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The Smart Money Woman: Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom

The Smart Money Woman is a detailed guide to financial freedom. In every chapter of this book, Arese Ugwu brings to life all the financial issues known to the average Nigerian: issues like debt, spending, misconceptions about money, fear, lack of money, societal issues and cultural pressures as well as how these factors contribute to financial freedom or bondage.

In this fictional book, which reads like a combination of a chic flick novel and a business development book, Arese addresses these issue by providing logical steps to solving the problems they present.

Arese Ugwu - Picture

The current recession being experienced in Nigeria can be traced to what we did as a nation with our finances or failed to do.

At first, I was skeptical about a book that focuses money issues and how to solve them. Like Zuri, the lead character in the book, explains, women don’t feel the need to pay attention to their finances until they are forced to, may be because an average African woman isn’t brought up to worry about finances.

But who is Zuri? She is an average single lady living in Lagos. She is beautiful, has a good job, a nice car, an apartment in Lekki. And she is your perfect Nigerian socialite. She has a good life until you realize that her debts are sky-high. Why so much debt for a lady who seems well put-together? She has to deal with hospital bills for fibroid surgery, service charge bills for her apartment, fix her car that is at the automobile repair shop and somehow manage to go about her daily activities. Pretty daunting right? This is the kind of struggle many of us can relate with, maybe not in the order Zuri has hers. But like her, the bills keep piling up.

So what do you do when your finances put your back to the wall?

Read ‘The Smart Money Woman’ which gives you ‘situationships’ with your life and finances and how best to go about them. Arese uses popular events, places and faces to create these situations which makes the lessons easy to assimilate as well as to tackle.

For every chapter, Arese would make you feel like a school kid, with a pen and paper engaged in the exercises that aid solving the ‘situationship’ described. Beside Zuri, you also have very relatable characters like Tami (the Daddy’s money fashion designer), Lara (the oil and gas executive with a family dependent on her), Adesuwa (the conservative lawyer and bread winner of her family), and Ladun (the fabulous housewife with no source of income).

In general, this is a game changer for women who in that past have not been keen on addressing the issue of money until they had no other option. The Smart Money Woman is a must have in your library.

In the words of Bolanle Austen-Peters, it is ‘a Nigerian woman’s answer to Rich Dad, Poor Dad….’. This book could not have been published at a better time, bearing in mind the current economic situation of our country. We need to know how to control our affairs; we need to be able to put our house in order. It is fine to blame the government for so many things but the issues of personal finance are ours and we need to take responsibility.

In Arese’s words, “the way you spend, invest and manage ten naira is the way you will spend, invest and manage ten million”. Tired of having your salary act like a revolving door? Tired of settling debt month in and month out? Tired of not having an escape plan when the chips are down? Need financial freedom? Then the smart money way is the best way: consider getting this book as an investment.

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