A woman tried to keep up with “Instagram-worthy” influencers. And now she’s deep in debt.
Social media is a useful tool that lets us access news, issues, and other pertinent information that we otherwise wouldn’t get to see using traditional media, but it can also serve as the biggest illusion, especially where glamour is concerned.
A 26-year old learned this the hard way after she got up to $10, 000 in debt just to try and build the ultimate ‘Instagram worthy’ life; or what seemed like the life people would want to be living.
Lisette Calveiro told The New York Post that she would treat herself every month to things way above her budget: a $200 shopping spree, purchase a designer item like a vintage Louis Vuitton bag worth $1,000, and travel to a new location for a vacation.
She would frequently buy new items in order to not be seen wearing the same thing twice.
Calveiro added that she travelled frequently because she wanted to collect at least 12 of Snapchat’s geo-filters, which are like digital ‘passport stamps’ for every place you visit. Her biggest splurge? A $700 round-trip ticket to Austin, Texas for a Sia concert in November 2016.
She said she wanted to project a glamorous, jet-setting lifestyle on Instagram, so that she could ‘tell the story’ about a young millennial living in New York.
“But I was living a lie. Debt was looming over my head,” she told The New York Post.
The report added that Calveiro moved to New York for an internship in 2013, which only provided for a transportation stipend. This meant that in order to support the image she wanted, she had to get a part-time retail job and dip into her savings frequently.
She moved back to Miami after landing a full-time position as a publicist, but found that she had accumulated her $10,000 in debt.
The slap to the face came for her by the end of 2016, when she landed a public relations position in Manhattan.
“I knew that moving to New York, I had to get my act together or I wasn’t going to survive,” she said.
Thankfully, pull her act together she did.
In Manhattan, she chose to live with a roommate in an apartment for $700 a month, and cooked for herself instead of dining out. She added that she started to work with a financial coach and used an app called Digit, which balances her finances by transferring funds to her savings account from her paycheck, after she pays for rent and her living expenses.
About a year later, Calveiro is happy to report that she paid of her debt entirely, and regrets her attempt at Instagram fame. (If she doesn’t have it by now with her story!)
“I had a lot of opportunities to save,” she said. “I could’ve invested that money in something.”