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How to establish money rules for your child

  1. Don’t treat a 10-year-old like a 16-year-old
If you set money rules, make sure they’re age appropriate. Some guidelines: As young children grow, they start to grasp the value of money and the concept of saving. By the time they are at junior secondary school, children understand that the clothes and games they covet can cost a lot. And as they get into the teen years, kids have a much better grasp of how much stuff costs and are capable of understanding quite a bit about money if they are actively taught how to manage it.
  1. 61% of parents give an allowance. Will you?
Will you join the 61 per cent of parents who give their kids regular allowances? Will you be like the 48 per cent of parents who pay for good grades, according to a 2012 study?
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There is no right or wrong approach, but it is helpful to let your children know your philosophy and expectations.
  1. Make them work for it? Not so fast
Many families find it helpful to have a rule about chores. According to a survey, some parents require their children to earn their allowance and work at least one hour a week. Some financial experts, however, say an allowance is a learning tool and should not be tied to chores; children should do chores simply because they are members of the household.
  1. Their money, but your call
For young children, the list of expenses typically includes discretionary items, such as toys and apps, while junior secondary schoolers are mature enough to take on more responsibility. By the teen years, kids have expenses such as hobbies and sports. Some parents may choose to ask teens to be responsible for entertainment, while parents pay for the after-school activities. Or teens can pay a percentage of all of their expenses.
  1. Let them watch their money grow
Fifty-four percent of families require children to save at least part of their allowances, according to Consolidated Credit Counselling Services. Whether or not you give an allowance, saving can be an important lesson for children and help them learn delayed gratification. Parents can ask elementary schoolers to regularly set aside money for a coveted toy. Experts also recommend that both elementary and middle-school-age kids set savings goals and write them down as a reminder. In high school, some teens are ready to start saving for multiple goals, including longer-term expenses such as college.  

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How to deal with mortgage debts

If you have been struggling to keep up your mortgage payments, you may have started to build up a debt. You may have missed one or more monthly payments or be paying less money each month than you owe.

You will need to work out a way to pay back what you owe. If you don’t and the debt continues to build up, your bank will take you to court and you may end up losing your home. Once you have worked out a way of dealing with your debt, you will need to come to an agreement with your mortgage lender.
If you don’t have any options for paying off your debt or can’t reach an agreement with your mortgage lender, you should get help from an experienced debt adviser straight away. images (13) You should also get help if you have started getting letters from your mortgage bank threatening court action. If you have got some money to spare each month, you may be able to pay back what you owe by making extra payments on top of your usual monthly mortgage payments. If you have fallen behind with your mortgage payments, you will need to take a good look at your household budget. This will tell you if you have got any money left over which you can use to pay off your debt. You will need to make a list of all the money you have got coming in and all the money going out of your household. This should include any other debts you owe. Make sure that the amounts you put down are realistic. If you have an endowment mortgage, you can think about giving up your endowment policy or selling it off to an investor. You can see if it is possible to take out a loan, or borrow money from someone you know to help you pay off the mortgage debt. Don’t borrow money from someone you know unless you know them well and can trust them. Be careful not to borrow from loan sharks.


$1.2bn debt: Etisalat loses 2.9 million subscribers

Etisalat Nigeria’s $1.2bn debt burden may have taken a toll on its operations as over 2.9 million subscribers left its network in six months.

