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About Esther.Dumbiri

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  1. When Saving Seems Difficult

    Most people believe that it is not possible to save with a low income. This is not true. For you to actually save at all, it starts with you making the decision to save. Any decision you want to take starts with the mind. It is the mind that controls you and tells you what to do. When you want something done, it all starts with you thinking and believing that it can be done. If you think you can do it; you will do it. If you think you can’t do it, then you can’t. So when you avoid saving with the little you make, it’s because you think it’s not possible. Saving is very important and it will help you a lot in the future. Your ability to save helps you become financially secure. Therefore, whatever money you receive, save from it. Your savings should be the first thing you put aside. Yes, your income may be meager but you can still save little out of it. You might think your monthly savings is too small; but it’s okay to start small. As long as you are saving something, it’s better than saving nothing. What you think is small today, in the next three to five years, it could amount to a lot of money. Saving is for everybody, irrespective of how much you earn. It is your decision to make. So, once you set your mind to do it, you can do it. For you to be able to save, you should assess your financial health. Know how much you get daily or monthly and how much you spend on a monthly or daily basis. You should monitor your income and expenditure. You need to know where your money is going. Do you know how much you spend on recharge cards, food, transport, fuel etc.? When you do this, you may realize you spend a lot on things that are not very important. It doesn’t mean you won’t spend money on these things, but you can cut down on the amount you spend on them. You can have it on records which could be on your phone or a note pad that you can easily access. This will help you save better. When you are able to assess your financial health, then you can re-examine your budget. You need to have a budget. A budget will show you the important things you need to spend money on and the things that are less important. You need to be ruthless in managing your spending. Get ready to make sacrifices. You can decide to spend less money by cooking at home rather than eating out. Have a budget on how much you want to spend every day; how much you spend on recharge cards, shopping, internet, health, beauty products, visiting friends etc. Write out all existing expenses, including the small ones, then list out each monthly expense. Also, set goals for yourself. This will make saving easier. When you have a goal; you have a plan. It could be a short-term or long- term goal. This will help you save towards it; you become conscious of what you want to achieve at that period and with that, you are mindful of your spending. It is also important to save for the unexpected. An emergency may occur in the future; planning for it will help you be prepared. A set-aside emergency fund could cover for an unexpected job loss, or a difficult health situation. Money should be set aside for emergencies to avoid going into debt. Remember that an emergency can actually be more than your income, so it’s best to start saving for it on a daily or monthly basis. One may need to retire in the future; the money you have saved will take the place of the income you will no longer receive from your job. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the less you will have to save in the future. In all, saving is very important. It doesn’t matter how much you are earning, you can do it and you should do it. It helps you avoid going into debt and you can secure a better life for yourself.
  2. There are many times I have wondered how we survived the era prior civilisation and the internet. It sure wasn't a funny thing because sending a message to someone in another land was a sort of job on its own. How did people handle cash also? I laugh at the realisation that before the advent of commercial banks, people actually kept their monies in temples and by giving them to temple priests. Today, banking and managing money is a different kettle of fish. Though internet banking was not greeted with great zeal by most Africans, eventually, discovering the ease, the great ease attached to it, many more people have joined the wagon. I can't remember the last time I actually went to a bank to sort out a transaction. You can sort out financing a vacation without leaving one spot using your bank's mobile app. In spite of the slow internet penetration rate, banking applications are being embraced on a large scale. Every bank in Nigeria has a mobile application and have to grapple with satisfying their customers on a daily basis. Gathering this review, I noticed that it may not be an accurate reflection of the acceptability rate by customers simply because just a handful of people leave a review. However, we would work with what we have on the Google Play Store. So if you haven't downloaded the Mobile App for your bank, or you want to know how many more people share your frustrations, this should interest you. Let the battle of the apps begin: 1. Zenith Bank With over 500,000 downloads, Bankers are promised that the mobile app eliminates the need of funding your mobile wallet before initiating payments and airtime purchases. You can register as an Internet banking user or a non-Internet banking user. What people are saying: According to Google Play Store, 6,169 people sent in their reviews. 5 stars: 3917 reviews 4 stars: 1044 reviews 3 stars: 647 reviews 2 stars: 189 reviews 1 star: 372 reviews A good chunk of people approve of this app but when 372 people complain so much, it means something needs to be corrected. 