• Sep 16, 2021 . 3 min Read
  • Women share lessons they learnt from financial mistakes

Josephine Zhane Omunyidde is the founder, Engender Girls’ Mentorship. (All Photos by Ritah Mukasa)
Ritah Mukasa
Journalist @New Vision

WOMEN | BUSINESS | FINANCIAL MISTAKES 

We all make mistakes along the journey to financial independence. Some people have turned the mistakes into lessons that have helped them to achieve their dreams. Five women share experiences;

Josephine Zhane

Josephine Zhane

Josephine Omunyidde Zhane, the founder, Engender Girls’ Mentorship

I used to spend more than I earned. I had no proper financial budget and investment plan to guide me in making financial decisions. (All Photos by Ritah Mukasa)

As I progressed, I made another mistake of saving cash. I lost a lot when inflation hit double-digit. I also regretted investing in stocks expecting a short-term gain, I was wrong. Besides, I lacked an emergency fund and would lend money to friends who took long to pay back.

I have learnt to say no. I also give from a spiritual point of view to align my finances; this is a must. But I have a proper monthly budget and annually review my finances. With budgeting, I understand my spending habits. I invest a percentage of my income in low-risk investments and another in high-risk ventures for retirement.

I am now trying cryptocurrency but also appreciate annual dividends from stocks. I appreciate living a cashless life through use of debit cards which has regulated my spending. The pandemic has taught me to seize the opportunities presented whilst taking calculated investment risks.

Yvonne Mpanga

Yvonne Mpanga

Yvonne Mpanga, business development consultant

I am also a board member at Uganda Women Entrepreneurs (UWEAL), at the Public Relations Association of Uganda ( PRAU), at GSM Women Concern For Community Development (GWOCCOD) and Development Education Awareness Program(DEAP).

Initially, when I entered in partnerships, I did not mind vetting my co-investors and in the end, I was duped out of excitement. Also, I was spending too much money on a residential house and took loans for domestic expenditures like school fees and buying a luxury car.

I, however, learnt to balance investments to ensure liquidity. For example, injecting all money in real estate or land is tough because the buyer may not come easily when you need to clear a hospital bill. I also can’t take a bank loan for a residential house.

I would rather focus on delayed gratification and start with a commercial structure. To avoid fraudsters, I do thorough due diligence. Additionally, loans should be for business, not consumption.

I am focusing on rentals, alternative investments in International shares, blockchain technology, particularly safe crystal and a bit of subsistence farming.

I am also pursuing other passions including counselling and writing. COVID 19 has taught me not to put all eggs in one basket, seize opportunities and adjust with the new normal while embracing joint ventures and collaboration to enjoy economies of scale.

Jackie Kasujja

Jackie Kasujja

Jackie Kasujja, fashion designer, Sema Dzyns

I use to spend carelessly and would pay off debts using my savings. In fact, I wasn’t investing at all. But when I hit a financial snag, I learnt to plan for my money.

I also save as a priority and monitor the little expenses as well. I am currently investing in farming on a small scale. I have also acquired unique fashion skills and getting involved in all the work at the workshop. This will help me reduce the workers.

Stellah Gitta

Stellah Gitta

Stellah Gitta, procurement manager, SESACO LTD

I used to spend without a budget and hence spent to the last coin. I would also spend more than my income but I learnt the hard way.

I now have side hustles and I am a good steward for my finances. I tithe, give offerings, help the needy and save. I also respect the boundaries of my income and learnt to save to invest not to accumulate money on my bank account. I plan to save for long term projects and spread out my investments so I don’t suffocate them with expenditures.

Lucy Athieno

Lucy Athieno

Lucy Mary Athieno,  founder Eco-Pads Uganda Ltd

The reusable sanitary pads business is capital intensive but I did not have money at the start. I was overwhelmed. My second mistake was mixing charity with business.

We would sometimes go to sell pads but end up donating them. I was also hesitant about marketing and delegating, thinking I could do it all. I have learnt to separate business from charity and personal expenditure.

I also plan for the available resources, save and ensure optimum expenditure. COVID 19 has taught me to plan ahead, leverage on partnerships and build a network of trust.

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