Financial Indepenence


Building wealth and getting clarity around your finances doesn’t have to be daunting or stressful. In fact, with the right practices instilled, it can be liberating.

If you want to be one of them, then read on to educate yourself about debt, value-based spending, the best saving habits, financial freedom, and the key components that lead to financial success. It won’t be easy to implement these new habits, but you certainly won’t regret it.

ONE- Pay Off Your Debts.

Not all debts are bad. Debt with a plan can actually be really good for acquiring assets. These are ‘good debts’ as they are spent on investments and assets that are valuable and can be liquidated in the long run.
‘Bad debts’ are those debts you use on consumption.

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When you have a million naira personal income and you have a debt of 500 thousand naira that is due or will be due, it is advisable you pay off your debts first before you calculate how much you really own.

If you have more than one debt, pay off the one with the highest interest rates or the one with the highest balance first.

TWO – Determine Your Priorities.

When you prioritize debt, think about high interest versus low interest. You can build emergency funds simultaneously while paying off your debts because if you do not have an emergency fund, you may slip back into that debt if real emergency happens.

Being in debt is stressful so you will feel more compelled to rid yourself of that burden. High-interest debt steals from your wealth; values-based spending helps you get in alignment with building wealth, and an emergency fund protects your wealth so that you don’t slide back into high-interest debt.

THREE- Practice Value-Based Spending.

The first step is awareness – know what you’re spending.
Look back at the last three to six months of your spending and analyze how much you’re spending on your lifestyle.

It is easy to often assume that you are just paying for rent and food but our brains want to rationalize that we’re on our best behavior, so it doesn’t allow us to think about all of the subscription boxes.

Value-based spending is a lot easier than budgeting. Setting a budget can feel restrictive, like being on a diet.

You spend within your budget for a week and then you see that dress on Instagram and you click.

But if you have values, you will see that that instant gratification won’t be gratifying for long because it’s not aligned with our values. Once you determine three values that really matter to you, you’ll find that they can function as a filter. An example would be equity, family, and leverage (when you’re willing to spend money on things that help make life easier). Buying the shoes doesn’t align with any of those pillars, so it needs to be a preplanned choice.

FOUR – Open a High-Yield Savings Account.

Saving is the inverse of spending. Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Basically, any one thing can shrink or contract to the size of its container. In relation to money in a bank account, the reason you end up spending what you should be saving is that it’s right there, visible, in your checking account.
Open a high-yield savings account and automate transfers on a monthly basis. That recurring act will give you accessibility to only what you should be spending.

Consider investments as well, but make your research so you are investing in what you are knowledgeable about.

FIVE – Understand the Definition of Financial Freedom.

Financial freedom is an equation: enough passive income to outpace your expenses. When you have financial freedom in your life, work becomes an option instead of an obligation.
Financial freedom allows you to enjoy your wealth because time is no longer a finite resource.
When you go to work, even as an entrepreneur, you are trading time for money. But, if you can buy assets to create additional income, then you are trading money for assets that bring you more money.

If you get on this train and educate yourself, you will find that you don’t always have to rely on yourself and your body to make money. It takes a lot of time, effort, and sacrifice to get up every morning and go to work.

SIX – Instill the Key Components That Lead to Financial Independence

Six qualities that every wealthy woman should try to encompass:

  1. Planning: Determine your financial goals, write them down, and find an accountability partner. You can’t get what you want if you don’t plan for it. When it comes to money, you have to be goal-oriented.
  2. Frugality or Intentionality: Commit to saving more, spending less, and sticking to a plan. This formula leads to an ability to have a passive income because if you spend all of your money then there will be nothing left to invest it.
  3. Confidence: In order to gain financial confidence in managing your money and investing, you need financial education. We didn’t learn this in school. You have to go and find it, otherwise, you will stay in a state of stress. Inaction is terrible for your finances.
  4. Responsibility: Accept your role in financial outcomes and take action to make financial changes in your life.
  5. Focus: See your process through to completion one step at a time. Accountability is crucial.
  6. Social indifference: Don’t succumb to buying the latest thing as a means of feeling good. If you practice this, it will change your life. Women are the targets of consumerism. But, if you appreciate how you look and how you are inherent, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and energy.


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Yes, I am dedicating this post to the most epic TwitterNG Clap back which has been trending.

