How Comparison Is Killing Your Budget – Smart Money Africa

Hey people I just wanted to say wow wow wow. The response for the last episode was nothing  short of amazing. Thank you so much to everyone that listened, everyone that shared it on instagram, WhatsApp well I haven’t checked if anyone left a review on ITunes yet but please go to ITunes leave a review rate the podcasts, I appreciate you.

So this week I wanted to talk about comparison and how it can hurt our financial health. I think in Africa  we have our own special blend of keeping up with the jonesing and it’s called “ have you seen your mates” have you seen what your mates are doing and it often starts from when we are in school , when our parents say things like why can’t you get all “A’s like Ifueko” or “ why can’t you swim and  win prices like Alero”. Then we finish university and then we go from comparing grades to comparing jobs and how then comparing cars and then if you are not careful to reframe the way that you think about this comparison it becomes a never ending psycho of always  trying to keep up with society’s expectations as detriment to your own financial health as a quest to just focus on achieving your own goals and unfortunately this is often hard to do because we leave in a society that shames people for living within their means . Many people have blamed and called social media the main driver for this unhealthy comparison. This comparison that has driven many folks to leave above their means, so people feel pressured to buy luxuries,status symbols that their incomes can’t support because they are doing it for the gram. Many people are depressed because of what other peoples perceived wealth and they genuinely feel bad about themselves because they are not measuring up to the achievements of total strangers. I don’t know it’s so crazy to me right? That people feel like this and I feel differently because I feel as a society we’ve always been this way. Social media has just created a platform that amplifies how we think and how we behave. The only difference between them and now is that pre social media “if Shade bought a Range Rover in the words of my dear mother she would just launch it at a wedding or at a party and if people wanted to gossip about her they would talk about her in the comforts of their living room  they would gossip about her with their friends and families and if a gossip rag like city people decide to carry it there is no common section that people would not express their feelings so there was no feed back mechanism  and I think that it’s because we now have these social media platforms that gives us constant feedback, everything is amplified s it’s just causing many people to do pass themselves . At first I used to argue with my friends that it was silly for people to see a celebrity’s post and feel pressured and depressed that their own life doesn’t  measure up , you know I used to think it was it was so ridiculous like am like what the person is posting has nothing to do with you like just do you boo stay in your lane, but I didn’t think it was a real thing but then it was me that was naive because the more I paid attention to people’s conversations, comments on Instagram etc etc. I realized that many people think like this. Listen none of us are perfect but this is my own sense . Every human being is on a journey and everybody’s journey is made up of a combination of blessings and obstacles. So they way I see it is silly to cover someone else’s blessings when I don’t know what obstacles or demons they had to fight in their own life’s . Would I have been willing to go through the same, could I have survived the obstacles that they had to overcome , because sometimes the obstacles someone else has been able to overcome may look easy to you but they could have killed you , have patience and faith in the work that you are doing and what you’re building because your blessings will come. I truly believe this I believe our tailor made blessings will come. So in this episode I want to share three strategies that could help you put the comparison in check and  also improve your financial health 

  1. Fix your money mind set. Listen don’t let anybody confuse you making money is hard it’s hard work . It is not beans, you can have an idea, you can have good intentions, you can know how you want to execute it and then there will be a million obstacles in the road to making that money , not to talk of keeping it and growing it . It’s difficult but building anything always is and otherwise everyone would do it and we would all be billionaires out of the gate. But I truly believe that a combination of patience, hard work and resilience the resilience would overcome obstacles and bounce from one uncertainty to another is what actually equals financial success but it’s a process and that process can be frustrating right and it causes people to do one think a lot in negative ways but there are two types of money mindsets there’s the scarcity mind set and then there is the abundance mindset I believe the scarcity mentality is like at the root of the kind of comparison that keeps people broke right that keeps people constantly comparing themselves to other people and put them in negative thought patterns. People that have the scarcity mentality believe that they would never be enough and basically their third process and actions stand from a place of lack. This mindset is likely to manifest in several negative thought patterns that include unnecessary comparison, jealousy, envy, unhealthy competition and everything in that family sha. For example let’s say you see a post on social media that Kenny Adetiba hit three hundred million naira at thebox office for her movie “king of boys “ people with a scarcity mindset would think “hmm are you sure it’s three hundred million, abeg joor they are just faking the numbers please ojoro the only reason that she has gotten to that level is because she is friends with so and so. They look at ways to discredit the wins because in their heads if she wins it means I can’t win most of the time the people constantly try to discredit others are frustrated either because they have tried and failed themselves or they were too scared to try so when they see someone achieving the same thing their instincts are to attack it because it gives them an excuse for their failures , so a scarcity mentality tells them that there’s not enough wins for all of us but listen cutting down someone else’s achievements does not create room for you and it does not put money I your pocket. Praying that someone else’s blessings are taken away is pointless because their blessings are not automatically transferred to your own plate, facts. A person with an abundance mindsets will see the same post and be inspired  by  it not jealous because the fact that another African woman can do it is proof that it is possible for me too. So generally when I see people winning or gracefully overcoming the obstacles that life has thrown at them, am inspired am inspired by their strength and tenacity and it gives me hope that right that it’s possible too so even if I have failed at something even if I have struggled with something seeing another persons win shows me that I can do it as well it’s possible I choose an abundance mindset not because am auturistic but it makes more sense to me , it’s the most practical, if I see someone win and am jealous of them and I make excuses for their success so that I can make my self feel better in the shush run am playing myself because  am subconsciously saying am jealous because I don’t believe that it can happen to me I don’t believe that it is possible or I don’t believe that what am doing has merit . If you don’t believe that it is possible or in saying that it was impossible possible for someone to achieve something you’re subconsciously telling yourself that because that thing is impossible, you cannot achieve it either so in a way you are self sabotaging . Comparing yourself to others leads to a lack of focus. I know that there is a lot of shame around failures , a lot of shame around you know not measuring up , but we need to change our mindset right.

