When winding into a ball be careful not to stretch the yarn and then have it sit in a ball for a long time. This will kill some of the soft, fluffiness of the yarn. A well wrapped ball/cake of yarn can still be fluffy and compact.
As for yarn swifts, I made one this weekend out of 2 yard sticks, a Lazy Susan base and some scrap wood. Since all the items had been picked up over the years I don't know the cost, but less than $10.
Set up the ball winder and swift and crank as I watch old movies.