One of Nigeria’s major telecommunications companies, Etisalat, lost over 2.9 million subscribers in the last two quarters. Findings by our correspondent showed that as of September 2016, there were 22.5 million active subscribers on the network but the figure dropped to 20.8 million by December. This represents a loss of 1.7 million subscribers within three months.
The drop, thus, represents a loss of about N3.1bn potential revenue for Etisalat for the quarter, going by the industry’s average revenue of N1,830 per user, according to the quarterly subscriber operation data obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission. Similarly, in the first quarter of this year, the telco lost 1.2 million subscribers. This is also estimated to cost the telecoms company potential revenue of about N3.8bn. etisalat-centre Fact checks showed that between September last year and end of March, this year, Globacom increased its subscribers from 36.9 million to 37.3 million; Airtel grew from 34.1 million to 34.6 million but MTN dropped in subscriptions from 60.5 million to 60.3 million. Observers conversant with Etisalat’s operations said the poor network investment, occasioned by $1.2bn debt to eight Nigerian banks, was adversely affecting the company’s ability to deliver quality service and impeding its expansion. “As such, we are beginning to see an exodus of subscribers from Etisalat network to rival networks, most especially now that subscribers have options through the Mobile Number Portability,” a source conversant with the Etisalat’s operations said. On the contrary, a former senior manager of a rival telco, MTN, disagreed that Etisalat’s quality services had disappeared because of the loan crisis and that subscribers were porting away due to poor services and reduced expansion. She said, “It would rather be convenient to say that due to steps taken to pay the $1.21bn debt, it (Etisalat) currently doesn’t have the kind of cash flow for product development, product activation, promos and advertising, and other activities that should retain its customers at the bottom of the pyramid. “The customers at the bottom of the pyramid are about 90 per cent and are those who don’t have any permanent loyalty to a particular telecoms company and are easily taken aback by small things like promos and advertising promises, bearing in mind that getting another SIM card costs just only N300. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity since she is no longer in the industry and would not want to be seen as working for a particular telecoms firm, said, “As a matter of fact, Etisalat has the best services – voice and data – in the country. Even when I worked in MTN until recently, most of us kept Etisalat as a second SIM card.” Apart from owing eight local banks, it was also discovered that the company owed tower firm, IHS Nigeria. This was made known by the IHS, which said that it had experienced instability in terms of timing of settlement of invoices with certain customers including Etisalat. The PUNCH recalls that in 2014, the World Bank lent $200m to the London-based African tower manager, IHS, for the acquisition of about 2,100 tower sites from Etisalat Nigeria. Under this Master Lease Agreement, Etisalat sold its tower assets to the IHS, while the IHS leased it back in exchange for lease rentals. The IHS also has an $800m bond, which is partly securitised from the cash flows of the Etisalat lease. “We do experience volatility in terms of timing of settlement of invoices with certain customers. We have a strong relationship with Etisalat and it has continued to make some payments under our Master Lease Agreement. “As of December 31, 2016, $8.5m was more than 120 days overdue from Etisalat. This amount represents less than 2.5 per cent of the expected proforma full-year combined revenue of the group for 2016,” a press statement from the company stated. An analyst with JP Morgan, Zafar Nazim, said that it had downgraded the IHS bonds due 2021 because of Etisalat Nigeria as it was uncertain whether the company could keep up with the lease commitments. Fitch Rating has said the IHS might experience delays in collecting payments from Etisalat Nigeria over the short term, but medium-term prospects should remain broadly intact. “Should Etisalat Nigeria go into bankruptcy proceedings, we believe its creditors will want to maximise recovery prospects by continuing normal mobile network operations, which include payments to the IHS for use of its tower infrastructure,” it said in a statement. But in an e-mail sent to our correspondent, the Vice-President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, said remarkable progress had been made to resolve the loan crisis. His mail read, “We are optimistic that an agreement will be reached shortly and this will be communicated through the appropriate channels of the involved stakeholders. “As a business, our immediate focus is to ensure that we not only sustain a positive performance, but that we are in a position to continue to grow the business, deliver excellent customer service and increase value to our stakeholders, which include our bankers.”

