Items filtered by date: Saturday, 12 January 2019
It is wise, from time to time, to stop and evaluate our lives as we seek to make the most of them.
The start of a new year provides a natural opportunity to look back and offers an extra push toward new adjustments going forward. That’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular.
If you are looking for some changes in your financial circumstances, here are the ten best personal finance resolutions to consider. Choose just one or two to accomplish in 2019 and you’ll be surprised at the difference in your life:
The Ten Best Personal Finance Resolutions for 2019
1. Save $1,000. Less than 40% of Americans have one thousand dollars in savings, but almost every successful financial wellness plan available today includes the creation of a $1,000 Emergency Fund. Finding that much money overnight might be difficult. But if you can find $83/month to put away, you’ll complete this resolution by the end of the year… and be in better financial position than 60% of the country!
2. Make one extra payment (over the course of the year) on your mortgage. One extra monthly payment per year on your mortgage shortens the length of your loan by 4-5 years. You can spread this out over the course of the year or plan now to direct an expected windfall toward it (tax refund, year-end bonus, etc.).
3. Put money into retirement (any amount). Your year of retirement is now one year closer. That is true for every single one of us. But 78 percent of Americans, say they are extremely or somewhat concerned about not having enough money for retirement. There is only one way to change that—start saving. Even if it’s just a little. If you haven’t saved anything yet, find out this year how to open an account, put some money in, and begin directing a percentage toward it each month.
4. Embrace a 2-week Shopping Ban to challenge your shopping habits. Pick the dates, mark them now, and commit yourself to not spending a single dollar for two weeks (groceries may be a worthy exception). There’s no downside to the experiment—only upside. You’ll learn more about yourself, rethink your consumption habits, and save some money along the way.
5. Sell $250 worth of clutter. The premise is very simple. Turn your unwanted stuff into cash money. Free your home of clutter and build up savings along the way! Minimizing your stuff is a win-win—this is probably the biggest no-brainer on the entire list. If you’re looking for help knowing what to get rid, check out some of the suggestions offered in The Minimalist Home.
6. Remove 1/4 of your wardrobe. Decluttering can have a positive impact on our financial circumstances beyond the simple selling of clutter (as mentioned above). Decluttering also frees up space and creates a more healthy living environment. It can change our relationship with our stuff and our money. For example, a closet filled with only items you love, often results in greater contentment—and better control over your urges to accumulate. Additionally, getting ready in the morning is less stressful, allowing you to be productive during your day ahead. That’s always good for the bottom-line.
7. If you are a dual-income family, seek to save one spouses’ entire salary. One of the best pieces of financial advice I ever received was this one from a mentor just prior to my marriage, “If you and your wife are both working, determine to live on only one salary and put the entirety of the other person’s salary into savings.” We did exactly that—and set ourselves up for financial success at the very beginning. This resolution will take planning and won’t likely happen as soon as the calendar turns to January, but it is a goal you should choose to work toward in 2019.
8. Make a budget. No seriously, do it, this year. No more stalling. You’ve been told the importance of setting a budget since you were in high school (or maybe even younger). If you haven’t, do it now. No more putting it off. This is the year! If you’ve found traditional-style budgets don’t work for you, try something with a different approach, like a spending plan.
9. Invest money in the stock market. Buying stock is essentially the same as saying, “I trust that Jeff Bezos knows how to make money better than me.” And with new and free apps like Robin Hood with no minimums, getting started investing in companies you believe in has never been easier. Take any dollar amount (even as small as $10 or $20) and find a stock to invest in. You’ll learn a lot and likely grow your money in the process.
10. Become a recurring monthly giver to one charity. Most people with a beating heart want to live generous lives. We all desire to solve problems and support causes we believe in. For most people, the only thing keeping them back is they can’t seem to find the extra margin to do so. Stop waiting for excess money to be left at the end of the month to get started, Instead, decide to get started today—right now. Pick one charity and set yourself up as a recurring monthly giver—even if it’s just $2-$5 per month. Not only will you feel good solving problems in the world, the action will show you that you do have the margin to give.
Adopting all ten resolutions is almost certainly too much to ask. But choose one or two specifically that will help you and you can be passionate about. You’ll be surprised how quickly they make a difference in your outlook toward personal finance.
Joshua Becker is the Founder and Editor of Becoming Minimalist, a website that reaches 1+ million readers each month inspiring people to live more by owning less. He is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Simplify, The More of Less, and The Minimalist Home.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Saturday, 12 January 2019 17:57


