Financial intelligence

A Simple Guide to Financial Intelligence For Nigerian Youths

by Aiyepe Ayishat

In Nigeria, financial intelligence is a crucial skill for the youth to develop. It is essential to understand how to manage money, save for the future and invest in assets that can grow wealth. 

However, many Nigerians lack the knowledge and skills to manage their finances effectively which often leads to financial struggles and debt.

This guide will provide you with valuable information on financial intelligence and how you can achieve financial stability.

What is Financial Intelligence?

Financial intelligence is the ability to understand how money works, manage financial resources effectively, and make informed financial decisions.

It involves having a good understanding of personal finance, investments, credit management, and budgeting.

How to Develop Financial Intelligence

  1. Educate yourself

The first step in developing financial intelligence as a Nigerian youth is to educate yourself on the basics of personal finance. It involves you renewing your mentality about money and wealth as your financial success is largely determined by the mindset you have toward finance.

This will help you discern the best course of action to take concerning your finances.

You can do this by reading financial books, attending seminars, and watching financial videos. 

  1. Saving

Saving is crucial for achieving financial goals such as building an emergency fund, purchasing a car or a house, or planning for retirement. To save money effectively, you need to set clear goals, automate your savings, and choose the right savings account.

Start by setting a savings goal based on your financial priorities. For example, if you want to build an emergency fund, aim to save three to six months of living expenses. 

If you are planning to buy a car or a house, calculate the down payment and set a timeline for achieving that goal.

Next, automate your savings by setting up a standing order to transfer a fixed amount from your salary account to a savings account. This approach ensures that you save before spending and makes it easier to achieve your savings goal.

When choosing a savings account, consider the interest rate, fees, and accessibility. Look for accounts with high-interest rates, low fees, and easy access to your funds when you need them.

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  1. Credit management

Another importance of financial intelligence is credit management. As a Nigerian youth, always make sure to pay your bills on time and keep your credit card balances low. 

Late payments and high credit card balances can negatively affect your credit score, making it harder to access credit in the future.

  1. Avoiding debt

Debt can be a significant obstacle to achieving financial goals especially if you are burdened with high-interest debt like credit card debt or personal loans. To avoid debt, you need to manage your spending, establish an emergency fund and live within your means.

Start by managing your spending by creating a budget and tracking expenses. Avoid unnecessary expenses and prioritize necessary spendings like bills and groceries.

Establish an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses like car repairs or medical bills so you don’t have to rely on credit cards or loans.

Living within your means is also essential to avoid debt. Don’t spend more than you earn and avoid the temptation to keep up with the Joneses. Instead, focus on your financial goals and prioritize saving and investing over unnecessary expenses.

  1. Investment

Investment is also a critical aspect of financial intelligence. As a Nigerian youth, educate yourself on the different types of investment options available and choose one that suits your financial goals and risk tolerance. Investing is an excellent way to grow your wealth over the long term.

However, it is crucial to understand the risks and rewards of investing and to choose the right investment options based on your risk tolerance and financial goals.

There are several investment options available including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and cryptocurrencies.

Each option has its advantages and risks so it is essential to research and seek professional advice before investing.

If you’re new to investing, consider starting with a low-risk option such as a mutual fund or a bond. These options offer lower returns but are less risky than stocks or real estate.

As you gain more experience and confidence, you can explore more high-risk options.

  1. Budgeting

Budgeting is also an important skill to develop when it comes to financial intelligence. Create a monthly budget that outlines your income and expenses.

This will help you identify areas where you can cut back on expenses and save more money. Budgeting involves creating a plan for how to allocate your income towards expenses, savings, and investments.

To create a budget, start by tracking your expenses for a month and categorizing them into necessary and discretionary spending. Necessary spending includes bills, groceries, and transportation while discretionary spending includes nonessential items like entertainment, dining out, and shopping.

After tracking your expenses, compare them to your income to determine if you have any surplus or deficit. If you have a deficit, identify areas where you can reduce discretionary spending or increase your income through side hustles or part-time jobs.

Practical Tips to Achieve Financial Intelligence

1. Use your bank’s online tools and resources to manage your finances more efficiently.

2. Learn to negotiate and ask for better deals.

3. Keep your personal and financial information secure, and be wary of phishing scams and other online scams.

4. Take advantage of tax breaks and incentives to minimize your tax liabilities

5. Consider starting a small business, but make sure to do your research and plan carefully.

6. Avoid unnecessary expenses: Avoid impulse buying and focus on needs rather than wants

7. Build an emergency fund: Set aside money for unexpected expenses.

8. Seek professional advice: Consult with a financial advisor for personalized financial advice.

Benefits of Financial Intelligence 

Achieving financial intelligence can have a significant impact on your lifestyle. By managing your money effectively, you can afford the things you need and want without worrying about debt or financial stress.

You can also achieve financial independence which means you are not reliant on others for financial support.

As a Nigerian youth, financial intelligence can also help you achieve long-term financial goals, such as owning a home or retiring comfortably. By investing wisely and building wealth over time, you can create a secure financial future for yourself and your family.

Conclusion

Financial intelligence is a critical skill that every Nigerian youth should possess. By educating yourself on personal finance, avoiding debt, managing credit effectively, investing wisely, and budgeting, you can achieve financial stability and security.

Remember to develop a savings habit, avoid unnecessary expenses, build an emergency fund, and seek professional advice when necessary. 

With the right approach and mindset, you can achieve financial independence and live the life you deserve.

We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts about this in the comments, or speak to us on WhatsApp.

About Author

Avatar of Aiyepe Ayishat
Aiyepe Ayishat
Aiyepe Ayishat is an author of several unpublished articles. She is mainly into writing and editing. In her free time, she likes to read, make motivating videos, obsess over music, practice new writing skills and watch movies. Aiyepe Ayishat resides in Lagos, Nigeria. She is currently studying Electronics and computer engineering in Lagos State University.

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