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Businesses that thrive during recession

For about a year or more, the Nigerian economy has been facing recession. This has caused so many business failures. But did you know that some businesses still thrive despite recession? It is important to have some daily income or finance coming in so a side business is good. Here are some you can consider;

  1. Food and beverages
No matter the economic situation; people must eat. It doesn't necessarily mean pooling your hard earned money and starting a restaurant business, although if that seems like a feasible thing to do, it just might work. However, going into the restaurant business still has its risk and a very high one at that. Instead, consider food and beverages by focusing on offering healthier stuffs. These days, going into a recession is even a better excuse to eat healthy because it encourages people to cut down on their consumption and to avoid unnecessary purchases. Most of the food products available nowadays are harmful to health because they have either been preserved with chemicals that are harmful or they are not pesticide free. th (27) And people are becoming more aware of the health benefits of pesticide-free farm produce such as vegetables, fruits, sauces, condiments, and so on. So, you can start a small farm and adopt strictly organic methods, which would be your unique selling point. Also, if you start a business that produces cookies, pastries, cakes and so on, you will have a steady stream of business. Even if you are not good at baking, consider hiring one or two individuals for a start. th (28)
  1. Laundry
Even in tough times, people want to look clean and good. And they will manage to squeeze out some money just for that. So, starting a laundry business is a very good idea, as it is also immune to the harsh effects of economic meltdowns. To start this business, you will need a washing machine, dryers, starch and irons, etc and you may need to hire one or two people. th (30)
  1. Security Services
When the economy is grim, people get frustrated. And out of desperation to get some quick money, they indulge in various forms of crime, especially burglary. Even when the economy is smiling, homeowners and owners of other valuable property hire security guards to protect their assets. And this becomes even more necessary during recessions. So, the demand for security guards is always on the high.
  1. Vet Services
Most people love pets and could spend any amount to keep them healthy. So, starting a business that renders veterinary services is a good way to make steady profit. Even if you are not a vet, you can hire one to work with you. health care and home health.
  1. Contraceptives
Couples enjoy sex all the time even though they don’t want babies most of the time. Similarly, teens and young adults engage in casual sex all the time. These are the reasons why there’s always a huge demand for contraceptives; whether or not the economy is fine. So, if you start a business that focuses on selling contraceptive devices and pills, you will never feel the impact of a recession.
  1. Cosmetics
People apply cosmetics religiously. In fact, some people apply their facial treatments and make-ups several times a day. Of course, recessions are no excuses for anyone to look ugly. So, people will always pay the price for retaining their good looks. A cosmetics business is, therefore, a money-spinner anytime. th (29)
  1. Garbage or waste collection
Though this may seem a dirty job, it’s a very lucrative one that is immune to the adverse effects of recessions. People always need to dispose of wastes and garbage, and they usually find this difficult. If you start a business that relieves them of this hardship, you will make lots of profit in return.
  1. Repair services
Repair services are also recession proof businesses. There will always be people whose kitchen sink would get clogged,  whose roof starts leaking or whose car suffers from overheating.  What these mean is pure business opportunity, even when economic times seem shaky.  And even if potential clients try to delay much needed repair, they will still come to you for help eventually. But it’s worthwhile you note that many, if not all, of these businesses require specialized training, skills and equipment.  However, once you have these resources, you will have access to a recession proof business that does not only offer a potential for high margins, it’s also a venture that won’t require you to wait too long for a return on your investment. Provided your services are tops, it’s likely that you could be in business for a very long time.
  1. Tutoring
Whether you are good at teaching academic subjects or vocational skills, you will always get people who would pay to learn from you. Start by approaching potential students in your neighborhood and telling them about your tutoring service. Probably later, you will advertise using broader media. th (31) Finally, if you are looking to start a business that would guarantee peace of mind even when other businesses are facing hard times, consider any of the businesses discussed above. However, to be on the safe side, find out about the setbacks and challenges of the business before you start.


