26-Year-Old Woman Racks Up $10,000 In Debt Trying To Be An Instagram Star

26-Year-Old Woman Racks Up $10,000 In Debt Trying To Be An Instagram Star26-Year-Old Woman Racks Up $10,000 In Debt Trying To Be An Instagram Star

Social media made her want to show everyone that she had a perfect life. But keeping up appearances comes at a price.

You don't hear many stories of social media influencers' finances, but one women recently came forward to share the story of how she became an Instagram influencer in debt.

Like many girls (and some guys), Lissette Calveiro dreamed of living the glamorous Sex and the City life. So when she got an internship in New York, she thought she could finally live her dreams.

Even though her internship only paid a transportation stipend, she shelled out for brunches with friends and new outfits. And of course, all this was meticulously documented on her Instagram.

"I was shopping... for clothes to take 'the perfect 'gram.'," Calveiro told the New York Post.

26-Year-Old Woman Racks Up $10,000 In Debt Trying To Be An Instagram Star

To present a carefully curated life of a millennial living in New York, Calveiro dipped into her savings, even after getting a part-time retail job. After she moved back to Miami and got a job as a publicist, she was $10,000 in debt.

Calveiro kept spending money on restaurants, clothes, and travel. She didn't want to be seen on Instagram wearing the same outfit twice. She'd splurge on designer items.

"I was living a lie," she said.

At one point, she was travelling to a new location every month for a year. In 2016, a lot of her travelling was "strictly for Instagram."

Her battle with Instagram envy


26-Year-Old Woman Racks Up $10,000 In Debt Trying To Be An Instagram Star

"I wasn't intending to be Instagram famous, but it was definitely influenced by what I was seeing on social media," Calveiro told Insider.

"There are a lot of influencers who are always posting these luxury vacations in all these clothes, so I felt the pressure to want to emulate that as well. So a lot of my spending was just kind of lifestyle spending, eating out every day."

Social psychologists have labelled this feeling "lifestyle envy" or "Instagram envy". And it's spawned a whole industry. Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool. According to Forbes, influencers with 100,000 followers get around $5,000 per post. Celebrities like Selena Gomez get paid half a million for just one post.

But not everyone has seen this kind of success. Many people, like Calveiro, only found motivation to spend, spend, spend.

Instagram influencer in debt: Calveiro's biggest mistakes

26-Year-Old Woman Racks Up $10,000 In Debt Trying To Be An Instagram Star

Here are some mistakes that Calveiro made, as she told Insider:

1. Not thinking of her savings

"The biggest problem is that I didn't have a savings-first mindset. It was just spend, spend, spend... If I was making $1,500 per paycheck for example, everything was allocated to shopping or to eating out or whatever so I was never saving and I ended up overspending a lot."

2. Impulsive shopping

Even though Calveiro didn't regularly spend on luxury items, she'd go clothes shopping "three or four times a month". That adds up.

3. Using credit cards BADLY

Calveiro used multiple credit cards and only made minimum payments. And she wasn't keeping track.

"Because if I had a $10,000 statement, I would have freaked out and not spent. But I had $2,000 here, $1,000 here, and they just seemed so much smaller when they're spread out."

What has she learned?

26-Year-Old Woman Racks Up $10,000 In Debt Trying To Be An Instagram Star

Thankfully for her credit score, Calveiro got a wakeup call when she got a PR job in Manhattan in 2016.

"I knew that moving to New York, I had to get my act together or I wasn't going to survive," she told the New York Post.

Now, she knows better. She's no longer an Instagram influencer in debt! Calveiro worked with a financial coach to help her pay off her debt and build up a savings account. Instead of eating out all the time, she cooks.

"Nobody talks about [his or her] finances on Instagram," she said. "It worries me how much I see girls care about image."

But that doesn't mean that Calveiro has quit the 'gram.

She still travels, she still shops. But this time, more savvily. Instead of buying new clothes every month, she's subscribed to a monthly clothes-for-hire membership.

"I think that people just need to be more honest about living at their means because social media has created such a big pressure for people to live a really inaccessible lifestyle," she told Insider. "I just want more people to have conversations like that and to understand that social media perception is never worth going into debt for."


We hope you learned from this story of an Instagram influencer in debt!

Here are some other articles that you might be interested in:

Influencer Marketing: How Much Does Your Favourite Celebrity Make On Instagram?

How To Control Your Social Media Obsession: 3 Ways To Stop Caring So Much About Looking Happy And Start Actually BEING Happy

The Rich Babies Of Instagram Will Make You Feel Poor AF

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