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Are you sick of being bombarded with pics of fancy lunches, new babies wearing outfits that cost more than your car or exotic holidays that would put the Kardashians to shame? Well, cage the rage my fiscal friend and listen up, social media envy could be affecting your bank balance as well as your mental health.

Consumer debt in the USA rose to a whopping $12.7 trillion in the first few months of 2017 and a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania shows that social media envy and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is plunging us into debt. But remember, social media only shows the best parts of people’s lives – no one is Instagramming their dodgy boiler or putting their money woes on Facebook – so don’t be sucked into the illusion of glitz and glamour and be tempted to start splashing the cash.

It may seem like everyone has new wheels or jetting off on holiday, but blowing your moolah on things like this can ultimately stop you from achieving the big things like a mortgage or saving for your golden years. So how do you keep on being an #instalegend without getting yourself into debt for the sake of the perfect selfie?

Don’t spend more than you earn.

Try and pay cash for your experiences or stuff rather than credit. This makes you remember that it is real money that is coming out of your wages! A simple swipe of the credit card have you on the other side of the world or in those coveted designer shoes but this can quickly get out of control. If you do have debt on multiple credit cards, try consolidating them into one manageable account and always compare deals to see if you can transfer your balance to a card with a lower interest rate. Going on a night out or on holiday? Take a designated amount of cash and leave your credit cards at home, ridding you of the ‘drinks on me’ bragging rights.  

Don’t fear fun

No one is saying you can’t have a nice time and treat yo’ self every once in a while but the key is finding balance, my friend. Make a budget of your income and outgoings each month and include things like nights out, savings and food shopping. Once you can clearly see what is left then you can decide how much is reasonable to spend on having some fun. If there is something you really want to experience why not try streamlining your spending by using coupons for your weekly shop or packing a lunch at home to take with you to work – you’ll be amazed by how much money you save!

Find something fun and free to do every day

Do something cheap or free that you enjoy every day. Exercise and #fitispiration trends are huge on social media, spend time with your family and friends and snap away, take up a new Pinterest perfect hobby like crafting, read a book or watch a movie and tweet your reviews, the possibilities are endless. You could even just take some time to go offline, switch off and just relax.

Just say NO!

Sometimes you have to be realistic and realise that you can’t be everywhere all the time! Sometimes you just have to face reality and sometimes that reality wears slippers and feeds the cat. Your friends are probably in the exact same position as you and anyone can afford gadgets and travel if they have enough credit cards, but those decisions will come back to haunt you. You can always rely on your #TBT posts to make people gel.

You might feel that you are missing out now but I’ve seen the future, and future you want to give you a hug. Fancy sunset photos are immediately satisfying but they won’t be around forever; financial security will allow you to buy a house, a nice car or put your kids through university as well as giving you the freedom to travel and explore into your twilight years, and who knows what platforms will be around then to humble brag on?

Peace and loans,

The Guru x

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