#BravewoodChat – Common Money Mistakes with Gabriel Omin

#BravewoodChat – Common Money Mistakes with Gabriel Omin

Our first TweetChat of the year featured @gabrielomin who gave us insights on common money mistakes which also happened to be the title of his latest book “45 Common Money Mistakes”.

Gabriel OminGabriel Omin is a negotiator by day and a creative writer at night. He is a trained Chemical Engineer armed with an MBA (Duke Fuqua) with a deep interest in understanding how businesses are run and how individuals can make better use of the resources at their disposal.

He is able to expound on the principles of personal finance and money management. To this end, he has authored several books including;  “Insight Into Stock Market Dynamics” to aid beginner investors in the Stock Market. He recently authored “Me and My Budget” which serves as a guide for personal budgeting. His most recent work “45 Common Money Mistakes”. He has several financial seminars for several groups (undergraduates, NYSC Corpers, corporate executives, cooperatives etc)

Gabriel is a TEDx speaker and also a member of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) and writes frequently on http://www.medium.com/@gabomin on the subjects of finances, family, humour and faith. He is an FC Barcelona fan, who still plays football for the fun and the love of the game. It is certified that he has no hope to pay it professionally.

1. What inspired you to write this particular book?

I saw people around me make preventable money mistakes on their life savings and I thought about what I could do to make a difference. These were good people but just did not develop personal finance acumen.

Being scammed by Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, family problems, irresponsible siblings were symptoms of an existing condition. Eg I saw colleagues mobilizing funds to invest in a private placement. I asked if they have seen the company before, nobody had a clue.

I then asked “what are you investing into ?” It was then they got the point. Thankfully they didn’t invest and down the line. They all realized that it was a scam.

Again, preventable money problems. Naturally, you’ll make mistakes but try to avoid preventable ones. 

Another example was when I served as the secretary of my cooperative. Someone I knew was overburdened with loans and he had so much money in his savings with the Coop. We got talking and I asked why he was serving a loan at 15% and his savings was yielding about 5%.

He told me he loves to see his money grow. I said, you are steadily losing 10% of your money. Thinking of a leaking ship. It will inevitably sink. He got the idea and offset his loan. Till tomorrow the man greets me as if I gave him life.

2. Which of these 43 mistakes can you relate to the most and how did you stop it from recurring?

Other People’s Lack Of Planning Cannot Be Your Emergency.

One of my mentors told me this. He saw how I was running my life, called me aside and told me he notices I have a good heart but that I need to control how I react to other people’s emergencies.

He made me watch the movie “Million Dollar Baby”.  In the movie, the actor put her life at risk in order to get her mum a house but her mum was more interested in getting food stamps and the govt poverty alleviation. She was trying to save a mum who does not want to be saved.

After that, I got his point. People are looking for other things than what you are offering. They do what they want but when push comes to shove, they come to you for a bailout.

People will fail to plan but expect a bailout from the ever-dependable Gabriel – the bailout angel. Other People’s Lack Of Planning Cannot Be Your Emergency. Most times people know that if they wind you up a little and spice it with emotional blackmail, you will break. Then they do it. Keep doing it.

Remember who you are 
A good friend, good sister, good whatsoever but you’re not Aliko. Aliko got to where he is by careful planning & by minding his business. It takes 9 months for a baby to come. Don’t allow people to blackmail you with “this is your only nephew, do something”.

Everyone needs to do their part so that we can all survive. If you keep bailing people out especially from their obvious financial mistakes, you will be a financial wreck. People will not learn to take care of their business. From time to time, allow people to clean up their mess.

The American government watched Lehman go down. Learn from history

How to solve it (Emergency Issues)?

I started by saying “No”. It is easy to say “No”. Try it. I have said “no” with my eyes closed before. Best way to say “no” is by text.  It’s hard to say “no” to folks U love but that is where tough love comes in.  Heart-wrenching but necessary.

3. What money mistake do you think most people make that they’re not aware of?

Not developing a saving habit because they think what they have is little.

In saving you are developing a habit and not  about the amount saved. Anyone who can save NGN50 from 1k is a genius in my estimation.

@bravewoodng has fantastic products to help you save and grow your wealth. Take advantage of it.

Savings is about grit and discipline. During my entire working life, I have saved money. I like financing stuff with my cash and so I save towards it. I avoid debts with all I can because I’ve seen it destroy too many people – who started with good intentions by the way.

Let me say it again… In saving you are developing a habit and not necessarily about the amount saved. Habits power your life.

When you have cash you can negotiate.

Be like my mum. Selling price of NGN1m, she will tell you she has 60k cash.

Boss lady!

And she usually gets it.

Savings curbs your bad spending habit

Saving before you spend is hard but the only way to save. People that save grow into a lifestyle, they don’t fuss about it. Lifestyle maintenance drains. I’ve seen folks borrow to buy biz class tickets so that they can tell others “I fly biz”.

4. Impulse spending is one of the most common money mistakes people make, how do you think this can be curbed in your opinion?

We all love things that we love and we can by all means enjoy our lives within our means. But you must have control. See control is everything. Power without control will destroy. Spending without control will wreck.

The first thing I do is to know what I impulsively spend on.

There are brands I love and I try not to enter their shops.

I buy their stuff online with a budget and do not tempt myself with the temptation that will take over me. I know my boundaries and walk within them.

Second thing is to have a budget.

There is a particular month in the year that I spend and make most of my buying. That month I usually tell my wife “the bank is open”, then I buy stuff I really like. Yeah I control myself until that point. But with a budget.

There are things that I like but cannot afford at the moment. I plan for them and most importantly, put them in my prayer list. God says I should ask and when I am given my joy will be complete. So I say “Father, send me complete joy on A,B,C”.

When it comes to finances, I tell impulses to go away.

