This is a difficult post to write without getting on the toes of quite a number of people. But please hear me out entirely before you prematurely accuse me of not being a generous person. Please note that this is written entirely from a loving heart and I’m in no way implying that I’m a perfect person. Infact I should quickly declare here now that as much as I’m addressing issues that pertain to financial management, I’m a number 1 work-in-progress on the matter and will appreciate your criticism, suggestions and feedback on my journey to financial freedom.

An incident happened last week. Someone I know (I would have used the word FRIEND but nowadays, I’m not too generous to attribute that word to 99% of the thousands of fans that know me online or offline) called to ask if I can quickly borrow her N5k (five thousand naira). She promised to return the money within 24-72 hrs as she needed it to buy some materials she would be selling to some clients over the weekend. I didn’t hesitate to be frank in a very nice way. I told her that I no longer borrow people money for now. I admonished her to contact the clients she wants to sell to and get them to make a deposit that will facilitate the transaction she needed the money for. I explained to her that too many people have disappointed me when it comes to the issue of paying back money that was borrowed and that I don’t trust anyone again to borrow them money except its money that I have budgeted to give them and forget I gave them. She sounded like she was upset with me for not helping out. To be honest, I had peace with that decision of mine.

That decision of mine was reached sometime last year. I had been saving money in my dollar account because I felt it made sense to save in dollars than in naira. Besides, I sensed I would be needing the dollars by the end of 2021 and it only made sense to save months ahead. A secondary-school classmate of mine who happens to be in the same Alumni whatsapp group with me reahhed out and mentioned he needed money for a project he was working on. I explained that I don’t have any naira to borrow and that I had some small dollars I’ve been saving for a rainy day. He insisted that he would return it in 7 days and that there seemed to be no other option for him at that point. He is someone I respected and I eventually gave in. Little did I know that the rainy day will come and I would be drenched in the rain. That was June 2021. This is October 2022. I am yet to get back my money in its entirety.

It was a painful experience. It still is. If a book in the Bible was to be written towards that effect, the verse that will summarize that experience would be written in 2 words: SEUN WEPT. Eventually I needed the money to pay for a bill that was due in December 2021 and I was embarrassed. Consequently I made a decision (that has yet to change) never to borrow ANYONE money whom I have never had some type of financial dealing with enough to trust them. And even if I did borrow them it will be money that I was willing to dash. Because I am someone who also owed money, it only made sense to me that I should not be even borrowing any human being money until I have paid my own debts. I mean, how can my house rent be due next week and you’ll ask me to borrow you money from the rent this week. There’s a 99.9999999999% that it won’t happen.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve met quite a number of people that seemed to need money at the last minute. One interesting one was someone whose wife was due to give birth and he didn’t have any money to cover the delivery expenses. I know life happens to us all but for heaven’s sake, pregnancy takes 9 months and the person could not plan for….. I realized that if I didn’t plan my own financial destiny right, I would be frustrated by people whose lack of financial planning is on a collision course with my life.

This is one area we all need to get right. Especially if indeed we’re considered one of  the most religious people on the face of this earth. How can you owe rent of 200k and you just bought iPhone of 500k? How can you be earning 100k per month and you’ve not found a way to live off 70k to 80k monthly. This is a discipline that if we don’t embark on, we will never ever get answers to the prayers and fasting for breakthrough that we daily beg God for.

Maybe because I’m being interpreted as having billions when people go through my social media. One person even recently calculated the money I would supposedly make in my forthcoming photography training and was like “Mr Seun, you’re a big boy o, abeg give me discount for the training na.” Discount how? Do you even have an idea what my bills and debts are like that you want me to be having mercy on you to give you from the proceeds. Interestingly enough, when people usually ask me for discounts for my training, they usually don’t ask the equipment manufacturers for discount when it comes to buying the N1 million cameras.

Here’s the mindset I’ve come to develop for myself in the last few months: if I die now, will my loved ones be crying tears of sorrow because of the debts I left or will they be crying tears of joy because of the inheritance I left? I ask myself if something were to happen to stop my source of income now, do I have enough in my storehouse to take care of me for the next 12 months? As at the time of this writing, the answer is NO. I realize I don’t want to live the type of life that will be dependent on people to send me upkeep allowance when I’m in my 60s or 70s. If they send me, it will be extra to what I already have.

And so I realize that I need to make strict financial decisions if I want to secure my own financial destiny. And sometimes it’s beginning it involve depriving myself of things that are seemingly GOOD for me NOW. I recently made a vow to myself that I would not buy any more books with my money until I’ve made a certain amount with the present books I’ve bought this year. As much as it feels good to buy my pastors latest book that he just released, if I don’t have the money I will wait till I have enough money to buy it especially since I haven’t even finished reading and implementing the principles from the last one I bought from the same pastor or role model.

It’s possible the person that called me for N5k is reading this now and shaking her head in the spirit. It’s possible my classmate that I emptied my dollar account for is reading this and feeling like I should understand his dilemma. It’s possible you disagree with my stance on some or all I’ve written. It’s possible you even quote to me that the giver is blessed more than the receiver and that agod blesses those that lend to the poor. All I’m admonishing you to take from this Psalm 119 financial management epistle is this: live within your means. If your name is Elon Musk and you presently don’t have money to take Uber to that place you feel you need to go, please take Danfo or just stay at home. Don’t get to the destination and be asking people for Uber money to go back home even if you’re expecting money from customers tomorrow.

This message is written to admonish one particular person to get his financial act together and that person is Seun Akisanmi. If you learn a thing or two from it, then I’ve successfully killed two or three stones with one bird. Or is it 3 birds with one stone. Anyways, all I know is I’ve achieved multiple purposes with this post.

Oh, and one more thing before I forget. Please if you must borrow money from people, make it a priority that you will not rest until you pay them back. Or at least be keeping in touch with the creditors often. Don’t wait till they call you and you’ll now be dropping poetic lines like “And I was just about to call you o”. We both know that’s a lie. I’ve personally made it a priority to settle my own debts before I go on any vacation.

And even if you must borrow, make sure you’re starting with people in your immediate family circle. Hopefully you still have enough integrity with them that they will help out.

Look, I’ve written enough. Let me pass the mic to you. What are your thoughts on what I’ve shared so far. I want to learn from you too.