The Smart Money Woman and I

Getting my hands on this book finally, was one of the most exciting moments ever. I had been looking for this opportunity for a long time. I feel like really reading up on personal finance, as well stocking up on knowledge that will help me out in life.

It’s never too late to start preparing, cultivating habits which will be highly beneficial in the long run. I realised that there are some things that are not taught in school, and also your upbringing determines if you are taught certain things or not. I for one was never really taught about money. I never really knew about the financial situations of the adults in my life.

Childhood Habits

My outlook on money from a young age, was that it was to be saved. I remember when I would save up the change from my school snacks back when I was like 10 or 11. I guess you could say I’ve always been someone who liked being modest with money.

This has remained the same, but recently I’ve been spending more than usual. Like I mentioned in my last post about money, I got my first job in my earlier teens, empowering me to buy the things I wanted. To date, my proudest moment of saving was where I saved enough to go on a school excursion to Sydney & Canberra in Australia. I also saved up for my ball dress, amongst other things. Come to think of it, most times I save to spend on a specific thing.


There’s just something about financial stability. I mean, sure, my mum was paying for the major bills like the house rent, utilities, taxes etc, but at least I wasn’t pestering her for money for flimsy things, when I had the capacity to go out there and get that money myself. I will always love being financially comfortable, and it’s something I aspire to achieve all through my life, as much as possible. I know there will be rough times, but one thing is that I always want to be prepared. When I still had a job, I used to always keep an emergency $50 or $100 in my wallet, just in case anything out of the ordinary happened. 

arese ugwu, the smart money woman pdf

So, I finally finished reading the Smart Money Woman. I really liked the book and story line! I also liked the art on the cover (I see you, Peniel Enchill). It really made me start thinking critically about what I want out of life. Like I mentioned previously, I started to realise that I actually have no concrete long term goals.

It’s actually something I am ashamed to say. I want the generic stuff, but I have no set plan as to how I want to even achieve said generic stuff. I’m even stuck as to where I will go from where I am right now. Right now, the most serious thing I’ve ever done is write a blog plan. It’s almost crazy how easily I did it. I guess my blog is really something that will be a huge part of my life.


I hear people in school saying how they will do their masters, go to law school, then go on NYSC (compulsory Nigerian youth service) and then get to working. They have such a vision, and some even know what they will take as their topic for their masters. I don’t even properly understand what a Masters is, let alone what topic I will be undertaking. I hope I haven’t misled anyone into thinking I have it all together, because frankly, I do not.

At least, if I can figure out what I want out of life financially, perhaps I can also move into the other spheres of life. Here’s an excerpt from the very end of the book:

…Ultimately, improving her net worth is more important than upgrading her wardrobe. This mind set helps her reason when she is spending. Buying a designer bag becomes a reward for reaching a long-term financial goal as opposed to buying one just because there’s money in her account. She derives the same amount of joy from investing in assets as she does spending on her lifestyle expenses. She would rather live like a princess forever than live like a queen for a few years…”

Definitely, everyone aspires at least to an extent to be this woman. Someone financially secure, not overly dependent on unreliable people to keep her head above the water.

Smart Money Lessons from Arese

  • Always be prepared for emergency situations, don’t wait for the emergencies to happen. Of course, not everyone can do this easily, but you should at least try and have some money for these unexpected situations.
  • Financial discipline is the best, it saves you a lot of trouble down the track. Learn to start tracking your spending, set sustainable goals which will lead to the betterment of your life, as opposed to splurging on things that won’t add value to you.
  • You need the right type of people around you, they can shape your mindset: I really liked the different types of friends Zuri had. My favourite was Lara, all responsible while slaying at the same time. I also like how supportive they were of each other, echoing themes of sisterhood and womanly empowerment, and how they went from gossiping to talking about life and proper goals.
  • Don’t go broke trying to look rich, cut your coat according to your material!
  • Don’t always doubt yourself, take charge and don’t let opportunities pass you by. I liked that towards the end, Zuri decided to take a big step, which had a very good outcome for her. For someone like me who is timid naturally, I hope I can be a woman who knows when to snatch an opportunity.

There were so many others, but you’ll just have to read the book to discover them for yourself! You may even pick out something different from me!

A Smart Money Woman?

While I loved the book, It’s obvious most of the stuff couldn’t be applied to me. My financial situation is really on the downside, as I don’t have a constant source of income i.e. a job, or pocket money. I’m doing my best to get things going, and I hope things start looking up soon. Some of the activities included calculations of your salary, assets, etc. I wished I could do them. Then again, I can always revisit the book when I move to the next level of life!

The Verdict:

All in all, I would rate The Smart Money Woman 7/10. It explained how to be financially literate without being too complex, and having a nice little storyline to go with it. It is definitely something you should read!

I loved Tshola, but felt the story could’ve still gone well without him. I also noticed all the subtle ads within the book, lol! Being the consumer that I am, I’ll likely check out each brand that was mentioned in the book. Way to go, Arese!

Other Opinions

Other bloggers have also been into this book, you can check out their reviews here:

Have you read the Smart Money Woman? Who was your favourite character or what was your favourite lesson?

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14 thoughts on “The Smart Money Woman and I”

    1. Do check the book out if you can! Lol that tip is gold, just picture the dad from ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ when you feel like being irresponsible

  1. I used to work at a bookstore and lot of women, came asking for it. I am not interested in these books yet, because of I for one, understand that I can’t really apply or the advice of my life as of yet. Maybe when I have a steady source and have figured out my life, I could be interested, but reading books like this just is a no no, I rather read up articles by people.

    You don’t have to figure out your life plan at this moment. Seriously, it doesn’t make you unserious, despite what other people may say or think.

    1. I like the idea of figuring out at least something right now, instead of stepping into uncertainty. My situation is very complex and confusing, I don’t even know how to begin to explain it. It’s just not concrete enough, it’s not up to my standards. Indeed, It’s best for me to start earning a steady source of income first before reading again!

  2. I love how you kept this review simple, short and straight to the point. The Smart Money book is definitely one I’ll recommend to everyone, not just the female folk. Tbh! I haven’t done any of those calculations either but I make sure to save something from the little I earn, I also cannot do without a budget like Issa must for a frugal someone like me.
    On not having life figured it, You’re not the only one. The key is to know what you want, find out how to go about it and face it squarely. Who knows you just might be a full-time blogger with a blogging related side hustle.
    Just don’t rush or feel pressured because others seem to have it together.
    Once again, Issa Nice Post!

    1. I like how you said ‘short’ but you know how I am haha the post is long o! I’m glad you’ve already started taking little smart money steps. We frugal people need to look out for one another o! Budget is life, but I don’t have one since I have no steady income. What I do know is saving.

      Thing is, I know not everyone has it figured out, but at the same time, you don’t want to be stuck in a particular place just because many other people are in there, you feel? Full time blogger, wow, I can see that happening and it’s scary lol! I’ll try and keep calm about the whole rest-of-my-life thing! Thanks Ebun

  3. I just need to finish this book already! I’ve been stuck on Chapter 3. I’ve been overwhelmed with other stuffs, I barely can sit still to read. Your review is just making me excited to finish up ASAP!

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