I am like Mr Wonderful on @ABCSharkTank who says that his money is like soldiers that are supposed to get him prisoners (returns) and not the other way round.

I send my money on errands. Money does not send me on errands.

5. Your book talked about the downside of “monetizing everything”, in a world where there is a need for additional income sources, should some earning opportunities be overlooked?

Know what works for you.

You cannot monetise everything. It is great to make money but when you are all about money you will lose people. There are things that money cannot buy… companionship, friendship, loyalty, care etc.

In balancing it, yes additional income sources are great. Try to seek them and make the most out of them but when people need you, especially, people that cannot pay you back or “afford” you, try and help out especially when it is within your power.

For example I conduct financial and personal development seminars for university students, corpers etc. Most of them are broke.

I chose to do it for free. Most of them cannot afford my fees and so it is my contribution to national development.

Does that mean I don’t charge for my seminars? I do charge. But when I can afford not to charge when I can, I waive it.

I once worked with a widow and had to do some estate planning and disbursement. Really that was not a good time to charge her. That is what I am trying to say.

6.  In your book, you quoted “Anybody who thinks money will make you happy, hasn’t got money.” What would you advise those who think money = happiness?

Get a life. I am serious.

Enjoy what is in front of you.

Enjoy the moment. Stop thinking others are having a ball & U aren’t. Grow into things. When you grow into things, you will laugh at yourself. I remember the 1st perfume I ever had (I am laughing thinking about it now).

It was one scent plus ogogoro. I wear it and strut around like a peacock. The day I used Creed Aventus (U now know I like Creed). I  wondered why that mixture made me so happy.

What I mean is that I enjoyed that alcohol mix then like how I enjoyed Creed. Just enjoy the moment.

Most folks that have loads of money really don’t have the time to enjoy it. A private jet to them is a work tool. Yachts are for meetings. They don’t have time.

Just to put this in perspective, please see the movie “Brad’s Status”. It helps put things in perspective. Don’t get me wrong – money is a defence and it is a tool to solve problems and contribute to society. Do not think about it more than that.

Don’t forget…

Someone will have more of it than you. Someone will have less. It just does not matter.

Who is counting?

7. On effective money management, what habits have helped you financially?

Track everything.

It is hard work but when you develop it into your routine, it becomes easy. Mrs thinks I know where every money goes. As I said, I like sending my money on errands. I need to know where it went to. Budget + plan.

Is what I am buying an asset or a liability?

It is a personal question everyone needs to answer. Assets bring me income. Liabilities take away income and sometimes need maintenance. I always have to decide why I am doing what I am doing

Negotiate everything. 

I grew up selling. I know margins and watch Shark Tank. There’s always a deal. Some people think I am a monk until they see my shopping. BTW shopping is a sport that I love. I always ask for a discount. I rarely buy full price especially for big-ticket items.

Plan your entertainment and generosity.

Enjoying yourself must not be by impulse. Giving to others must not be by impulse. There are exceptions here and there.

I have decided not to live ALWAYS on the generosity of strangers and so I do my best to plan.

Valentine is coming. Emotions and money do not mix well. You can do valentine for yourself by opening an @bravewoodng  account. Do not invest in an asset (Valentino) that will “fly away Peter, fly away Paul”.

8. There’s a lot of information in circulation on personal finance, how would you advise readers on finding what works for them?

Get general information and then localise it.

We all read “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. Great book and principles in there but you need to know what works for you.

What does your environment need that you can supply and make money? What skills can make you stand out?

There were some decisions I could not take early because I’m one of those first sons that had to show working. First sons give me a wiper.

My parents did their best for me and we are a small battalion. After school, I knew I needed to get a job and support my parents & siblings.

That was not the time to invest. That was not the time to be an entrepreneur. I needed to support the family and put some foundation in place. American books will not tell you that, because their society is different.

So I chose the part that worked for me.

Ask questions. Loads of them.

In fact, I had a book of questions growing up.

I once wrote to Les Brown and Dwayne Dyer and ask questions. I was 22. Dwayne wrote back and posted this book autographed and wished me success.

Today you can email anyone. The quality of your questions determines the answers life will give to you.

9. What is your investment philosophy?

  1. Never Lose Money
  2. Never Forget #1

That means things like MMM are far from me. In finance, if it is too good to be true, then it is too good to be true. Run!

If you go for the long term then you will be patient. Patience buys time to think & reflect.

Invest with trusted folks.

I believe in the cycle of money

  1. Make
  2. Manage
  3. Multiply
  4. Minister (Philanthropy)

People like 1 and 3 (you can easily brag about them) but 2 and 4 are the most important.

Never lose your integrity over money.

$1million might sound like a lot of money but with integrity that you build over the years, it will be your weekend money.

Can I get an “Amen”?

Build great relationships.

You need people to enjoy this money with. Leave the competition out of it. Let people be. No envy. No malice.

When I was dating my wife, I had nothing to give to her. True story. I told her if she needs a new phone I cannot provide but I have integrity, faith in God, good work ethics and the hope of a tomorrow.

That is how she followed me o!

We lived with our humble means & planned our lives. There was a time that any bag that was above $30 CANNOT be bought.

There was a time that if you needed eggs, someone had to lay it. But I gave it time and worked hard. Opportunities came & I took them.

10. What financial advice will you give to those affected by COVID-19?

Thank God for life.

If you lost stuff and people, you did not lose everything and everyone.


Keep hope alive. Hope springs eternal. It is the living that can manage money.

Don’t give up on life.

Companies died. Some closed and may never open.

And that concluded our TweetChat on common money mistakes with Gabriel Omin! You can grab a copy of his book “45 Common Money Mistakes” here – https://paystack.com/buy/45-common-money-mistakes-qlbbpu


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