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So the second thing was create two budgets. One budget to match your current income and another budget to match your future income. One that inspires you. You. This budgeting thing has caused a lot of trouble because most people find it tedious and boring and I won’t lie it can be because who really wants to spend their Saturday nights looking at spreadsheets of how much their life cost. Ahhhh me (laughs) I kid I kid I know it can be quite depressing but I find that over the years it’s become exciting for me to budget because my perspective change. I no longer see my budget like something that is designed  to restrict me, I see it as a spending plan that is ndesigned to tell me where to allocate my limited resources in a way that reflects my values so does your budget respect and prioritize the things that you value? The things that bring you joy it is it a representation of what society wants what your  family wantsm what your friends wants you know or the crushing your expectations of society dragging your money in different directions that are  not your own does it sound familiar? My budget is a tool that shows me how I can sustainably fund my goals with the income that I earn. When I started looking at it from that point of view, the energy that I brought to creating my budget changed,I came to my money dates with a glass of wine and excitement, all of a sudden my budget was no longer ko a thing that brought me anxiety or a source of shame but something that helped me achieve my goals certain spending limits that are included in my budget like I’m only going to spend a 100k at eating out at restaurants every month Yh because I love food uhm it’s one of my biggest problems in life (laughs) you know thinking about it from that point of view right like where I’m doing the things that bring me joy or within reason and knowing that because my budget allows me to allocate my spending right, I know what the consequence of exceeding this spending limit means because it affects my other goals for example the excess spending on eating out might affect my travel budget or the length of time it will take to reach my goal to buy that property at Ibeju-lekki. For many of my coaching clients changing their approach to create a certain budget like this mental shift being a huge difference in a way that they make their financial decisions because we focus on creating strategies that work for them and their personalities instead of having a one side fit all you know approach to budgeting. So listen when you budget in a way that gives you clarity around what your income can support, it makes it easier to understand the difference between what you can afford and why you can afford right now. It’s possible to raise a budget that matches your lifestyle so the third strategy that I wanted to share was evaluate your friendship circle. My second book the smart money tribe is about personal finance but a strong thing in the book is how your friendship circle can affect the way you earn,the way you spend and the way you invest. It’s really simple our behavior with money can easily be influenced by the people we are in close proximity to or spend the most time with especially when you are not self aware right, when you don’t even know yourself at all ok . If you hang around people who are constantly talking about their business goals who are talking about how they solve their business problems you are going to have more conversations about how to solve your own business problems, you are going to share more business ideas you are going to have more of those conversations. If you have friends who are always looking for more opportunities to invest, you are most likely going to talk about things like where are they selling land at a discount or compare investment returns and If you’re always talking about shoe and bag which shoe and bags to buy then that’s where your focus will always be. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with having normal conversations with your Friends about fun things like travel and fashion and beauty, I’m just saying that we need to make sure that it’s not the only thing that we are talking about. My friend and I discuss fun stuffs and discuss business and investment opportunities as well, we find a balance. One of my inspirations for writing the smart money tribe was when I realized that when I’m in a room with men and when I’m in a room with women the conversation is ultimately different. Men gossip ooo don’t get it twisted, they gossip quite alright but they are more likely to discuss what deals they are working on, what’s happening in the capital market, compare investment returns. Oh my guy sheybe you are soo f that deal on NNPC did you meet this guy what’s the best way to xyz right  and in talking about this problems talking about those experiences we are sharing knowledge we are sharing informations we are sharing access to opportunities. Women on the other hand we tend to talk about men, relationships, relationship problems, beauty, fashion which is not bad and when we do discuss business it’s mostly cosmetic conversations that don’t necessarily affect the bottom line. Women will talk about their business ,ideas their marketing strategies, how they balance being a mother,wife and career woman, but I wrote this book because I wanted to encourage women to have more conversations in their friendship circles about revenue models distribution strategies, share ideas on scale, how are you scaling you know what are your profit goals uhm you know asking each other questions around sale strategy access to capital who is giving you know cheap