How Nigeria can make quick return from space technology 

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Space technology is technology developed by space science or the aerospace industry for use in spaceflight, satellites, or space exploration. Space technology includes spacecraft, satellites, space stations, and support infrastructure, equipment, and procedures.
The Director, Centre for Satellite Technology Development, Dr Spencer Onuh, says Nigeria requires more communication satellites for it to make quick returns on its investments in space technology. Onuh said in an interview in Abuja on Friday that the returns on investment in communication satellites usually takes up to 15 years. He explained that a satellite is an artificial body placed in orbit round the earth or another planet in order to collect information and enables easy access for communication. According to Vanguard, “The satellite has the capacity to generate income on a short term basis but not all the satellites. “It takes three to five years to develop earth observation satellites, but to get quick returns of money from satellites, we need more communication satellites. “All you need to do is your initial investment, the return on investment is very quick and it takes a shorter period to develop. “You can still be reaping the income in 15 years time; we need more communication satellites for the interest of the country,”Onuh said. The director also said that space technology in the country required entrepreneurs to promote products in the industry. He added that space programmes had the enormous potential to create employment. “Space is not just about satellites, satellites are the pay load that delivers space products. “With the kind of economy we operate, we need to develop space entrepreneurship which is lacking till date. “I am in research development agency where I have my limitations in mass production. “In design and manufacturing, I need customers and manufacturers that can boost my own production where I’m lacking the facilities. “It is not my business to do the marketing, it is for the entrepreneurs; I develop the products and I have the spin off. “The images that innovators capture are enormous, a lot of people need them out there, but there is a gap between the producers and the market. “When there are space entrepreneurs, they will market space products. “The company marketing space products will employ one person and so on; space programme have enormous potential to create employment and reduce unemployment drastically,” he said.


Family Finance: Money Mistakes Couples Make

Whether you’re planning a walk down the aisle or you're already married with kids, there are some common mistakes couples make that can throw a wrench into their finances. As we all know, one of the top causes of divorce in the modern day 21st century is money and finances and all of the issues surrounding it. Couples make a lot of finance mistakes, especially money mistakes. Some of them include.

  • Keeping secrets. It's amazing at the number of people who hide stuff from their partners. They go shopping, bring home a bag of stuff, and rip off the tags. Many people lie about what they’ve paid for an item because it could cause issues with their partner. If you can’t be open about what you’re buying and the amount you'll pay for something, them don't buy it. If you think your partner is going to object to your spending, be careful. Communication important in the survival of any relationship, and if you can’t be truthful about your finances to your partner, you should not be getting married.
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  • Not having a budget. It isn’t going to come as a surprise to you that every couple should have a budget. Whenever you combine two lives, two ways of looking at things, two spending profiles into one, you need to have a plan to ensure both bodies are on the same page about where the money should be going. Having come up with a budget you both agree to, it’s easy to decide what to buy and when. You simply ask each other, “Where does this fit in the budget?” If it doesn’t then you work together to make room for cutting costs.
A budget can be a relationship-saver when one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, since by having a plan you can address both your needs. It’s particularly important when you are both spenders heading to the brink of bankruptcy. Knowing where you stand financially means you can make informed decision about your spending without a huge debt hanging above your head. MONITOR
  • Putting One Guy in Charge. It’s not unusual for one person to assume the duty of managing the daily finances. It often falls to one partner to pay the bills, check the insurance coverage, decide on how to invest the retirement savings, figure out how much to put away for education savings, pay the taxes… the list is virtually endless. Often it’s because one partner is more inclined toward these tasks. The problem is that when one person is excluded, or totally abdicates responsibility, it means the other can mess things up with no monitoring or grow resentful at always having to do the detail. It’s important for each partner to not only to feel involved in the big financial decisions but also understand the day-to-day details. Taking turns managing the chequebook, and having regular conversations so that both of you are clear about what’s going on, means you’re both in the know and working to the same ends.
  • Denying the Debt. Regardless of who has the debt, the impact on the family unit will be significant. If you can’t be debt free when you get married, the very least you should have is a plan for how you’ll get that debt paid off. Never sign for each other’s debt. When you do, you assume responsibilities that may choke you to death. If your partner needs help pay off the debt, you can do that without putting your name on the paperwork. For this reason, overspending on a big wedding is a huge no-no. Don't get the wrong vibe here. Exotic weddings and honeymoons, a houseful of brand new furniture is wonderful, providing you have the money to pay for it. Going into debt for massive self-indulgence is down right wrong!
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  • Failing to plan for emergencies. While no one likes to think about bad things happening, the fact is that bad things do happen. If you don’t have money set aside to deal with whatever life throws at you, you won’t have the means to cope. One of the big upsides of saving together is that you’re able to act as a safety net for each other through life’s storms.
  • But that doesn’t happen magically. And often couples over-estimate their partner’s ability to take over the entire financial burden should one partner lose a job, someone become ill, or suffer some other disaster. It takes a plan. And part of that plan includes creating a pretty huge emergency fund. Another part includes reducing your risks in whatever ways possible. Every couple should have enough money available to cover six months’ worth of living expenses. And each partner should make it a priority to get adequate insurance coverage.
Communication and negotiation are the keys to dealing with money issues when you partner. Do not be secretive about it. If you do so, you're doing yourself more harm than good.        


