As a debt relief attorney, I implore you – don’t get into debt from social media envy.  I see it all the time and understand how hard it is to avoid social media envy, but if you want to stay out of debt – then you’ve got to be careful of being so envious of others that you go into debt trying to keep up.  It’s perfectly normal to get social media envy.  It’s when you get into debt over your envy that you know things have gone too far.

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Don’t Get Into Debt From Social Media Envy

A brief tour of my social media this morning: awe-inspiring vacation pictures of friends vacationing on the Mediterranean on Facebook, a buddy jumping out of a plane in South America on Instagram, perfectly perfected selfies on Snap Chat and social gathering brags at the hottest restaurant in town on Twitter.  It’s no wonder why we are all trying to “keep up with the Joneses” – but if you don’t pay attention to how you are spending money, then you can land yourself in a load of debt.   It’s very difficult to avoid debt from social media envy with all the fabulousness coming at you from all platforms.  There are benefits of avoiding social media altogether, however that is not entirely necessary or practical.  Use these tips to avoid getting into debt from social media envy.

avoid social media envy and debt


Tips To Avoid Debt From Social Media Envy


Understand That Social Media Is a Self-Promoting Platform – It’s difficult to avoid getting into debt from social media envy, especially when our jealousy takes over.  We would all like to think we are just happy for our friends having the times of their lives on social media…and that is true in many cases.  But some people take self-promotion on social media too far to where it becomes an ongoing boasting mechanism.  You know who the “over posters” are on your feeds.   Once we really “get” that – then jealousy organically starts to diminish.  In fact, you might feel sorry for people who need that constant social media instant gratification and attention to make themselves feel better.


You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know – Your friend is a single parent on a limited income, yet they just got back from a 2-week cruise to the Turks & Caicos islands where they dined on lobster and drank champagne in a string of dazzling posts.  Hmm…something smells fishy.   You make more than that friend, have zero children to support – and you are struggling to make rent.  That’s probably because you care about staying out of debt.  It’s just a fact that many people spend money they don’t have racking up credit card bills to feed their desires.  The fact of the matter is that you have no idea how people that you envy are paying for things.  And you know that trip to Hawaii that you saw your friend post on Instagram?  How do you know he didn’t spend 3 years saving for it?   That plastic surgery your friend got to get the derriere of Kim Kardashian could have been paid for with her child’s college fund (I know a real story like this).  The point is that you have no idea how people are financing their seemingly fabulous lifestyle, so don’t get caught in the envy trap.


Know That You Are Not Alone in Your Envy – Our envy can sometimes make us feel bad about ourselves.  It can make us question our self-worth.  But here is the thing – we ALL get jealous.  So if you’re sitting there getting annoyed with yourself for being so envious – know that you are not alone.   But to stay out of debt, you can’t let your jealousy take over your wallet.


People Only Put Their Best Moments On Social Media – It’s been said time and time again, but it’s true that people usually only put their best moments on social media.  You don’t see people posting about how upset they are and can’t afford it when their rent increases, their car needs new brakes, they got a huge electric bill, a parking ticket, a flat tire, they have huge medical bills and student loans.  We rarely hear about crappy days on social media.  Who would want to follow “Debbie Downer” on social?   You can avoid social media envy when you realize that people post about their best moments.


Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself – You just saw your friend’s post about his new, amazing, shiny, awe-inspiring, must-have car.  You immediately get online and start looking at dealerships even though you know you are trying to stay out of debt.  You’ve got to upgrade your car right now!!! STOP!!!  Before you make purchases, ask yourself if you really need it.  Is it the right thing to do based on your finances?  You’ve got to be aware of if you are making impulse purchases based on jealousy with money you don’t have – otherwise you WILL wreck your finances.  If you can’t afford something without putting it on a credit card that you can pay off immediately, then you can’t afford it.


Social Media is an Illusion, So Stop the Comparisons – When I see over-the-top, perfectly displayed lives on social media, it reminds me of Alec Baldwin in “The Cat in the Hat “movie.  In public he had beautiful piano key teeth, fit, trim and dripping with charm.  He goes into his house, closes the doors, puts down the shades.  Then he busts out of his veneers, unbuckles his belt, his belly bulges over – and we see it was all a façade.  We live in the era of selfie madness.   Self-promotion is everything.  But it’s an illusion.  To avoid debt from social media, stop comparing yourself to others on social media.  It’s not an accurate comparison.


Turn Your Jealousy into a Motivator – One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to turn a negative into a positive.  Once you become aware of WHAT you are jealous of – identify if those “whats” are things you REALLY want.    If the answer is yes, then use your envy as a motivator to improve your finances and stay out of debt.  I actually would love to jump out of a plane in South America.  So how will I get there?  Do I need to make more money?  Cut expenses somewhere else?   It’s perfectly fine and very healthy to have desires and to want things – but when your social media envy puts you into debt, that is a big problem.


Be Grateful for What You Have – So maybe you don’t have everything you want right now today.  We live in an instant gratification world, so I know it’s hard – but be grateful for what you have right now today.   If you have your health, a roof over your head, food to eat, some good friends – then be grateful.  All too often I have clients in deep debt who wish they could just turn the clock back and live with that they had before.  They yearn for a simpler time before debt took over their life. 


We all make impulse purchases at some point or another in our lives.  As social media has become more and more an integral part of our lives, it can be harder and harder to avoid getting into debt from social media envy.  If you find yourself in debt and want to take control of your finances, it’s time to get help with your debt.    For more information on all things related to getting out of debt, such as “9 Ways to Get Out of Debt This Summer ”, visit my blog.  If you have any questions about your own personal debt issues, then give me a call for a free debt relief consultation at 858-217-5051 or submit a question via my “Ask a Debt Question” online form. Taking the first steps to get out of debt can be difficult, but it is well worth it.  Read about people just like you on my client success stories page who are now living a life free of debt.


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Daniel R. Gamez, an attorney focusing exclusively in debt relief, is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in California and Texas. Mr. Gamez owns and operates the Gamez Law Firm in San Diego and Los Angeles, CA. For more information, please contact Daniel Gamez at 858-217-5051, or use our online contact form. Stay updated with the latest debt relief tips by following on Facebook and Twitter!