Hashtag Your Money Reality
A call to action: Hashtag Your Money Reality
IRL (that's "in real life" for my parents who will read this), I have social media accounts that I've all but left to die from inactivity and disinterest.
I've given up on social media out of total frustration over the lack of background information and context provided by its users.
Two podcast episodes address this phenomenon in detail and candor, however, they don't specifically touch on the money issues I'm railing against. Worth a listen: #blessed from Stuff Mom Never Told You and Instagram Insecurities from Strong Opinions Loosely Held.
As I scroll through my Instagram feed from family, friends, and acquaintances, I can't help but scoff at the artifice. The beautiful photos are snapshots of a cleverly veiled reality.
Brunches, travel to far-off lands, home decor ripped from an interior design magazine editorial... I shake my head and ask, "Where is the money coming from?"
Signs point to millennials being more interested in spending money on experiences rather than stuff. Posting an Instagram of blatant materialism, like a new designer purse with #luckygirl #bestboyfriendever #blessed, will earn you some eye rolls from your followers. However, posting an Instagram of your expensive experiences doesn't invite as much loathing as it does envy and genuine curiosity.
I realize that money is still the "last taboo" but while we're busy putting so much of our lives on display with hourly Snapchats, could we all try to be more mindful of the money reality we are portraying?
Here are a few examples of photos and scant captions I've seen in the last few months, all presenting a false sense of financial security or a concerted omission of information. I've taken the liberty of adding a few options for context as suggested hashtags to paint a clearer picture.
"My beautiful wedding venue. Our wedding planner did such a fantastic job! It was the most perfect day."
- # I cashed out my 401k to pay for the flowers!
- # We're now in 20k of credit card debt! Cheers!
- # For poorer or for poorer!
- # Til debt do us part!
"Couldn't have dreamed of a more beautiful wedding day!"
- # We budgeted for our wedding for two years and are so happy!
- # Slashing the guest list was our only option!
- # We're wisely postponing our honeymoon until we can pay cash for it!
"Aloha! Enjoyed our first class flight to Maui!"
- # It was tons of work and strategy but we travel hacked our tickets! Free flight!
- # So lucky to have a work conference there. Mixing business & pleasure!
- # Hoarded my vacation days all year for this!
- # Thanks, Dad, for giving me your frequent flier miles for the upgrade!
"Brand new leather living room set. Hubby did good this time."
- # We researched this purchase and waited for an incredible sale!
- # Sold our old couches on Craigslist to help offset this splurge!
- # Truth be told, this furniture is my gift for all occasions this year! Bday, Xmas, anniversary!
- # We financed the whole set and will be paying dearly for it over the next 3 years!
"My new car! It's shiny and smells like heaven."
- # I drove my old car for 12 years until it finally croaked!
- # 0% financing. High credit score win!
- # Immediate buyer's remorse! I should have bought used! Eek!
- # I <3 depreciating assets!
"Best brunch ever. Bottomless mimosas!"
- # I worked tons of overtime this month! Treat yo' self!
- # A Groupon totally brought the bill down!
- # Lemme just add this unnecessary meal to my mounting credit card debt!
"Our new house. Home sweet home!"
- # We're actually renting it but I thought it would be cute to be deceptive and make y'all think we could afford to buy it! ;-)
- # It took us forever but we put 20% down. No PMI! Yass!
- # My parents helped us out with the down payment! Sooooo grateful!
- # In-law unit in the back that we can rent out means we'll be making money living here!