Cryptocurrencies came into my life at a time when I was struggling to earn. It came through blogging and I've been able to build a source of income that has largely funded all my activities in life for the past three years.
When I think about it, I can only be grateful for all the money I've made in the process but something else that I developed in the process was better personal financial management. I picked up tricks and ideas about how to manage my finances through my interactions with people in the crypto space, and it has turned me into a financial advisor of sorts for my friends.
It is always weird when my friends literally have to strongarm me into giving them financial advice. Part of the reason they have to force it out of me is due to the fact that my time around here has taught me that each individual's finance operates under unique conditions. So the idea of dropping blanket advice/generic for them doesn't cut it for me, because unlike you lovely internet folks that know that you take everything online with a pinch of salt, they tend to take me verbatim and could you know, sue me.
In my society and social media as a whole these days, there's a force that compels us to spread. To "spread" in Nigerian colloquial generally means to show off, but not in the "harmless" hey look at this cool thing I saw, but something dipped in pompousness.
I might be wrong but I suspect that people get a kick or some ego trip that makes them want to flaunt their riches. In Nigeria, you put yourself out there too much and you better be prepared to be a cash cow or at least say no to a lot of people.
It is always weird when I see people doing it in Nigeria because in the general scheme of things, most of us in Nigeria are poor and you're just less poor, so why are you feeling special?
My feelings are influenced by the fact that I see finance through a global lens and while comparing isn't generally healthy for one's mentality, I still do it anyway to gauge my level of progress.
In Nigeria for example, the amount of money I could make from shitposts alone could afford me the same quality of life that an entry-level position in most Government parastatals would pay. However, I currently live below that class of earner and focus my efforts on savings and investing.
This silence makes it difficult for people to read me and of course, bug me with their wanton demands or put me in the position where I have to say no. If I constantly just give out all my earnings to any demand, how am I suppose to get rich and then save everyone else?
I can't help the poor if I'm one of them, so I got rich and gave back, to me that's the win win"...Jay Z
That clarity of purpose and long suffering are two traits that I have been applying since I was a kid. The first time I tasted the dividend of saving was when my dad got us a PlayStation 2 a long time ago.
I remember we had finished or broken all the available CDs, and needed new games. Back then, games for the console cost between 800-1000 Naira and that was a lot of money for most kids.
These were pirated copies of the game. The PlayStation was chipped to accept fake/bootlegged CDs that were infinitely cheaper than their original counterpart that could cost upwards of 8000Naira
So the plan to get my dream game was to save my lunch money for three weeks until I could afford it. I bought one car racing game called Midnight Club 2: Dub Edition and that game is among the best things to ever happen to me.
That 800 Naira I saved from my lunch money after three weeks of starving and worse of all, watching everyone else enjoy their meals paid off nicely. Three weeks without food was totally worth it, and I'd do it again.
The point is that even in life right now, there are still obstacles that represent the game CD in life and whenever I set my mind to it, I could starve to achieve them. Of course, these days, that will be more of an investment, rather than something I'd consume, but it is basically the same concept.
Credit cards and all the financial tools available today have made things "easier". Most people just accept paying ahead for items and live life on credit, but that's something that I don't think I can live with. Being perpetually in debt could make me lose my mind, so I'm an old school save it till you buy it kind of guy.
Figuring other things out
For now, there's still a lot more that I haven't figured out and I learn every day. I've been a bit arbitrary/instinctive with my financial management, since I don't have a detailed record of how my funds move, beyond what the blockchain tells me of course.
For now, I'm developing a spreadsheet that I could use to keep track of how I've been spending. This idea was inspired by @revisesociology and will give me a clearer view of my finances, and will cut out gaps that my instincts haven't sorted out.
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