Welcome to “Love and Returns”, a Valentine-inspired series about love, life, and money. 

In this episode, we spoke to Tobe and Nenye who told us the story of how they met a decade ago and how their secret romance blossomed into a beautiful marriage, despite challenges like long-distance and uncertainty. This is their love story.

How did you first meet?

Tobe: How did you meet me?

Nenye: How did I meet you? Like seriously?

Tobe: So, it was in 2012, I was posted to Cross River for my NYSC  program and I stayed with my cousin who was married to her sister and at that time, she was living with them.

Nenye: Yes, I lived with my eldest sister from a very young age, so while on his NYSC primary assignment, he was living with us and somehow, he started another primary assignment; an in-house romance, a coded one. We didn’t want anyone in the house to notice anything. The good thing was that I was about to return to school around that time, so it was just for a brief moment before I left.

Tobe: Are you sure nobody noticed anything at that time?

Nenye: I don’t know, that was about 10 years ago. You should call your cousin and ask him.

Tobe: Lol. You should call and ask your sister, too.

Tell me about your first date.

Nenye: That was on my birthday. I still have the pictures

Tobe: Omo, I used up my alawee for that treat!!

Nenye: But I enjoyed it.

Tobe: I was glad you didn’t ask for more ice cream, I would have cast myself, things we do for love!

Nenye and Tobe’s first date

How did you propose?

Nenye: Who proposed? This one? We just blended like we already knew we would eventually get married.

Tobe: I did, lol. I asked if you would marry me, and you kept me waiting for like one hour.

Nenye: Lol… You stood up and left, was that proposing??

Tobe: The silence was awkward at first, I didn’t know what was going through her mind. I guess I didn’t prepare her for the question; I didn’t buy flowers, call friends, all the social media stuff. Nah, not me. I just broached the topic.

Nenye: Honestly, I just wanted to focus on my studies. I also knew he had plans to leave the country after service, so I didn’t want to enter one chance.

When Tobe proposed

What are some responsibilities or changes marriage brought your way and how did you cope with them?

Nenye: The big change was when he secured the scholarship for an MSc. programme and had to travel to Belgium. It was not sudden, I knew he was applying. I had heard a lot about long-distance relationships and I was not prepared for that at all. It was very difficult to cope with especially when friends were calling me foolish for accepting to wait for him. Seriously, it was the hardest.

Tobe: It was the same for me as well. At that time, our families knew we were dating. I also knew that wasn’t enough, but we trusted each other. And it paid off. She later joined me in Europe and we are living happily ever after!

Traditional wedding

How did you two start talking about money?

Tobe: Omo, it was tough then, but this tweet sums it all up for us. We both knew we needed to do something different about our finances because this inflow-outflow-trigger spending lifestyle wasn’t sustainable. 

How do you manage your finances as a couple? 

Nenye: Separate, but we contribute to maintaining the home and for any project.

Tobe: Why create another account in the name of a joint account and pay bank charges? It all boils down to trust, her money is her money, my money is…

Haha. Who is better with money? Who is the risk-taker? 

Nenye: Managing money? No argument about this, yours truly, but he likes taking risks. In fact risky risks.

Tobe: Calculated ones.

What are some things you think about financially now that you never had to when you were single? 

Nenye: Buying a house, planning the home, cost of raising kids.

Tobe: Maintenance of facilities, investments. I’d say we didn’t start early, but we are on track. I believe it is really helpful when people have these conversations before they get married, but don’t be too hard on yourself.

That’s right! So how do you budget? What are your current financial goals?

Nenye: My husband is the chief financial planner, everything is on the excel sheet. At the beginning of the month, we itemise all the essentials and go to the store with a list. If it is not on the list, we don’t pick. He goes shopping with me most of the time.

Tobe: When I follow my wife to the groceries store and help her carry the stuff, it is not only romantic but economical. On financial goals, we have a list as well, which we review from time to time, but it’s mostly about attaining financial freedom before a certain age so that we don’t work till we start using walking sticks. We get guides from some financial books and Youtube videos.

How similar or different are your outlooks towards money?

Nenye: I’d say over the years, our ideas have rubbed off on each other and we tend to think alike. While we approach money talks from different perspectives, we still end up with very similar ideas. I guess this comes with the trust and open communication.

Tobe: Nothing to add!

Let’s talk about your Rise journey. How did you discover Rise? 

Nenye: I think there was a Livestream we watched on Youtube in 2020 about apps for investment in Nigeria, so my husband looked them up online and did the due diligence on our behalf.

When did you start using Rise?

Nenye: Honestly, I was not convinced at first but my husband decided to download the app and try it.

Tobe: True, I decided to give it a try in Jan 2021 with the minimum. We have had experiences with money-spinning platforms, but the offerings from Rise seemed to make sense. 

What has the experience been like?

Tobe: I’d say fair enough; the returns from the Real estate plans have been consistent, everyone is feeling the bite from stocks.

Nenye: I like the goal-based plans that allow me to save for kids (that’s one of our plans) or vacations.

How is Rise supporting your financial goals?

Tobe: The part I love about Rise is the stress-free investment. I don’t have to worry about what stocks to select, all I need to do is fund my wallet and automate investment for the plans and expect my returns. It doesn’t get any easier.

Nenye: I think it made us more intentional about how we allocate our finances. We probably would have blown it away but knowing that we have created plans set to mature at certain dates, we knew we had to be intentional about how we allocate our money to attain financial freedom.

Tobe: We hope Rise will help us make that come through.

Of course, it will. What plans do you have on Rise?

Tobe: Stocks, Real Estate, Kids plan, Build wealth, Payday challenge. (I cover everywhere)😂

Nenye: My husband gave me a Real Estate plan for my birthday, then I created a stocks plan.

What do you want to achieve through Rise in 5 years?

Nenye: Fully funded kids plan.

Tobe: Buy a house.

Let’s talk about each other. What does Valentine mean to you?

Nenye: I’d say we are among the unconventionals when it comes to all the hype around Valentine. We don’t wait till a certain date to express our love for each other or buy gifts for ourselves; these are things we do on a regular basis. The only special thing I’d say we do (if I’d call it special) is that we wear our customised Val shirt, go out and take pictures. So, my husband printed a shirt with our names behind it with a split spelling of LOVE print on the front.

What do you want to tell your partner this Valentine’s Day?

Nenye: Forever is the ride.

Tobe: And we shall continue the ride to Rise. 

Join the over 100,000 Nigerians using Rise to build wealth. Get started at www.risevest.com