The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed it invested about N2.7 trillion in the last three years on infrastructure in the country.
This was disclosed by the Senor Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Ms Imeh Okon on Friday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State during a High-Level Stakeholders Retreat on Public-Private Partnership.
According to Okon the Federal Government had to go back to the 25 years Master Plan on infrastructure development through Public Private Partnership.
“The Federal Government has invested N2.7 trillion in infrastructure in the last three years and as you can see, some of the dividends have been the N100 billion that we have injected into rail projects.
“What we have done as a government is to go back to the 25 years master plan on the rail sector. What you are seeing right now in terms of rail infrastructure is as a result of the master plan that was on the ground,” she said.
Okon, however said that over-dependence on oil revenue had been a great challenge to the government as a result of instability in the prices of oil in the last four years.
This challenge, she said has necessitated the partnership with the private sector to develop most of the nation’s priority infrastructure projects.”
The Acting Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Mr Chidi Izuwah, who spoke earlier, said the partnership would enhance economic prosperity, development and growth.
Speaking on the Ibom Deep Seaport, Izuwah assured that when completed, it would decongest the Lagos seaports.
“Ibom Deep Seaport is a PPP project that is going to bring $2.5bn of investment and change the landscape of infrastructure in the country.
“It will have solutions to traffic congestion in the Lagos ports because those goods that normally go to Lagos will come here. This has been done in partnership with the ICRC.
“I can assure you that before April, the contract for Ibom Deep Seaport will be signed and the approved consortium will start immediately.”
Source: NAN
Published in Engineering
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday, intervened in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales by injecting the sum of $263 million, the first in 2019.
A statement by the Director, Corporate Communications at CBN, Isaac Okorafor, on Friday, indicated that the apex bank also injected CNY39m into the sector for a combination of spot and short-tenored forwards, arising from bids received from authorised dealers.
According to figures from CBN, the US dollar-denominated interventions were for requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors, while the Yuan sale was for payment of Renminbi-denominated letters of credit for agriculture as well as raw materials.
According to Okorafor, the move was in furtherance of the CBN Governor’s commitment to ensuring foreign exchange liquidity in the system as well as boosting trade and production.
He revealed that the CBN would sustain its intervention through the sale of foreign exchange to all segments of the market to meet all legitimate foreign exchange demand while also striving to achieve exchange rate stability in the market in the weeks ahead.
Okorafor also disclosed that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, will further unfold the bank’s plans for the year during the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the year scheduled to hold between 21st and 22nd January, 2019.
Source: The Ripples
Published in Bank & Finance
Zimbabwe will introduce a new currency in the next 12 months, the country’s Finance Minister said, as a shortage of United States dollars plunges the financial system into disarray, forcing businesses to close and threatening unrest.
The southern African nation abandoned its own hyperinflation-wrecked currency in 2009 at the height of an economic recession, adopting the greenback and other currencies including sterling and the South African rand.
But without enough hard currency to back up the $10 billion of electronic funds trapped in local bank accounts, businesses and civil servants are demanding payment in cash which can be deposited and used to make payments both inside and outside the country.
Mthuli Ncube told a town hall meeting late on Friday that a new local currency would be introduced in less than twelve months.
“On the issue of raising enough foreign currency to introduce the new currency, we are on our way already, give us months, not years,” he said.
Zimbabwe currently has less than two weeks import cover, according to central bank data, and the government has previously said it would only consider launching a new currency if it had at least six months of reserves.
Locals are haunted by memories of the Zimbabwean dollar, which became worthless as hyperinflation spiralled to reach 500 billion% in 2008, the highest rate in the world for a country not at war, wiping out pensions and savings.
A surrogate bond note currency introduced in 2016 to stem dollar shortages has also collapsed in value.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is under pressure to revive the economy but, in something of a vicious circle, the dollar shortages are undermining efforts to win back foreign investors sidelined under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
With less than $400 million in actual cash in Zimbabwe according to central bank figures, there are fuel shortages and companies are struggling to import raw materials and equipment, forcing them to buy greenback notes on the black market at a premium of up to 370%.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries has warned some of its members could stop operating at the end of the month due to the dollar crunch.
Zimbabwe’s iconic manufacturer of cooking oil and soap, Olivine Industries said on Saturday it had suspended production and put workers on indefinite leave because it owed foreign suppliers $11 million.
A local associate of global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Inbev said this week it would invest more than $120 million of dividends and fees trapped in Zimbabwe into the central bank’s savings bonds
Source: Global Market
Published in Bank & Finance

THE Tanzanian government has signed agreements with owners of the cashew nut processing plants, who turned up for a processing exercise in the 2018/19 season.