access to capital for women, how do you solve that tax problem uhm we don’t have these conversations that affects or contribute directly to the bottom line right? So I want to encourage women to do that. So we need to think about the fact that the reason that we constantly say your network is your net worth is because who you know gives you access. Access to capital, access to market, access to opportunities, access to distribution, all things that contribute significantly to our ability to build wealth. If you are not in the room where these discussions are being had,then you don’t know what opportunities are available, you don’t know what opportunities you have access to right? The truth is sometimes, you are not from a rich family, you didn’t go to the right schools, you don’t know the right people,but the reality is sometimes we have to build our own table, we have to create our own opportunities,but to do this we need people,sometimes instead of trying to find the Tara fela-durotoyes or the ibukun awosikas of this world we need to look around us who is in your immediate circle and how can we leverage our strength to help each other to get to the next level, how do we help each other to become our own versions of the Tara Fela-durotoyes or the Ibukun Awosikas. But I have a theory of why this doesn’t happen enough and it’s partly to do with the scarcity mentality, the unhealthy competition amongst friends right? I posted something on instagram the other day that seemed to resonate with a lot of people. Eat with your friends don’t compete with them, the hustle is against poverty not friendship. You think that this was simple to understand but it’s so much unhealthy, you know competition in my opinion there’s no room for competition in friendship. The reason most people don’t share information and expertise,access to capital, access to their network is because they have the mentality of hmmm let me not share oo before she dies better than me or let me not ask oo so they don’t think I don’t know, we are just packaging, people are busy packaging instead of asking questions or having the right conversations and fostering friendships with people that they like (laughs) cuz if you are in friendships with people that you like you have good intentions for each other right? We need to start learning to collaborate to compete instead of dealing in unhealthy behaviors. Your friends should inspire you to reach your goals because they are striving to reach theirs. Your friends should support your dreams (scoffs) your friends should hold you accountable when you set goals. If you are surrounded with people that pressure you to do things that you can’t afford something is wrong, if you are around people that shame you for being broke, something is wrong. If your large take for friendship is around material things something is wrong. There’s no room for jealousy In Friendship. If you are secretly competing with your friends or you people are secretly competing with each other, something is wrong. I think in general, we need to stop art these labaja bought car so I must buy the same car, alero bought bag I must buy the same bag . We need to stop the excessive consumer culture of the African middle class,where we are based on social symbols and building social capital that is based in the illusion of expensive things. Don’t get me wrong ooo, money stops nonsense, it really does so you want to you know work into a room and be addressed you know the way that you want right? Like you want to attract good things and you have to look the part I get it , but sometimes we get over carried away right? And we are only going to grow financially as individuals and as a continent when we are more focused on becoming producers not consumers. Head to toe drip but what do you produce sis. We love Kim Kardashian’s wardrobe but before I decide to buy all the things in her wardrobe I need to ask myself if my net worth matches hers, do I produce on the level and scale that she does? We need to start feeling some type of way about aspiring to drive the same car that dangote is driving instead of aspiring to build the assets that be has built first. I hope you found this helpful, to recap, the three key words from this episodes were  1. fix your money mindset; if you have a scarcity mentality,it limits you and you tend to make decisions from a place of lack.

  1. Create two budget; a budget that fits your current income and a budget that inspires you.
  2. Evaluate your friendship circles; surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed and keep you accounting to your goals.          Now If you are someone who struggles with budgeting In Your financial life, sign up for my one on one coaching session where we would  go through your expenses, match the with your money goals and come up with strategies for budgeting that fits your personality so the idea is at the end of the session we come up with a budget that fits your lifestyle. So I’m doing something special for my podies  so if you have listened to the podcast and you want to sign up for a budgeting coaching session, quote the reference SMTpodcast And you will get a 15% discount on your coaching sessions. Yay don’t forget to subscribe,share can’t wait to hear from all of you Thank you for listening to this episode of the smart money tribe podcast, I hope you enjoyed it. Am super excited about creating financial content for Africa millennium women who want to live a fabulous life but also want to learn how to find the balance between spending on their lifestyle needs and buildings assets that could protect their financial futures.

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