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|The Project Manager Still Figuring Life Out At $110,000 Per Year by BigCabal: 9:32pm On Feb 16, 2021|
This #NairaLife is a little strange. She earns enough to meet her needs. The only problem is, she’s dealing with some regrets, especially with her financial decisions in the past 10 years.
What’s your oldest memory of money?
In 1994, I got admitted to secondary school. My dad took me on a tour of the school, and I liked it so much my heart was set on the place. Then one of my dad’s friends came to our house and said something like, “If you send this one to this school, what school will her siblings go to?” I have four siblings, and the tuition was ₦10k at the time. My dad looked at the long term implications and decided that he couldn’t afford the fees. I went to a government school instead.
What was that like for you?
I was just like, “What the hell?” It didn’t help that I didn’t like my new school very much. I transferred to a different school after three years — another government secondary school.
The difference between both schools, however, were the kind of people who went there. My new school was filled with wealthy people and the military governor’s kids. It was insane the amount of wealth I saw there. They went on summer vacations abroad and all of that stuff. I felt so close to wealth, but I felt far away from it. When they started talking about going to uni abroad, I also went to tell my parents that I’d like to go to the US for school. My dad didn’t shut me down. He said, “Take the SATs and A-Levels, but also take JAMB.” I was like, “If I’m going to America, why do I need JAMB?”
LMAO. What did your parents do for a living?
My dad worked in the civil service and retired as a director. I don’t know how much money he had, but I don’t think he wasn’t earning a lot. He told me years later that he did a lot of side jobs, mostly consultancy gigs. My mum was a managerial staff in an insurance company. They both carried the financial load of the family.
So, did you leave Nigeria for uni?
Not for my first degree. JAMB won. I was offered Law at a university in the southwest in 2001. My dad didn’t want me cooking or working, so he put me on a couple of allowances. There was an allowance for food and another one for my upkeep. Everything was up to ₦10k per month.
For the first three years, the money came on time. But sometime in my fourth year in 2006, there was a radical shift. The money started coming in late. Sometimes, I wouldn’t get anything for two months. I didn’t know what was happening. Thinking about it now, he must have been going through a rough patch. Also, he was close to retirement at the time, so maybe there were other priorities.
That was a change from what you were used to. What did that mean for you?
It wasn’t that bad. My mum picked up some of the slack and supported me. Also, I picked up a catering side gig and started cooking for my friends’ birthdays and other small events. This didn’t bring a lot of money — maybe ₦1k or ₦2k every once in a while. Although money from my dad became irregular, I didn’t really feel the heat.
After I finished uni, I went to law school. At the time, I was dating someone who worked in an oil and gas company. Whatever my parents couldn’t do, he did it. Money almost became an infinite resource to me. All it took was a phone call.
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