Before starting my NYSC in 2019, I was determined to save up part of my NYSC allowance to fund a personal project.
To actualize my plans and for effective planning, I needed to know how to save during NYSC.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a mandatory one-year program in Nigeria for graduates under 30. This program was established to foster national unity and for participants, or “corps members,” to engage in community service, receive orientation, and contribute to various sectors. The experience involves cultural exchange, skill development, and social responsibility.
Likewise, CowryWise is a Naira-based investment app that helps you save with high interest rates. The platform allows you to save daily, weekly, or monthly towards your saving goals. Just like Ope, a staff at CowryWise, would say, “CowryWise helps you save your hard-earned income smartly“.
For years, I have used investment apps like Acorns, Robinhood, and Stash while abroad. Acorns, especially, has been my go-to app because it’s user-friendly and invests for me automatically once I have set it up to do so. Coming to Nigeria and being a saver, I needed a Naira-based investment app so that I could keep up with savings.
I have heard of Piggyvest, i-invest, and several others, but after several trials, I have concluded that CowryWise is the best investment app in Nigeria. Come and fight me, haha!
They have different types of investment plans ranging from “the first plan” to “Cowrywise NYSC Circles,” “mutual funds,” “halal plans,” “dollar mutual funds,” and so on.
i. Regular Savings Plan:
This plan allows you to save money regularly over a specified period. You can set your savings frequency (daily, weekly, or monthly) and the amount you want to save.
ii. Target Savings Plan:
The Target Savings Plan is designed for people with specific financial goals. You set a target amount and a timeline for reaching that goal, and Cowrywise helps you automate savings toward that target.
iii. Flex Dollar Plan:
It provides a way for you to save and invest in US dollars, offering exposure to foreign currency savings.
iv. Halal Savings Plan:
The Halal Savings Plan is tailored to people who seek financial products that comply with Islamic principles. It offers a Sharia-compliant way to save and invest.
Stash is a flexible savings plan that allows you to save money with the flexibility to withdraw at any time. It’s suitable for short-term savings goals and emergencies.
vi. Life Goals:
The Life Goals plan is designed for major life events such as weddings, education, or buying a home. You can set specific life goals and create savings plans to achieve them.
vii. Cowrywise Dollar Fund:
This plan allows you to invest in the Cowrywise Dollar Fund, which is an investment option that aims to provide returns in US dollars.
viii. Halal Dollar Fund:
Similar to the Dollar Fund, the Halal Dollar Fund is designed for people seeking Sharia-compliant investment options in US dollars.
Yes, you read that right; you can invest your Naira, and they then convert it to dollars using the exchange rate. With the dollar-based investment, you won’t have to worry about the devaluation of Naira.
IN 2019: So if you save NGN5,000 with a return of 8% per annum, it converts to USD13.89 at an exchange rate of NGN360 per 1 USD. If Naira were to lose its value to USD by 5%, the exchange rate would be USD378, which means your USD 13.89 will now be $15.
Let’s do the quick math,
8% x 13.89 = $1.11
$1.11 + $13.89 = $15.00
Convert $15 to Naira with the $378 exchange rate. Boom, your money has increased from NGN5,000 to NGN5,670. Now imagine your savings are more than NGN5,000; definitely, the increase would be higher.
How to Save During NYSC: CowryWise NYSC Savings plan
The Corp Member’s plan is a locked plan that allows you to save a portion of your allowance throughout the NYSC year.
The NYSC Savings plan is a great one for every Corp Member to utilize because, at the end of your service year, you can use your savings to start something great.
You don’t want to be like A Kopa, who spent all his allowance during the service year and started begging his mom for money each month after NYSC was over.
And experience, they say, is the best teacher, right? So let me share my experience with you. I hope sharing my experience will help clear any doubt you have left.
My experience with the NYSC Savings plan
I started using CowryWise on October 24th, 2019 and started with their NYSC Savings plan. I chose to save NGN5,000/month with a return of 11% per annum. At the time, my NGN5,000 increased by an amount of NGN37.67 each day, an increase you will NEVER get by saving in your bank account. Seeing how promising the platform was, I started another plan, and I definitely do not regret it. As of 25/11/2019, my total savings were NGN8,010, and by the time I finished from NYSC, I had saved NGN1**,370.37 (I’m not telling you the exact amount, haha!)
One reason why I was able to save that much is that I served in a town with a low standard of living. Okitipupa, Ondo-State, to be precise.
Aside from that, I had other sources of income compared to the average corp member.
Even at that, I know corp members who saved six figures, some high 5-figures, etc. It’s all about commitment and the goal ahead.
Why not Piggyvest?
Piggyvest is also an excellent app to save, and they are doing a good job. But if you want to save, invest, and get your money back without a dime deducted, then COWRYWISE is all you’ve got. Imagine saving your hard-earned income, and when it’s time to withdraw, a 5% withdrawal fee is deducted. I know it sounds small, but it might hurt if you have bigger savings.
With CowryWise, there is NO WITHDRAWAL CHARGE, AND THERE IS NO MINIMUM WITHDRAWAL. Also, there have been issues with using cards from banks like Diamond, and you cannot save less than NGN1,000 a week and NGN5,000 monthly. Too many restrictions!!! However, when withdrawing from your stash, “take note of the N25 withdrawal fee for amounts less than N50,000 and the N50 fee for amounts greater than N50,000.”
But Ruth, won’t the “NO MINIMUM WITHDRAWAL” bring about indiscipline?
The answer is “No” because most if not all, plans on CowryWise are locked for some time before you can start to withdraw. No room for indiscipline.
Fine, Ruth, I will download the app and start to save/invest.
Yesssss! That’s the way to go and believe me; you won’t regret it, take it from me.
Also, you don’t have to be in Nigeria to use the app, so far you have a Naira-based account that can be linked to the app, you are good to go.
Until next time. Much love from Your Firecracking SEO Coach!