How Not to Catch the “Sapa” Virus (Part 1)

Aladdin Digital Bank
3 min readAug 24, 2021


By Jasmine | Aug 24, 2021

We have been taught how to wash our hands, wear a face mask, and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

However, another virus has been making the rounds lately which lots of Nigerians have been talking about, called “Sapa”. If you know nothing about the Sapa virus, this article will help you to learn to keep safe from catching it.

What does Sapa mean?

Well, — Sapa is a trending slang word used amongst Nigerians to describe a state of being extremely broke, especially after spending extravagantly.

Note that there is a difference between being poor and being broke. Thus, while both mean a lack of having money, the latter is mostly self inflicted due to poor choices.

The good news is that Sapa is not a permanent condition especially if you take charge of your spending habits today. However, who if you keep spending carelessly, you could end up with Sapa for the rest of your life.

Did I hear you say “GOD FORBID”?

This virus cannot be prayed away oh! To prevent catching Sapa, one of the things you need to be disciplined at is Budgeting.

What is Budgeting?

Budgeting is simply the process of planning how to spend your money. Hence, creating a budget allows you to know in advance what funds are needed for your needs, wants, and goals.

It’s one thing to budget and another thing to stick it. It’s important to be very disciplined to ensure you do not blow through funds set aside for your savings. That’s why a good budgeting rule to stick to is the 50:30:20

The 50–20–30 Golden Rule

This is a simple money management rule that divides your income into three uses: 50% of your income goes towards essentials like accommodation, feeding, transportation, etc while 20% goes into savings and 30% for wants like Dorime things (ask a friend what it means), travel, et cetera.

Get Started with Budgeting

Step 1: Align your values with your money

It's important to note that most often than not, your money habits are a reflection of your values. If you value your health, you will most likely spend money on shopping for groceries to prepare home-cooked meals over buying junk foods and drinks.

Step 2: Set SMART financial goals

To be able to budget effectively, you need to have SMART financial goals. This means your goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely See our previous article for in-depth analysis)

Step 3: Calculate your monthly income

It is great to know how much money comes in daily,weekly or monthly,depending on the nature of your livelihood . It is also important to take account of money gifts as well. Once the total amount has been determined the next step is to track your expenses

Step 4: Track your spending

Determine how much of your money is spent on necessities such as food, transportation, accommodation as well as wants such as movie tickets , vacation etcetera. Once you have done so, its time to create your budget.

Step 5: Create your budget

Using the budgeting rule explained earlier, you need to divide your income into three categories . For example, if your total income for the month is One Hundred thousand Naira. You could set aside Fifty thousand naira towards all your necessities like feeding, transportation , insurance et cetera . Thirty thousand naira should be set towards your wants like movie and show tickets, vacation. The remaining Twenty Thousand naira should go into savings and investments to ensure your money grows over time.(Read our previous article on how to grow your money )

In conclusion, you must learn to exercise discipline when executing your budget. The purpose of a budget is to ensure your financial health is good and helps you prevent catching the Sapa virus. It is also a great and simple starting point for building wealth in the long run.

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