara is a thriving corporate executive who is frustrated by her younger brother’s lack of ambition, and Tami is a budding fashion designer who is struggling to guard her business reputation.

Beyond the glitz and glamour of modern Nollywood cinema, as well as the romance between Zuri and Tsola (played by Eso Dike), the series presents a lot of valuable lessons in finance, especially when it comes to poor financial habits that we could all do without. These lessons are as follows:

  1. Avoid reckless spending: The series starts with Zuri lamenting over the fact that she is broke after returning from a vacation abroad. Things get bad to a point that she’s unable to pay the service charge for her apartment and she gets constant visits from her landlord. Zuri’s experience is a lesson to always be mindful of what you spend your money on. If she had avoided going out of the country on vacation, there’s a chance that she wouldn’t have been in such a mess.
  2. Poor Account Monitoring: Again, this is drawn from Zuri’s initial woes at the beginning of the series. If she was more conscious about her earnings and how much was leaving her account, things would have been a lot easier for her.
  3. Living Above Your Means: This sounds like a no-brainer, but many people lose sight of it, especially when they want to keep up with their peers. If your salary is not big enough to maintain an expensive car, then you have no business buying one. You also need to resist the pressure to move into a high-brow apartment when your income is not sufficient to cover the running costs.
  4. Unreasonable Expenses: Zuri’s decision to go on a “money cleanse” was helpful to her in the long run. Deciding not to buy expensive dresses meant that she had more money to put aside and add to her savings fund.
  5. No Emergency Savings: Ladun’s spending habits came back to haunt her. Life is uncertain, and if you don’t save for the rainy day, you will be left in the cold when the unexpected happens.
  6. No Interests Investments: Money is liquid, and it goes as quickly as it comes. You need to make your money work for you. Invest in stocks, bonds, and treasury bills. You can learn more about investing by signing up on platforms like wealth.ng powered by Paga, Nigeria’s leading payment solution.
  7. Poor Planning: Learn to distinguish recurring payments from one-off payments. Draw up a plan, and if it requires getting an app to sort out recurring expenses, then do so. Scheduling recurring payments is easy with platforms like Paga, where you can set up your account in a manner that it will be debited a specific amount at a specified time of the month for a particular service. It’s like a bank’s standing instructions, but for e-wallets. For instance, you can have your account debited for the sum of N10,000 on the 26th day of each month for electricity bills.
  8. Accumulating Possessions You Do Not Need: Sell what you are not using. That bag you’ve not carried in four months? Sell it. Those shoes you haven’t worn in three months? sell them. 
  9. No financial : Families need to start having money-related conversations like having joint accounts, next of kin, emergency funds, e.t.c. These things will come in handy in the event that things go south.
  10. Fear to seek help: When Tami’s business took a hit, she was lucky to have a network of friends who rallied around her and sought out solutions to her predicament. When you are experiencing financial difficulty, don’t die in silence, stretch your hands out and ask for assistance. Thanks to modern technology, there is a plethora of payment solutions like Paga, where you can request and receive money with ease. To do this:

–          Enter the phone number or email address of the sender and amount required.

–          Add a short description or remark about the request so you can track your incoming payments.

–          Paga will notify you via SMS or email once your money has landed.

Opening a Paga account is pretty easy. To get started, click here to download the Paga app on your device, then click on ‘Sign Up’, and follow the instructions from there. 

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