A MILLENIAL’S GUIDE TO LIVING ON A BUDGET
My Youth Service Program came to an end and the next important step for me was to further my education. After doing so much research, I decided to study Media Arts and Communication Studies at Coventry University. Trust me when I say I had other plans asides from studying hard and graduating with good grades. I was going to tension my followers on Instagram by wearing the latest designs, using the latest phone, carrying expensive bags and my fleeky makeup. Somewhere in my head I was telling my close to 800 followers (dem go hear am).
So I finally, moved to the UK for school and I was living in a city far away from family members. It was also during the period when getting forex in Nigeria was as difficult as getting hair off a Lion’s back. To make matters worse, Nigerian Banks had stopped the use of ATM cards Abroad and my parents had just returned to Nigeria after seeing me off to school.
In order to make life easier for me, my Parents agreed on a plan to send money to me quarterly but before then they had sent me money in October using the bank form system. To my greatest shock I did not get the money till February the following year. During those trying months, it was then it hit me that I had to look for a job, spend wisely and also save more because of the situation back home.
Luckily, I had friends and cousins around that were good at hair styling so I paid little or no amount to get my hair done. I got a railcard (it gives you discounts on your rail trips) cause I did a lot of traveling, had to change my grocery shopping style, bought from cheaper stores; got store items rather than branded items that I would usually go for. I made use of coupons a lot, like I diligently paid attention to them (something I never thought I would do), booked my travel tickets at least a week before the actual date.
It was then I realised that there are always cheap alternatives to living coupled with the fact that I was in a student friendly city. So I could decide to walk to my destination rather than take a bus, that equals healthy living. But then I began to question myself; what if I was in a place where things weren’t so easy as they were here? What would I have done? Would I starve or cry to my Parents? Maybe I could have resulted to doing menial jobs?
Below are some useful tips that can help you achieve living a comfortable budget life:
- First of all, it is important to create a budget. You can achieve this by downloading budget apps on your phone. Applications like MINT and Pocket Guard are widely known to be helpful.
- Prioritise your life by attending to things most important to you before creating room for others.
- Be flexible: you don’t always have to eat at expensive restaurants. You can also decide to change your feeding plan or shop for food items at a less expensive store.
- Find ways to make more money: it could be by learning a skill – makeup, bead making, hair styling, or even take virtual assistance roles to help you get more money.
- Eliminate bad habits: it could be smoking, drinking, partying or excessive shopping.
Let me know of other useful ways you can live a comfortable budget life in the comment section.