A lot of people find themselves in this situation often times and don’t have a clue on how to get out. Making a list of things that you want to buy is very crucial but not everyone is able to follow their list. I for one, I don’t like listing the things i want to buy this is because when I get to the store, I deviate completely from my list, I find it irrelevant at that time, and so I spend money on the ‘relevant’ things. By the time I get home, I am usually full of regrets.
Here are some few steps to follow if you want to cut back on your expenses:
- Practice conscious spending: don’t buy everything you see, for those of us that have this disorder (yes I call it disorder) that is the intentional decision to buy any given item. For example last week my sister bought a purse, lovely purse I must say, it was shining when she brought it home. She bought the purse because she needed it, she didn’t buy it because she saw it in a picture. Now she brought the purse home, a shiny yellow purse, and I asked her what she wanted to use it for, she made me understand that instead of carrying an empty big purse around, why don’t you just buy a smaller one? The next day, I went to the market hoping to buy the same thing. On getting there, I saw different purses with different colours, I finally chose one and when she was packing it, my subconscious kicked in and I asked myself what I needed it for, I already have two of these purses so what’s the use? Although I bought it, but am still thinking about the money.
- Avoid recurring costs: expenses in this categories include subscription for DsTv, nepa bills, internet subscription. These expenses are necessary but you can cut back on them. Living in Nigeria has made me realize one thing, if you pay your nepa bills regularly, debt will be lifted off your neck, don’t let it accumulate (last week they brought a bill of 39,000 to our home) No one was home regularly to see to the payments. Now there are cheaper cable subscriptions, you don’t have to watch every station, especially if you are the working type. For those of us that are usually at work 5 times in a week, it’s not compulsory to subscribe to the full pattern (the 3,500 plan is well enough). Dstv has made it easier for us, they have put our pockets into consideration. Also, you can limit your data usage by regulating the number of times you visit the internet, for those of us that our work is mostly done on the internet, we can reduce the number of sites we visit per day.
- For ladies, our major problem is shopping: we all have that matching shoes and bags of our dreams and they are very important to us. Cheap things don’t last long so it’s advisable to buy expensive ones because it’s original, and original is the real deal, it lasts longer and so saves your money. You can’t cut costs by buying all the colours of shoes, buy them according to how you need them. If you have 3 shoes for work, 3 for church, 2 for casual outings and one flat, go ahead and rock your world.
- Cut costs to the essentials: Guys, limit the amount of times you go to the bar, I went to the bar with two of my male friends believe me their spending was unnecessary. They bought drinks for almost everybody they met at the bar.
Other expenses that may surface include transportation, feeding And some unforeseen contigences. Compulsive spending is usually very hard to stop, this disorder can be thwarted by watching how we spend our money or what we spend money on. Below are some few things you shouldn’t spend too much money on:
- Fancy phones: a disorder thats very common among Nigerians, because a friend is using S5, I must use iPhone 6 I mean I don’t know what my friend’s budget is neither do I know where he gets his income or how he spends his salary, I don’t even know if the S5 was a present. Some people also believe that being the first to buy a phone is ‘big boy’ or ‘big girl’ no it’s not.
- Fast foods: In Nigeria, you cannot get a meatpie less than 250 naira from any eatery, and that’s even the smallest, fried rice and chicken cost a fortune now, so visiting eateries everyday is a major budget slasher. Apart from slashing of budget, fast food is bad for your health, they contain too much calories and too little nutrition. You might struggle with weight problems and bad health if fast food is part of your diet. Dental distress, high blood pressure, headaches, increase in blood sugar etcetera are other side effects.
- Frequent visits to the cinema: going to the cinema is very stressful especially for those Of us that doesnt have a car. Firstly, think about how much you spend on transportation (tfare for Lagos no be moi moi o) the stress you go through before you finally arrive (by then you become all sweaty and tired). Popcorn, drinks and even tickets are to be considered and if care is not taken, tickets would have been completely sold. cinema is fun believe me, but having too much fun in the Cinema is expensive.
- Hair and makeup: for ladies especially, we spend a fortune on makeup and on Brazilian wigs. I am a victim of this, a slave to makeup, but I have devised means to fix this, I will limit the number of times that I visit instagram. That site can make u ‘je gbese’ (enter debt). You will see a page on Brazilian hair you can’t take your eyes off, jumpsuits to die for, clothes that will make you live longer een without food and water, eyeshadow primers, Mac powders and so on. Few weeks ago, I was scrolling through instagram and I came across a page on makeup brushes and powders (that will work for my destiny). Instead of ordering for them, I hit the store the next day a got myself a 600 naira Bobbi Brown eyeshadow brush, a less expensive face primer, several shades of lip liner (visit my makeup blog http://www.fisayopatrick.blogspot.com to check for my recent makeup) face wipe, concealer/ foundation etc. Everything cost less than 5000 naira, I was once a compulsive spender so if I can do it, you can do it too.