What if you had someone else to worry about budgeting, savings, and investment while leaving you to focus on making more money? Your Finance Butler is at your service.
By Joseph Iruafemi
Today had turned out to be one of those days for Segun. From the driver who rammed into his bumper earlier in the morning, to the impromptu lunch to appease a client and then his cousin who wanted N25,000 for his school project, he had bled out in unexpected expenses.
As he turned the key to unlock the door to his flat, he smiled, knowing that Tracly would show him reds and still be kind enough to let him know how he could shape up in the next few days to make up for the dent the day had made in his pocket.
You see, Tracly is Segun’s financial butler, a trusted ally that manages all of his money.
The two had met at a time Segun could not seem to get out of debt. He was always financially tight despite earning N200,000 monthly from his job for 2 years. Frustrated about the bleakness of his financial future, he complained to Soji his colleague at work.
“Soji, I can’t seem to make head or tail of my money. It is like an evil spirit is taking my money.”
Soji had asked if he used an excel for tracking. He did. It was simple enough to open an excel sheet but remembering to update it regularly was a pain for his tight schedule.
“Well, I should introduce you to Tracly then”, Soji replied.
And so it started, 1453 days ago, that Tracly took over the management of Segun’s finances. All he needed to do was to give Tracly access to his account statement, and the butler would handle the rest.
In the beginning, Tracly had put Segun in the “Getting out of debt category” and helped him create a tight budget. The budget focused on covering his basics – bills, transportation, feeding, grooming and the rest went into paying his debts. Immediately his salary got paid into his account; the Butler fanned the leftover into the accounts of his creditors. Tracly then told him who he had paid and what was left to be paid. Those months had been gruesome on him, but he knew it was a price he had to pay for financial freedom.
It all seemed so novel to him at the time but working with the butler made him realize he had been spending way too much on coffee, entertaining himself and also not cashing out his loyalty points. The butler had helped him cut the overspend. He had recommended some hangout venue around his workplace and home where loyalty points could be earned on purchases. This was how Segun found his regular hangout spot at Sailors because of their cashback program. The butler put the extras he cranked out of the spending cut and loyalty points into his small tickets savings for things like birthday gifts.
Since paying off his debts, he had moved from “Getting out of debt” category to the “Savings category” and then to the “investing category.”
The butler had been a different kind of animal during the different categories. Tracly moved from auto-saving to auto-saving and auto investing his money for him.
During his saving phase, Tracly had been aggressive, pushing just about anything that was not going into his essentials into his emergency funds record. The butler had continued this regime until he had over six months of his salary in that record.
Now, the butler split the money into two, invests a part and saves the other part. Although he wasn’t having as much fun as he would have loved to, the idea of increasing his emergency fund while investing for the future was exciting.
Tracly’s dexterity with numbers never ceased to amaze Segun. The butler could reduce or stop allocating money to a specific financial goal depending on the severity of a new goal that he shared. When Segun told the butler he planned to travel for a holiday in 6 months, Tracly recommended he made this ten months so he could still be in good standing for saving for his house. And the butler went ahead to adjust every other part of his finances accordingly.
“Tracly, what is today’s status?” Segun said to his Amazon Echo as he walked into the room.
“Hello Segun, today, you overspent by 300%. Your DSTV subscription will be due in the next five days, but if you renew today, you will get a 15% discount. Would you like me to renew your subscription now?”
“Yes please,” Segun replied.
“Can I afford to hang out with the boys this Friday?” Segun went on to ask.
“No, you cannot” Tracly responded. “You cannot afford to pay for your hangout for the next 2 Fridays if you want to keep things going smoothly.”
“What a guy,” said Segun to himself as he walked away from the device to his bedroom.
He will be fine. Tracly, the finance butler got him.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.
Joseph Iruafemi is enthusiastic about using technology to improve the efficiency of people and businesses. He sits well at the intersection of business and technology. He is comfortable at translating business strategies/ideas into software products or finding the business in a software product. He is the founder of Now Showing (www.nowshowing.com.ng), a digital technology startup focused on enhancing the experience of moviegoers. He is also founder of Kobotrack, an application that helps people manage their money.