Lessons from “Get smart with Money”

5 min readJun 14, 2023


Hello everyone 😊

I hope it’s safe to still say “Happy New Month” as this is the first blog in this month.

Happy New Month 🥳🥳🥳

How are you really doing?

With the recent price hike, fuel subsidy for people in Nigeria and all the happenings around the world. How have you really been? I hope you are finding ways to stay fine, safe and healthy?

One of the things I hoped to achieve this year with Zoewriter is to write about every aspect of the believer’s life which is why there has been references to sermons and podcasts so far. Today’s blog is quite different and I believe that it will help with all the happenings in this season.

Myself and my colleagues were tasked with watching a documentary on Netflix titled “Get Smart with money”, even though my colleagues felt like a lot of it didn’t relate to the Nigerian context, I still found some relatable lessons in the documentary and today I’d like to share some of the things I learnt in that documentary.

Background: The documentary features the story of four people and their financial journey. Can’t remember all their names but here’s what their journey was like:

  1. Ariana: A woman who is an emotional spender and loved to buy things with her credit card even if she had the money to buy those stuff or even don’t need it. She eventually accumulated debts in 9 credit cards, still had student loans and most the things she bought were not relevant.
  2. Lindsey: A young lady who had 2–3 jobs and no matter how much work she did couldn’t save up any money and so she had to live paycheck to paycheck to survive and somehow started to loan some money
  3. A footballer who made his first huge sum from football, spent it lavishly and unfortunately had an issue with his leg and so he wasn’t able to play football for a really long time. And at this point, he was almost left with no money, no investment or any other job to fall back on while he was away from football.
  4. A couple who are young, rich and making it. They have two children and are looking to retire early and be able to travel the world and still take care of their children. They need a retirement plan for themselves and a promised future for their children.

What I learnt from the documentary

  1. Housing, transportation, and food take up much of our budget.
  2. It’s important to focus more on your needs than your wants.
  3. When spending, consider your actions in the following order: needs, love, like, and want. Focus first on your needs, then on what you love and like, and finally on your wants.
  4. Ensure you have a budget and stick with your budget.
  5. When budgeting, consider splitting your money into 5 categories, which include: house bills, personal bills, spending accounts, emergency savings, and dream savings.
  6. Save money, but don’t wait to live your life.
  7. Having an emergency fund is important
  8. Automation is a great discipline to financial freedom. Automate your savings and investment especially.
  9. There are two ways to build wealth: through the gig economy and building your business.
  10. Scalable is a way to multiply your income without having to multiply your effort or time. Think about legal ways to increase your earning power without having to do so much work.
  11. While considering long-term investments, think about how much is enough for you to live on, which is 25 times your current living expenses. That is what you should aim for in investments.
  12. When you want to buy something, think about the Purchase Justification Machine (PJM). Ask yourself, “Will I use it?” “How often will I use it?” Let your response serve as a reason to make the purchase.
  13. Discipline and consistency are keys to financial freedom.
  14. Be deliberate and responsible with your financial choices.
  15. Network and look out for opportunities to make more money.
  16. Shift your mindset about money from short-term relief to long-term freedom.
  17. The ultimate goal of money is not to have to think about it.

The documentary was a 1 year journey of these 4 people with financial coaches and how they were able to help them. At the end of the documentary:

  1. Though Ariana wasn’t able to completely pay off her credit card loans, she moved from being an emotional spender to being a conscious spender and she paid off 4 credit card loans.
  2. Lindsey switched jobs , started to do what she loved, earned more and began to save gradually.
  3. The footballer was able to learn how to start investing the little money he still had on him. He was able to get back into football, changed his spending habit and took investing more seriously.
  4. The couples were able to cut down on unnecessary extravagant spending, started to save and invest towards their retirement and children’s future.

You may not have to switch jobs but you as an individual may have to look inward at your spending habits and financial behaviour.

Are you a conscious buyer or an emotional buyer?

Do you save out of the little you earn?

Do you have an emergency fund?

Do you know the basics of investment and have you started investing?

Are you even thinking about your retirement or you think you are still young?

I know some of this information might be new to you or you may know them and have not started. It’s not too early or too late to start.

Make a decision to have a healthy spending habit and financial behaviour.

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Get financial literacy today and begin the step to a great future.

If you have Netflix, I’d advise you watch the documentary for yourself.

Have you seen the documentary? Share your lessons with us.

Remember to share this with your friends who you know need this information. I’d see you soon.