Finance: Top Saving tips for January, 2017

As the festive period is gradually coming to an end, most people feel pressured that they spent more than they could afford over the festive period. Some have fallen into debt or further into debt as a result of overspending. After the festivities of Christmas and the New Year the month of January can feel rather dull. This isn’t helped by the fact that, if you are paid early before Christmas and unfortunately,  there are five or six weeks between the December and January payday, making January feel even longer than it already is. Most times, there are usually five Mondays in January, so it makes it a bit worse. anger-6 To help you last until pay day, we’ve got some top tips on how to save and stretch your money that bit further.

  • Firstly, look at all your regular spending at home and keep track of it throughout the month. Doing this will help you see areas where you may be able to cut back and stop wasting money and change your financial habits for good. What do you have to lose.
  • Another tip here is to intentionally leave your ATM card at home. This would prevent unnecessary buying of items you don't need. Also, you're tempted to spend more than you budgeted for. To help you decide how much money you have to spend, draw up a budget plan so that you know what you will have going in and out during the rest of the month. Once you know how much you have to play with, set yourself a target of what to spend every week and only take out that amount in cash and you hopefully won’t be tempted to spend anything else.
  • Secondly, cook your own meals. Pack a lunch pack for yourself so you'll take it to work. This would prevent eating out. At lunchtime during work, it can be very tempting to buy a fast food and a drink from work, but over a year this small indulgence could cost you big. If you leave your ATM card at home, it'll enable you avoid such expenses. This top tip helps you to save money in January.
Another tip to survive January is to buy your food items in bulk. If you buy in bulk, you can store the excess food that you have in your freezer and use it later on in the month. You could also cook larger meals for yourself and freeze whatever food you have left over. nija One important tip to learn is to stop spending unnecessarily. Similar to with buying lunch at work, most of us fritter away some money each month on things that we could cut back on. At times, when money is a little tight, these unnecessary luxuries should be the first expenses to go. If you normally visit a fast food joint every week, or enjoy a takeaway every weekend, you could make a conscious effort to cut back on these treats. You could also cut back on any monthly subscriptions that you have, such as cable TV services like DSTV, GoTV, etc and pick them back up once the month is over and your bank account is looking a little healthier. It won't hurt not to have those services for a month. items Also, try and sell items you're not using anymore. If you have accumulated items that you no longer need or want, then selling them online could help you to earn some extra cash in January. You could even sell any unwanted Christmas presents that you have received. Thankfully, there are websites available like OLX, Jiji, etc where you can sell those items. If you know you might  struggle to survive financially in January, now is the time to act. These simple things can get your finances back on track.    


