My Money Mistake is a weekly PiggyVest series that explores the worst money mistakes real Nigerians have made, and the lessons they learnt from it.
For this week’s episode of My Money Mistake, we spoke to a 40-year-old restaurant manager who sold his inheritance from his late father in a moment of desperation, but years later, still struggles with his finances. He tells us about why he sold the property and why he regrets it.
Could you tell me about your money mistake?
I come from a polygamous home, and after my dad died, I was given one of his properties as my inheritance. At the time, I was struggling financially and wanted to break my family out of the trenches.
Every time I got an inflow of money, there were always financial commitments that prevented me from enjoying it. So, in a moment of desperation, I sold the property.
Oh wow. How much did you sell it for?
Not much. Just about ₦2.5 million. I gave my siblings about ₦1.5 million out of it, and I planned to use the remaining ₦1 million to change our lives.
How did that go?
Things didn’t go the way we planned. We spent some part of the money on agents for house hunting. By the time we moved into a new house, paid the children’s school fees and did one or two things here and there, all the money was gone.
I didn’t have anything to invest from it. The sale of the property didn’t fetch me much, and I didn’t have a solid plan of how to use the money, so when it came in, I just had to settle the things I considered priority. In fact, it was the little money I gave my wife that started sustaining us.
What did she do with the money?
She went to the village and bought yams that she sold in town. The profit from that business was our only source of income before I got a job as a delivery agent. It was that job that helped me.
How about work?
I’ve been getting by. I recently got this restaurant manager gig. It’s not giving me much, but I leave the house every day to fend for my family.
It hurts me because I heard the property now goes for about ₦20-30 million, and I sold it for a mere ₦2.5 million. Now that I have the knowledge to start a business, I don’t have the funding to sustain it.
How about your family?
I only have my wife and my children now. My entire family considers me to be a stupid person. They think I messed up, and I think they’re right. My mUm and my siblings cut ties with me. We’re no longer on good terms. I just hope things get okay for me soon, so I can go back to them, make amends, and get them to come around
It was such a big mistake, selling that property. If I had someone who sat me down and educated me, I wouldn’t have done it, or at least, I would’ve waited for a better buyer. Now, I’m still struggling from hand to mouth
I’m so sorry about all that. What did you learn from that experience?
I learnt that there are certain things one doesn’t sell indiscriminately, and one needs to always evaluate financial decisions critically before making them. If there’s no concrete plan to use the money, it will definitely be misused.