2. Ecobank With a satisfactory 1 million downloads recorded, this bank promises that wherever, whenever… with the Ecobank Mobile app, everyday banking becomes as easy as ABC! Let's see if the users agree; With a total of 7,218 reviews, 5 stars: 4,068 reviews 4 stars: 992 reviews 3 stars: 767 reviews 2 stars: 341 reviews 1 star: 1,050 reviews My thoughts: Though a large chunk freely donated 5 stars, a whopping 1,050 users are downright upset about something. We can't ignore this. Ecobank needs to sort this out fast. 3. Union Bank We obviously know how recently this bank joined the 21st century internet world of play. So this review shouldn't come as a surprise to many. Though they make 13 promises to the Users including a weather forecast, from the number of downloads on the Google Play Store, it is either Users are wary of so many promises or they need a new PR agent. With 100,000 downloads they barely have 600 reviews, 5 stars: 418 reviews 4 stars: 71 reviews 3 stars: 54 reviews 2 stars: 18 reviews 1 star: 39 reviews While publicity of the mobile app should be invested in, this bank also has to take into consideration the things they need to put in place so they don't have a fast increasing amount of dissatisfied users. 4. Diamond Bank When users are promised that “The Diamond Mobile App brings excitement to the world of banking”, it is then no surprise that we have over a million downloads. With almost the highest number of reviews, the Diamond Mobile App has a total of 13,227 reviews on the Google Play Store. 5 stars: 7,854 reviews 4 stars: 2,239 reviews 3 stars: 1,380 reviews 2 stars: 587 reviews 1 star: 1,167 reviews With a high number of 5 stars, this mobile app has won my heart (sadly, I don’t have an account with them). They are rated high for monitoring credit, making payments, budgeting, linking bank accounts, managing credit cards, tracking finances, international transfers, etc. All ratings of over 80%. We can’t however ignore the fact that there are 1,167 dissatisfied Users and can only appeal to Diamond bank to make their experience as seamless as possible. 5. GTBank The first thing I see when I visit the Google Play store is “The GTBank Mobile App is finally here.” Not only was I disappointed by the lack of creative copywriting, I rolled my eyes many times because I expected more from them. Anyway, no beefs, over to the reviews. A closer look at the promise made and Users guaranteed seamless banking. Over one million downloads have been made by users and a whopping 14,135 reviews are recorded. 5 stars: 7,883 reviews 4 stars: 2,815 reviews 3 stars: 1,521 reviews 2 stars: 679 reviews 1 star: 1,237 reviews A laudable number of people praise this app but obviously, many people are highly dissatisfied and leave amusing comments. GTBank officials need to do something about this also. 6. UBA The upgraded mobile app has over 500,000 downloads and promises their Users banking services that are easily accessible. 6,508 people dropped their reviews and over half of them are highly satisfied. 5 stars: 3,914 reviews 4 stars: 995 reviews 3 stars: 623 reviews 2 stars: 305 reviews 1 star: 671 reviews It is quite easy for organisations to forget the small number of disgruntled customers when compared with the happy ones, but that shouldn’t be the case. If one customer isn’t satisfied, his or her complaint is worth looking into. So UBA, there is work to be done. 7. Stanbic IBTC When someone tells you, “Experience Stanbic IBTC’s beautiful way to manage your money; all your money”, there is this satisfaction that comes with. However, when you look at how many downloads have been recorded, (over 100,000 downloads) and the handful of reviews recorded, (1.515 reviews), I begin to wonder if the promise for #appiness is really true. 5 stars: 942 reviews 4 stars: 203 reviews 3 stars: 118 reviews 2 stars: 66 reviews 1 star: 186 reviews For the number of 5 stars that they have, there are already too many people in the 1 star section. This is so much that one of the Users who dropped a review told them how #unappy the app made his day. Stanbic, Kindly step up to the table and clean out the mess. 8. First Bank The fact that their name bears a position resemblance, it doesn’t make them first in the battle of the apps because they didn’t exceed my imaginations. Users are promised convenient access to both financial and non-financial transactions plus other functionalities. With over a million downloads, 12,536 Users dropped their reviews. 5 stars: 8,129 reviews 4 stars: 2,034 reviews 3 stars: 1,179 reviews 2 stars: 406 reviews 1 star: 788 reviews Well, what can I say now? First Bank, please try to be the first bank who gets it right. Sort out the bugs and fix the errors. 9. FCMB The FCMB Mobile Plus app, recently updated, promises real time access to mobile transactions. With barely over 100,000 downloads, only 1,508 Users sent in their reviews. 5 stars: 875 reviews 4 stars: 238 reviews 3 stars: 140 reviews 2 stars: 50 reviews 1 star: 205 reviews There are a lot of complaints that arose after the app was upgraded. Usually, when an application is upgraded, it is meant to make the User experience a more plesant one. This becomes defeated when more people keep saying they have not benefited from the upgrade. FCMB, please listen to your users and do something about it. 10. Sterling Bank Users at promised that the Sterling Mobile brings a whole new experience to banking from your mobile phone. Only over 100,000 downloads with 1,954 reviews. 5 stars: 1,217 reviews 4 stars: 184 reviews 3 stars: 148 reviews 2 stars: 105 reviews 1 star: 300 reviews This one customer bank needs to listen to its Users. 300 dissatisfied Users are too many bad reviews. Though mobile applications are powered by phone work ability, network and a couple of other factors, our financial institutions need to listen to their Users, more intently and make more efforts to reduce the discomfort experienced when the Users interface with their various platforms. Reading through the various reviews will amuse anyone who has some time to spare. I know we havent gotten there yet, but please and please, just in case, you reading this, knows the person in charge of these apps, kindly tell them that Nigerians deserve the best and nothing less.
