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Instagram should be shut down. Or maybe it is I who needs to shut down my excesses.

My name is Nengi. Apart from being an incurable fashionista, I also work in a role that requires me to look presentable all the time. As a front desk officer in one of the prestigious consulting firms in Nigeria, my role as the company’s first point of contact demands that my dressing, mannerism, attitude, and more should draw visitors in. I had perfected all these fronts but one of them is costing me so much. My dressing! And Instagram is the culprit.

I love to look good but hate the chore of shopping. Instagram became my new best friend when merchandise sellers became accessible at the swipe of my touchscreen. Every day to and from work, I’ll wade through this addictive social media channel to keep busy. But before the two-hour trip to my destination was over, I would have somehow ordered a make-up kit, shoe, handbag, or piece of accessory or clothing.

It saved me the time of going to shop while giving me the looks I desired. Everyone at work commended my style and class. Even my friends were envious of my wardrobe and always spoke of raiding my closet – but I, on the other hand, knew I was murdering my dreams with my own hands.

With a N250,000 monthly salary, a freelance hustle that paid decently and no dependent, it would bother anyone as to why I couldn’t save up for anything – even a vacation with my girls which I told myself will be a yearly affair once I got a well-paying job. While in the university, I dreamt of having my own car, buying a piece of land, and having a robust investment before I turned 28. I’m 26 now and have worked for 4 years yet none of those dreams are close to being realized.

And I knew why. My unreserved penchant for beautiful, yet expensive fashion items was sucking my finances dry.

Seeing the Kardashian sister Kylie Jenner’s feature as one of America’s billionaires in Forbes magazine last month did something to reset my brain. I mean, a billionaire at 20? While everyone talked about how her sister’s fame pushed her up the ladder, all I could think of was how my own excesses were pulling me to the bottom of the ladder.

While I thought about this and scrolled aimlessly through Instagram, I came upon a video posted by Nollywood actor and model Bryan Okwara. In the video, he talked about an app that helped him save up for his nieces’ birthday present. According to him, this app not only helped him hit his goals, it invested his money without stress and earned him impressive dividends. I listened attentively.

This could be the solution to my problems.

If I intend to take a vacation this year, buy a car, a piece of land soon and start investing, I needed a plan which begins with drawing up a budget.
After drawing up a working budget (which included all my needs and wants), I downloaded the app and set some goals. To ensure consistency in remitting the needed cash, I opted for a certain amount to be directly debited from my salary account on the 25th of every month.

I realize it will be a bit hard adjusting to not buying every hair, clothing, or accessory I see on the gram, but I console myself with the fact that every month my growing balance on the investment app, means my dreams are getting nearer to reality. I’ll have to cope with the few fashion items my budget allows – a worthy sacrifice indeed.

This August, the girls have already hinted at the destination for yearend vacation. They are planning a one-week trip to Zanzibar in December and I am of course on the list.

By the time November 2019 swings by, I should have invested enough to buy myself a car and shortly afterwards, I’ll be the proud owner of a landed property (I’ll keep you updated on how that goes). With things now sorted out, maybe Instagram isn’t such a bad idea.


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