Money Hack is a weekly series that asks real Nigerians to share a money hack — for saving, investing or spending — that they swear by.
For this week’s episode Money Hack, Christine Obute, a 27-year-old chef popularly known as Chef Obubu, tells us about the money hack that has been paying her bills since 2018.
What’s your money hack?
I attach my clients’ retainers to different bills. After taking out the cost of curating an order, the profit made is spent on sorting recurring expenses. If I need a new dress or shoe, I know which client I need to create a meal package for.
Yup. My bills range from personal shopping to transportation to vacationing, so the bigger the client, the bigger the bill attached to them. Sometimes, I pair more than one retainer customer to an expense.
It helps me track my spending and customers, as well as double my hustle. If I can’t afford something at a given time, it means someone isn’t placing an order. My initiative kicks in and I start pitching ideas to them. My needs motivate me to work harder.
Love it. How did you discover this hack?
In 2018, I had a client who would always send me a Dermaspace spa voucher every time he placed an order. The first time I made a package for him, his wife enjoyed it so much she sent me a perfume. I slowly came to associate their orders with enjoyment.
Then I thought to myself, “Why don’t I attach my other regular clients to my bills?” So, I drew up a plan and texted them about the possibility of putting them on a retainer for a small fee. This grants them 24 hours access to me, special packages, diet plans and a range of services.
What happens to a bill if someone opts out of the retainer?
I have backup clients for every bill. Some of my bills require more clients to fund them, so if a client opts out, I can easily pull from others. There are clients I have for savings, so when things like that happen, I have a plan B for my plan A.
Can you think of an instance where this hack saved you?
I was working a contract role in 2018 for a company that took care of most of my immediate needs. They covered accommodation, housing maintenance and a meal per day, so I didn’t need to spend my salary.
Instead, I gave out loans so I could make interest. Towards the end of my contract, I wasn’t sure if they were going to renew it, and I had just made a last-minute investment in a friend’s business.
Well, my contract got terminated in October, but I already had clients lined up so my bills were sorted. I just made up my mind that I wouldn’t get a particular item until a certain client placed an order. I didn’t work till January and I was fine. That was when it hit me that I had found my perfect money hack.
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