  3. How To Stay Debt Free

    Let's assume a finance detective approaches you and asks: "Who loves to have a dependable car?" "Who loves to own a house?" "Who loves to dress well and be the talk of the town?" I am certain he will get the same reaction from you as the one playing out in my head. The right question actually is, "Who doesn't?" We live in a materialistic world and it is absolutely normal for people to desire good things. However, when you live in a society where the economy is not friendly, it is crucial to be careful when sorting our priorities. The word 'Debt' is not new to man and has been the cause of some drastic decisions that people made in our society. Have you ever been in a situation where you were not able to handle an emergency due to lack of adequate finance? Or you had issues with your friends and loved ones because you owed them a lot of money and couldn't pay back? Or ever seen cases where people lose their lives owing to a build up of stress over accumulated debt? Very recently, the news of a major oil firm bedevilled by crippling debts was trending. Though the borrowed funds were meant for business expansion, the day of reckoning eventually arrived. That's what happens with debts; as the day of reckoning draws close, the heart of the borrower beats faster. However, there are practical ways to staying debt free. Let's discuss some. First, make a budget. Creating a budget helps you avoid overspending. Though you earn a great income, it is not wise to spend beyond your budget. It will only leave you with less money and your family gets affected. Creating a budget helps you to set your priorities right. It will enable you to make the right sacrifices to financial stability. You may have to cut down on some luxuries like taking a vacation abroad, eating out every weekend, going to the movies on Saturdays, wearing the latest designer clothes and shoes, and many more of that. You will learn to be more resourceful and seek our less costly luxuries. Instead of expensive vacations in a very faraway country, you can find equally luxurious ones less faraway and costs less. Parents should also re-orientate their children in being prudent with money and cut down on requesting for meaningless luxuries. In order to be debt free, know exactly how much you earn, how much you spend and how much you should spend. Monthly is most recommended. This will help you cut out unnecessary expenses and ensure you live within your means. Secondly, nurture self-control. In the society we live in, people feel pressured to keep up with the latest fashion and trends. I once heard a quote; "Don't try to live up to the Jones, the Jones are broke." Life is all about how you make most of what you have; so restrain your thoughts and focus your your mind on the things that matter the most. That's one sure way of escaping the trap of grabbing everything that appeals to you and accumulating unnecessary debts. Contentment is a must-have virtue; life is not all about expensive toys. Always remember that if you keep spending money on things you don't genuinely need, someday you will have to sell the things you need when the storm of life comes. But if you've been prudent in keeping your expenses low and your savings/investment fat, you are better positioned to weather the storms when the assuredly come. Lastly, save, save and invest. Set savings/investment goals and draft a plan on how to achieve them. You want your children to attend one of the best schools? Good, plan towards it; start saving in an education fund/account for it. When the focus isn't on immediate gratification, you make smarter decisions. You want to own a house? You want the best for your children? That's beautiful, all you need to do is to save for it. Saving for a long term goal also gives you the time to consider if you really want that particular thing. Always monitor your spending. For you to save better, trick your mind into believing you make less income. And in truth, there were years you made less income and lived well. Just don't let your mind get used to spending everything you earn. This will help you put more money aside -- the extra from the salary raise, the new side income etc -- for the long-term financial goals you want to achieve, for example, buy a house, take your family on a vacation. In summary, to become debt-free: change your habits and develop a healthier way of spending. Staying debt-free helps individuals and families to live happily. They are able to avoid unnecessary stress, achieve more and build better relationships.