“Honestly, you need to get a man. You need someone to support you. All this independent nonsense you are doing is what will get you in trouble.”
Have we not heard or uttered these words in our lifetime?
Introduction. The Smart Money Woman Book.
I recently came across a book that I firmly believe every woman, across all ages, should have stacked in their library, and if hardcopies are not your front, then you should at least have it in your phone. Arese Ugwu, is a woman who knows no barricades when it comes to tackling issues surrounding money. She is a finance guru having established a finance platform (smartmoneyafrica.org) for millennials with the aim of educating the youth on how to not only get money but how to also keep and grow it. Arese is also the renowned author of The Smart Money Woman, a book that has revolutionized how women perceive wealth. Ugwu cleverly narrates the story of a Nigerian woman named Zuri while incorporating real-life events that we encounter daily. In relation, we follow Zuri throughout her financial freedom journey and pick up critical financial lessons along the way.
‘The Smart Money Woman’ Book Review.
Out of all the characters in her book, I am fascinated with three women. Their beliefs and attitudes towards money are disturbing. One particular character, Ladun, firmly believes that a woman should not have to work when they are married; the husband should solely provide for the family. She also does not believe in the culture of saving for a rainy day because money-related issues are not of her concern. She is fully dependent on her husband and remains completely clueless on financial matters. As the book climaxes, we see Ladun’s family losing their source of financial stability. After that grim event, Ladun is forced to start thinking about how she will support her children. She is at a crossroads as to whether she should seek employment or start a business.
Adesuwa is the breadwinner of her family. Her husband is constantly trying to erect a business but to no avail. Adesuwa pays all the bills while supporting her husband’s entrepreneurial pursuits and his family. Despite all this, Adesuwa has to pretend that her husband provides for her in order to salvage his reputation and ego. In the end, the husband empties their joint bank account and elopes with his younger lover.
Zuri, our prism to the modern African woman world, is a real estate genius with an impressive salary. She lives a posh life yet she finds herself in a financial bind when she realizes she is in huge debt. It is as if she owes everyone money all at once.
The question is, how many women out there are Laduns, Adesuwas, and Zuris? How many women sit down to look over their financial books and arrange meetings with financial advisors to improve their financial status? How many women still think that money issues are a man’s migraine and that financial freedom entails marrying a wealthy man? How many women are afraid to show their financial prowess and invest in it because they fear to cast a shadow on their partners?
Settle your debts, make a budget, cut down costs, save and invest. I am not saying that you should not spoil yourself along the way; budgeted splurges are your reward for killing it at work every day.
The twenty-first-century woman is not just a woman who can pay her bill at a restaurant, the twenty-first-century woman knows how to get, keep and grow her money.