Bisola and Samuel Otigba have been together since 2018. The couple met on Twitter, dated for six months, stayed engaged for a year and have been married for two years.
As with other couples, the Otigbas intend to grow together but without the financial friction that burdens several relationships. What’s the plan? They told us below. (Quick hint: Put the woman in charge of the money.)
How did you meet and how would you describe your partner’s relationship with money since then?
Bisola: I met Samuel on Twitter. I shot my shot and landed a goal after three months. Since then, my opinion about his relationship with money still stands: Sam is a natural giver. If he has money in hand, he will give it to someone who needs it; it doesn’t matter if he might need it later.
Samuel: Omo, see casting! I was a giver; she was the prudent one. She was better at managing money, while I was a lot more spontaneous
Bisola: Ah. Someone will see this and think I don’t give. Please, I give too, but he has a very free hand. He would buy everything on his list if he had the money.
“Very free hand”? Samuel, did you give millions to a friend on a whim?
Samuel: LOL. Something like that. I used to only see money as a means to solve immediate problems and needs rather than as a security measure. I was wrong. I realised that money is the principal tool for achieving financial freedom, so investing rather than spending is the best way to go.
Was money something you guys discussed while dating?
Bisola: Yes o. We understood our money strengths and weaknesses from the very beginning. If giving is a weakness, that would be his.
Samuel, are you aware of Bisola’s money weaknesses?
Samuel: Yes. It’s a trust thing. She can trust an investment portfolio or a business partner without observing the risks. This usually ends up as a loss or a liability.
Bisola: LOL. I can answer for myself. I know that I have two major weaknesses. I am a terrible hoarder who overthinks spending. Even with things that might be beneficial to us in the end, I convince myself that it’s not so necessary, so I don’t spend money.
A prudent queen.
Bisola: LOL. Concerning what Samuel said, I admit I am not very thorough with my research when it comes to making certain decisions.
In a way, you guys are opposites.
Samuel: And you know what they say about opposites.
Bisola: Yup. The good thing is we understand our weaknesses and cover up for each other with our strengths.
What are these strengths?
Bisola: Sam has a knack for making money. I trust his judgement.
Samuel: What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in intuition. She brings investment opportunities; I analyse them or seek professional advice.
Bisola: I also give room to his free hand from time to time. It makes him happy.
Do your weaknesses ever create a problem you can’t handle in the relationship?
Bisola: Well, no. With the hoarding habit, Sam is calm enough to persuade me till we get it. As for the poor research bit, even with the mistakes I’ve made in the past, he helps me not to repeat them by educating me.
Samuel: It’s not a problem. With regards to relationships, Bisola is a step up from where I’m coming from. Everyone in the past was an enabler of my spending.
Bisola: LMAO. I just make sure I can see all the money.
How are the finances within this relationship managed?
Samuel: She’s in charge of the money we both earn, and she manages it.
Bisola: It works like this: we have a yearly financial goal. With a money target in mind, we create a list of things we want as individuals and as a couple.
Samuel: We analyse our needs based on priority, and she mobilises the funds. It works for us.
Analysing your needs based on priorities, does this happen annually or monthly?
Bisola: It sometimes varies based on our needs. We have a yearly plan we revisit as often as needed.
Samuel: Annually for overall expenses. Monthly for immediate needs. For instance, I can’t wake up on a whim and say I want to buy a car. It has to make sense for our overall financial goal and future.
Bisola: You’ll just go back to sleep and wake up again.
LOL. What’s something that helped you put money management into perspective?
Samuel: We did a financial exercise before we got married. It was a test around financial projection in marriages and goals.
Bisola: I found the exercise online and we took it together. It was hectic but we overcame it. LOL. It also gave us more insight into who we are and how we could do better. Now, we do it every year.
Do you mind sharing your results from this exercise?
Samuel: We mind o. Please, don’t share that result.
Samuel, please share the results with the people.
Samuel: We can share 2021’s result, but the very first one we took is off-limits.
Bisola: When we first took the test in 2018, the results weren’t great.
Samuel: Let’s just say I had an epiphany and was reborn. Before now, I made some terrible financial decisions. I was in the UK before I came to Nigeria in 2017 for Detty December.
I had plans to just party and go back. When I didn’t go back on time, I kept paying rent for the apartment from Nigeria because I didn’t want to give it up. It cost me about £1,500 to £2,000 per month, and I did that for six months until Bisola came and told me, “Sammie, you’re crazy.”
Wait, wait. WHAT?
Samuel: That’s excluding tax, insurance, subscriptions, water/light bills and all those extra costs.
Bisola: We cancelled everything!
Samuel, what I’m hearing is Bisola saved your life.
Bisola: Haha, yes. And I still save it.
Samuel: If she didn’t help me make that decision, I don’t even know what I would have done because I never went back to that apartment.
Bisola: LOL. I don’t even want to think about it. I didn’t get it. I was like, “Boy, you’re not going back. You have found me. Better cancel everything.”
Now that I have context for Samuel’s spending, I’m obligated to ask you Bisola, are you okay?
Bisola: LMAO. Girl, I’m trying.
Samuel: LOL. Guys, I didn’t kill anybody. I just spent money.
LOL. Is there a money thing marriage didn’t prepare you for?
Bisola: The unending bills! It’s more like life didn’t prepare us for that. Every day, I have to take five minutes to practice deep breaths. The bills are double, and the only good thing is I have Sam to go through this with me. He is very reassuring when it comes to money. It makes me worry less.
Samuel: That you’ll make successful financial decisions, as well as wrong ones in a marriage, and it won’t kill you. I think the whole process is a necessary eye-opener for understanding your partner. Bisola is so smart. I respect her so much and it has made everything easier. Also, money is a necessary tool for a happy marriage.