2016 World Highlight review of Brands, Finance

Bill Gates topped the list of the world’s richest billionaires for the 17th time in 22 years. Though the 60-year-old Microsoft head is $4.2 billion poorer than 2015, his net worth of $75 billion has put him in the top spot on Forbes' World Billionaires list for the third year in a row, after overcoming Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu in 2014. Helu came in fourth in Forbes’ 2016 list of 1,810 billionaires, behind Gates, Zara’s Amancio Ortega and business mogul Warren Buffett, respectively. Others who made the top 10 include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at fifth on the list, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at sixth, Oracle’s Larry Ellison at seventh, Michael Bloomberg at eighth, and tied for ninth are David and Charles Koch. Zuckerberg, 31, had the best year of all billionaires, having added $11.2 billion to his fortune and moving up from number 16 to six on the list. This is Zuckerberg's and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ first appearance in the top ten of Forbes’ annual ranking. The top 10 billionaires rake in a net worth of approximately $505.4 billion. Also see below a map showing the share of Billonaires: Nigeria has a combination of wealth more from political connections and resoureces related and a little from company founders. Not a very healthy mix compared to other countries. Please share your analysis on this as well in the comment box below. Image result for map of billionaires Forbes found 1,810 billionaires this year, down from last year’s record of 1,826. The aggregate net worth of the billionaires was $6.48 trillion, $570 billion less than last year. The average net worth of a billionaire dropped for the first time since 2010 and sits at $3.6 billion, down $300 million from last year. While 221 people fell off the billionaires list this year, 198 people joined the ranks. Twenty-nine from the 2015 list died, while another 29 rejoined the list after having fallen off. Noteable drop-offs include fashion designer Tory Burch, Sam Adams head Jim Koch and Dick’s Sporting Goods chief Edward Stack. Of those billionaires who made it on to this year and last year’s list, 892 are poorer while only 501 have increased their fortunes. Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, whose company owns AMC Theaters climbed into the top 20. Notable newcomers to the list include Cameron Mackintosh, the first theater producer to enter the ranks, WeWork’s Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey and Pinterest’s Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp.

  • Neumann, Silbermann and Sharp are three of 66 billionaires under 40 years old, a record for the Forbes list. The youngest on the list is 19-year-old Norwegain heiress Alexandra Andresen, who holds a 42 per cent stake in her family’s business. Her 20-year-old sister is the second youngest on the list.
  • Andreson, a professional dressage competitor, and her sister are ranked the 1,475th richest people in the world after their father Johan F Andresen transferred his stake in Norway's biggest company, Ferd Holdings, to his daughters in 2007.
  • Zhou Qunfei is the richest self-made woman in the world, holding a $5.9billion fortune from smartphone screens. She is one of 190 women to make the list, down from 197 last year. US billionaires hold 540 spots on the list, more than any other country in the world. In second is China with 251 and German with 120.
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Source: International news  


Managing finances and debt as a student

News broke from the University of Nigeria Nsukka that a final year Agricultural Economics  student committed suicide. According to his friend Nwachukwu Daniel Ikechukwu,who posted the photo on Facebook today, the young man allegedly killed himself over debt. However, a number of his friends don't believe he killed himself over money. There is no doubt that studying in University could be quite exhausting. Between paying for books, as well as hanging out with friends, it could get expensive. It is an amazing idea to learn how to budget your money before you get to school so you don’t end up in debt or short at the end of each month when it comes time to pay your bills. student-university-jpg-3 Here are a few tips to help you budget your money while in school. Write down your expenses Budgeting  is the ke to saving money. Write down everything you need and budget a total amount on everything. Include a bit of extra things like clothes, mall trips and hanging out. When you sort everything out, it’s easier to figure out how much extra you will have to spend. Buy and cook your own food Buy your foodstuff and cook your own meals. Not only is it healthier, it costs less too. If you live in the hostel and one way or the other, you're unable to cook, visit the cafeteria. Food is cheaper there compared to fast food joints. Get used textbooks and course materials. Textbooks and course materials are a huge part of school expenses. Check around your school for book stores which have used books. You can purchase them instead of buying new ones. Also, you can get friends who are a year ahead of you who can give you their books to use after they are dome with it. Look online as well, many websites offer a great deal on PDF files. Try getting a part time job A basic staple in preventing debt accumulation is maintaining a form of employment. This won't keep you vulnerable to financial struggling. Learn a skill The importance of learning a skill can never be over emphasised. Basic skills like hairdressing, make up artistry, tailoring etc can help you gain financial freedom. During holidays and weekends, enrol in any basic skill acquisition class of your choice.