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Welcome to a new week and the last day of the month of November.

This week, 2 events reminded me of how much of a roller-coaster 2020 has been!

The news of the death of Diego Armando Maradona literally stopped most of the world in its tracks. Diego, the football genius and legend but very human. In death and in life, he was a man whose impact loomed large.

One lesson from his life for me is the fact that whilst we all have our shortcomings, some of us manage these shortcomings better than others. This same principle holds true in our personal finance journey – we all have money challenges but some of us fare better and it all boils down to self-mastery.

The second news came last Friday evening and concerns the readjustment of the exchange rate by N6. Effective today, the Naira will be sold to Bureau De Change (BDCs) at the rate of N390/$ from N384. They are in turn expected to sell to the retail market for not more than N392/$.

The jury is still out on the impact this will have on the market given that the Naira exchanged for N494/$ at the parallel market last week. One thing is very certain, the Naira certainly needs all the help it can get as we are all affected by this situation irrespective of whether we have dollar investments or not.

As we round up the year, we will continue our countdown to 2021 by taking out time to give thanks for everything (financial and otherwise) the year 2020 has given me. I will like you all to join me in this exercise by sending in your contributions – things you are thankful for or lessons 2020 has taught you (revealing your identity is optional).

This year, I am thankful for:

  • Relationships – 2020 helped strengthen and made me more appreciative of my relationships with God, my family and friends.

It also reinforced for me the need to be intentional about building and maintaining one’s circle of friends and network.

The loss of friends and family reinforced the fact that no one is promised tomorrow and so I learnt (and I am still learning) to reach out more. 

  • The mundane things I often take for granted – this was the year I learnt to value many things I sometimes took for granted – good health, food, dressing up, freedom of movement and surprisingly; crowded places. This year, I am grateful for life (warts and all).
  • Adaptability – This year, I learnt like millions around the world to adapt, to work with less to achieve more. I am thankful for the opportunity to interact with colleagues, customers, family and friends through alternative means. I am thankful for the technology that made all of this possible.

2020 is also the year that we all realised that events didn’t necessarily have to be big, elaborate or even physical to occur.

  • Time – The lockdown afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with family, carry out self-reflection as well as learn new skills.  

I am grateful for the new skills I learnt this year as well as the opportunity to use them.

This year, I really appreciated the fact that time spent developing myself is always time well spent.

The lockdown also taught me that slowing down isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  • Lessons learnt – I am thankful for the money lessons this season has taught me – the need to save for the rainy days, to diversify streams of income as well as the need to be flexible. I am also thankful for learning that progress is better than speed.

In all, 2020 is best summarised as “the year we don’t get everything we want but the year we appreciate everything we have”. I look forward to reading your contributions.

Please remember that new COVID 19 cases are still being reported in Nigeria, especially in Lagos State and as such we must continue to take personal responsibility for ensuring our safety.

Although vaccines are being approved in the US and UK, they are not expected to be readily available globally until 2021; as such it is very important that we remember that prevention is better than cure.

Keep washing your hands, maintaining social distancing and wearing your face masks in public.  

Till next week, do have a wonderful December.          

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