Who is the smart money woman to you? 💆🏼♀️
Is it Tami, a sassy young woman who has a thriving business with numerous customers? Or are you more drawn to Ladun, a happily married woman who enjoys taking care of her husband and building her family? How about Adesuwa, a brilliant, hardworking lawyer with a husband and a son? What do you think of Lara, a bold and confident woman who does not dwell on silliness, always facing situations head-on, a breadwinner who is very good with money management? Or is Zuri the smart money woman? After all, she was able to bounce back from being remarkably broke to getting more money, getting a promotion at the end of the series, moving on from her ex, and getting a steady relationship.
Shall we dive in…🤩
Take a seat and let’s talk about one of the most exciting Nigerian series on Netflix right now. And if you’ve not watched the series, no worries. You can see this as a much-needed introduction, after which you can enjoy the series while keeping an eye out for money lessons, many of which we will talk about here.
The Smart Money Woman is a TV series that centers on five glamorous millennials striving for success and navigating their finances, love life, friendships, and family. The series is loaded with numerous financial tips and lessons. If you start watching without a note and pen, we’re sure you’d have one by your side filled with tips and tricks by the time you finish the final episode. That’s what happened to us when we watched, and here are our money lessons from The Smart Money Woman:
Spend smartly: avoid reckless spending 🌚
The series starts with the main character, Zuri, just returning from a vacation only to realize she is broke. Zuri works at a company on the island and earns over half a million monthly. Not bad, right? So how did she go broke? How did half a million a month result in a bank balance of N180,000, N3,000,000 in liabilities, zero assets, and a net worth of N-2,820,000?
Two things basically: negligence and reckless spending. Zuri spends money as she makes it, so the money goes out as it comes in. No emergency fund, no savings, no investments, nothing. Just vibes. What’s worse? Zuri does not know she’s broke until she returns from a vacation and discovers she can’t afford her house service charge.
This is what happens when we give in to negligence. Instead of monitoring our spending, we refuse to keep track, or we lie to ourselves that we are keeping track in our head. This is a dangerous habit. Always know how much you are spending. Don’t just have an idea of how much in your head. Write things on your phone or notebook
Remember the Narrator’s quote: “What you deny or ignore, you delay. What you accept and face, you conquer.”
Monitor your spendings💵
If Zuri had been monitoring her spendings, she would have known that she was on the verge of going broke. Perhaps she would have canceled her vacation and focus on spending less.
The second reason Zuri found herself running from her landlord and unable to afford car repair was because of her reckless spending. Buying overpriced Aso Ebi, attending ceremonies every other weekend. Chanel bags, Fendi, Celine, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton…name it, Zuri has it. While it is good that you are not stingy with yourself and buy good things for yourself, it is wise to know when to stop. Remember, money is finite.
Let your default mode be Money Cleanse 🧘🏽♀️
When confronted by her broke reality, Zuri starts what she calls Money Cleanse. Money Cleanse simply means spending less. She unsubscribes from the gym membership she barely uses, puts up her designer bags for sale, lets go of weekly spa treatments, and stops buying overpriced Aso Ebi.
When you do not make proper plans, you will be forced to go on a Money Cleanse when the consequences hit hard. But you do not have to wait until you are drowning in debts. In fact, Money Cleanse should be your default state if you want to take your finances seriously.
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. That gadget you’ve even forgotten how to use? Turn these things into money. Don’t accumulate possessions you do not need while your account balance becomes red. Be on a default Money Cleanse. Remember what Zuri said: If I am serious about saving money, I have to be on the road to changing my whole lifestyle. To do better, you need to be ready to put in the work. Bad spending habits are not isolated coincidences. They come from a bad money lifestyle.