The tweets which deserve to be engraved in gold and put up in the museum of Women Empowerment (If there is any) ensued between a cheesy young man who took to Twitter to rant about being refused a chance at having a relationship with a young lady (with a self-esteem on fleek) whom he had taken out on a date. He referred to her as a ‘broke ass hungry b*tch’. The lady who identified herself as the object of contention, simply replied his tweet with a break-down of the expenses incurred on the date and a screenshot of a money transfer to the said guy as a refund + tip.

Can we all have a moment of silence in honour of this ‘Miss Independent’ move.

You see, the young lady in question might not have a well-paid job or 30 billion for the account o *in Davido’s voice*; she didn’t even have to pay him back generously as she did, but I love that she didn’t feel helpless or without a choice.

This brought to mind something that happened to one of my mother’s friends some years ago. (I’m sharing her experience with her permission of course.) She had been in a horribly abusive marriage for years. Her husband even had a long cane hidden behind the door in their room for when she ‘misbehaved’ and wasted no time flogging her silly in front of their children.  When the cane was not sufficient, he resorted to using his teeth. On one of such occasions, he bit one of her breasts and a chunk of her flesh was actually hanging on her chest.

My mother is a lawyer, but of what use was that, when her friend never wanted any help in that regard? ‘Where will I go?’ she would often ask my mother. My mother spoke to her husband on multiple occasions, but his woman was quick to cover him up.
Back to the vampire incident where the breast had been bitten; upon arrival at the hospital (you should know that this man never paid any of the bills arising from his violent outbursts)  the doctor asked what could have caused such a fracas and my mother’s friend said that she had slipped and fallen badly off the stairs. Of course, the doctors didn’t believe her (Not with his teeth imprinted in her flesh), but counselled her nonetheless.

A few years ago, this man gave his wife a date – not when he would send her out of his home, but when he would actually kill her. She ran to my mother who advised her to get a job and earn some money no matter how meagre.

She did just that (against the wishes of her husband, who believed women should be full-time housewives) and that was the beginning of her freedom.  Since the man always got angry when it was time to pay the bills, she started handling the bills. Unsurprisingly, he began to complain about how she didn’t care about him or treat him like a man. He complained, but never lifted a finger to hit her again. Why?  She now had her own money and could afford to leave him, if he abused her again.  Soon enough, he was transferred by his company to work in a state that was 12 hours away from home. He hasn’t come home visiting till this day.

And, you’re taking things too far with this issue, you may say – but I think not. We can’t overemphasise the need for women to be financially independent. In fact, most of the problems we have in the world today stem from the poverty many women face because they can’t or are not allowed or given opportunities to be financially independent. In many countries, including Nigeria, some cultures forbid women from owning or administering properties (this is one of the reasons why our gender equality bill must make a come-back in the Senate), denied employment because they will get pregnant and have babies and no one wants to pay for a breastfeeding or nappy changing vacation and yada yada.

Here’s my take on the Twitter incident: taking a lady out on a date, buying her expensive gifts, or treating her to some privileges doesn’t mean she must meet your expectations in return, or even pay you back in cash or kind. This is the grounds some men have ignorantly used to justify rape and forms of sexual violence. It is beyond sad. What if she was controlling you at the ATM or she bought the whole of Dubai mall using your credit card? Uncle, it still doesn’t mean she must have a relationship or have sex with you. Recieve sense!

Love can’t be forced, and relationships are not legal tenders for dates. If either of the parties on a date is not ‘feeling’ any chemistry or seeing any possibilities, they have a right to step back. After all, many of us have been on dates with people who have treated us very nicely, but with whom we had no relationships – we had the right to, for whatsoever reason.

More than anything,  this particular twitter thread should be empowering to ladies. Don’t be intimidated. What if he takes you out and spends more than you can afford and behaves this same way, don’t feel like you have to pay anyone back for a date they invited you to. There’s a price to be paid for everything in this life including time spent with other people on dates. Hold your head up high;  let your No be your No and your Yes be your Yes.

This is not a call to war, I simply mean that you have a choice!


AnuOluwapo Adelakun

About AnuOluwapo Adelakun

AnuOluwapo Adelakun is a passionate girl child and women rights advocate working on issues affecting marginalized girls and women in Nigeria. She’s a UNICEF Voices of Youth alumni, Carrington Youth Fellow of the US Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria and a UN WOMEN/Empower Women Global Champion for Change who grooms and mentors girl leaders across the globe.

Source: Bellanaija