Minister for Agriculture, Japhet Hasunga said on Tuesday that the government was looking forward to entering into agreements with various owners of plants, who were ready to process cashew nuts, which had been bought directly from farmers at 3,300/- Mr Hasunga was addressing reporters on the progress of the cashew nut business.

Recently, the government announced that the processing exercise would start soon. Moreover, the government has invited ordinary citizens to participate in the processing of cashew nuts through groups or as an individual.

"We also invite Tanzanians capable of processing cashew nuts. We ask them to go to Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) for registration," he said.

Mr Hasunga said until Tuesday 126 had already registered and 29 tonnes of cashew nuts had been taken for processing. The minister said apart from inviting private companies and individuals, the government was also working hard to revive its cashew nuts processing plants in the country.

Furthermore, the minister hailed President John Magufuli for witnessing the signing of a 21bn/- agreement between the National Food Reserve Authority (NFRA) and World Food Programme (WFP) signed recently. He said the intervention of WFP would boost maize price in the country and benefit more farmers.


Credit: Daily News

Published in Business
Saturday, 12 January 2019 09:01

NNPC to crash cooking gas price

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says it is working to crash the price of cooking gas in the country.
It said this would be done through the implementation of effective commercial framework that would halt the export of propane and butane from the country.
The Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) of the Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, disclosed this in a statement issued by the corporation, in Abuja, on Thursday.
He said that Propane and butane were major components in the production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas.
He said that the move to stop the export of propane and butane which was anchored by the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the Corporation would enable the Corporation boost supply of LPG to the domestic market.
This, he said would lead to a natural downward slide in the price of the product in the country.
“Currently some of our butane and propane entitlements are exported largely due to lack of vessels to make sure that these things come into the domestic markets and the absence of a commercial framework.
“What we are going to do is to make sure we put the right commercial framework in place so that those exports are converted into domestic consumption,” he said.
Source: PmNews
Published in Business

Kenya's passport is the eighth most powerful in Africa, according to a new research that shows the country has, however, slipped down three places compared to the previous years.

The ranking by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, takes into account how many countries can be visited without applying for a visa.

Kenya citizens can travel to 71 countries without visas out of a possible 218, ranking behind Seychelles, South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Globally, Kenya was in position 72, which is an improvement from last year's 73, in a ranking that placed Japan on the top, with the Japanese citizens able to travel to a record 190 countries without visas.


"Kenya ranked 72nd in 2019 with 71 destination visa free access," says the report that is produced in partnership with International Air Transport Association (IATA).

"As the world economy has become increasingly globalised, the need for greater visa-free access has grown steadily," said the report.


Credit: Daily Nation

Published in Travel & Tourism

The Namibian ministry of agriculture announced all imports and movement of cloven hoofed animals have been suspended with immediate effect following a foot and mouth disease outbreak in South Africa.

In a notification issued Tuesday, acting chief veterinary officer Albertina Shilongo said the disease was detected on 7 January 2019 in the Limpopo province's Vhembe district of South Africa.

"The ministry would therefore like to inform importers and the general public of the immediate suspension of import and in transit movement of cloven hoofed animals and their products from South Africa," the notification read.

Cloven hoofed animals include cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, antelope, etc. Shilongo said the disease was very contagious with common clinical symptoms such as salivation, animals not grazing, limping, blisters, ulcers of the tongue, mouth, gums, udder and on animal feet.

All import and transit permits in place currently have been recalled until further notice, and importers have been urged to contact the veterinary import and export office on 061 303 150 or by email for further information.

Zimbabwe and Botswana has also taken similar action. 

The South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in a statement, said the affected areas were under quarantine and investigations to verify the results and determine the extent of the outbreak were being conducted.

"We have quickly quarantined the area, so it does not affect the commercial livestock farming which will pose a danger to us as consumers and the export business," said that country's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesman, Khaye Nkwanyana.

The World Organisation for Animal Health has officially temporarily suspended South Africa's FMD free status, but exports were continuing as the affected cattle were not from commercial farmers.

Published in Agriculture
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