Lend with caution 😒
We know you may be called to be your sister’s keeper, but you are not a charity organization. Remember what Zuri told her mom when the woman was giving out money anyhow? Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm. It is good to be generous and to help those in need. But it is wise to have a budget for generosity. Do not cross your boundaries. Borrow people with plans for repayments. And don’t be shy to say no. ‘I wish I could help with that, but I am sorry I cannot right now’ is a good way to decline requests for money when you’ve hit your generosity budget for the month.
On the flipside, borrow with respect. Understand that money comes from hard work and hard work should never be disrespected. Remember what happened when Lara gave her brother money, and he gave it to a football agent who scammed him? That there is a sign of disrespect. When someone lends you money, and you are unable to pay it back at the agreed time, there are ways to address this in a respectful matter.
Always seek help when you need it 🤲🏽
Let’s take a break from Zuri now and talk about Tami and Adesuwa.
Meet Adesuwa: a young and excellent lawyer earning well and making waves. She has a son and is happily married to Soji? Or is she?
The first time we see Adesuwa, she is in a session with a husband and wife who seem to be seeking legal advice on divorce. The last time we see Adesuwa, she is now a single mom, separated from her husband. What went wrong?
Unlike Zuri, who sought the help of her friends when she hit rock bottom financially, Adesuwa decided to keep her problems to herself and pretend as if they never existed. She even lied to her friends when confronted with evidence of her husband’s unfaithfulness and chose to live in denial.
Not seeking help when you need to can be dangerous🥲
We all make mistakes and find ourselves in bitter spots, how we handle it is what matters. Remember how Tami, the exotic fashion designer, lost all her employees in one day? She called her friends and they all came together to talk about it and find possible solutions for her. The same happened with Zuri when her ex announced that he was engaged and when she got broke.
There is no shame in being vulnerable and asking for a little help. You can have a better hold of your financial life if you seek help. However, if you choose to suffer in silence and wear a mask, the mask will fall off and you will be exposed someday. Zuri and Tami sought help and got back on their feet. And look what happened to Adesuwa? After pretending that her marriage was good for so long, one day her husband disappears on her after emptying her bank accounts.
What’s that money challenge you’ve been hiding all this while? Now is the time to seek help. Remember: what you don’t address will later put an end to you.
But help from who? You need a solid support system 🤝
This is perhaps the most important lesson from the series. Did you notice how all the ladies always do things together? They meet regularly, talk about their work, family, love life, and challenges; celebrate each other’s successes; they also speak sense to each other when the need arises.
When Zuri came crying about going broke, Lara asked her: Why did you go broke? You need friends who are not afraid to ask the difficult questions.
Remember when Tami was chasing Bobby the fraudster and they went out to the club? The moment they got home, they spoke the truth to Tami. Same with Lara when she was going after married men. What about when Zuri was relapsing on her money cleansing? Lara called her to order.
You don’t have to be alone 👫
Navigating life alone can be hard. This is why you need a support system. Have someone like Tami and Ladun that can show you love and care when you are down. Have Lara, who will scold you when you need it and proffer solutions for you just like she did when Tami’s business crashed. The same thing happened when Adesuwa’s husband ran away with the money in their joint savings. Lara already suggested suing him and asked Adesuwa to open a brand new account immediately, so her money stops going to the joint savings. Have Adesuwa and Zuri. Have Ladun who will offer to follow you to that interview when you finally hit that jackpot!
Friends are not the only ones who can be our support system. For example, Zuri’s mum was a support for her when she was preparing for her presentation.
In addition to having a support system, make sure you’re also a solid support to your friends. They need you as much as you need them.
And hey, we’re here for you! 🤗
What if you do not have a support system or you’re just building one? We got you! We know that navigating money can be uneasy. This is why we do what we can from here. From the love mails our users receive on Mondays, to the regular events we hold like Simplified to teach you how to take your money game seriously, we are trying to make you that smart money woman or man 😌
So who’s the smart money woman? Zuri? Adesuwa? Ladun? Tami? Lara? While we wait for your answers, let us hear what your favorite lesson is.