Balling on a Budget - the spark youth empowerment platform in Nigeria

Balling on a Budget: Secrets to a Financially Stable Life


You don’t have to be rich or break the bank in order to have a good life, you just have to learn to ball within a budget.


By Chidirim Ndeche

Having a small paycheck doesn’t mean you have to live a life that’s not extravagant. No matter what you earn, there’s a way to enjoy the things that are most important to you and find money to treat yourself. So, here are five easy ways to save more money on the things you want and need. With these tips, you’ll be balling on a budget in no time.


Learn to budget

If you don’t know what your budget is, then how can you ball on it? First of all, you need to set a budget. To do this, start by writing your income and expenses. Determine how much you should save from it and note how much is left for your enjoyment. Budgeting and saving are essential for you to have more fun and more security in the future. You can check out some applications like Mint and YNAB for personal finance management.


Always search for discounts and coupons

Whenever you’re shopping, especially online, coupons are lifesavers. Always search Google to see if the store has any coupons available, or use websites like Groupon to find available coupons. You can also ask to see if you can use expired coupons because some stores will still take them. To find coupons or promo codes for discounts, you can use a Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera extension like Honey which automatically scours the web for coupons then tries them all for you. A website (or app for Android and iOS devices) called Retail Me Not also allows users to post coupon codes for thousands of online retailers and also alerts you to limited time sales.


Go Thrift Shopping
Long before Macklemore made “poppin’ tags” at thrift stores popular, these second-hand stores were rightfully appreciated for the sanity and savings they provide to those trying to ball on a budget. Why pay full price for trendy clothes and accessories when you can buy something that was only worn a handful of times? Consignment stores like Ajebo Thrift Shop offer great options for getting that vintage chic look on a budget. The best part is, there’s even online thrifting these days.


Ask for a student/military discount
If you have your student or military ID on you, take advantage of the stores that offer great deals based on this. Never be shy to ask about available student discounts. You would be surprised where they apply. Restaurants, movie theaters, amusement parks, clothing stores, and other retailers want to help young people like yourself out.

Get a Side Hustle

One major tip for prospective ballers involves engaging in a side hustle for multiple sources of income. From freelancing your photography skills to investing in a local fish farm, there are several ways you can earn cash on the side. These side hustles can grow naturally out of hobbies and can take as little as five to ten hours a week. You will appreciate the extra effort when you’re livin’ it up every Friday night.


Sale! Sale! Sale?

If you cannot afford a certain luxury item at a moment, you can ask a sales associate if the item will be going on sale soon.

Switch to Drug Store Brands

Sure, MAC lipsticks and Kylie lip kits look pretty, but it’s easy to find high-quality options for a fraction of the price with drugstore brands. For example, E.L.F. at Target offers quality makeup for way less than even drugstore brands like Maybelline or CoverGirl.

Keep emergency money

Setting aside emergency money ensures that, even if you go broke, you can still scrape some funds together. To ensure you don’t use it for something else like late night cravings, you can always start keeping a piggy bank. Whether you stash away thousands or tens of naira, emergency money might one day save you from a possible crisis. Also, have a spending card to use when going on a spending spree.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.

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