One brave influencer, Lissette Calveiro, with a following of over 37,000 on Instagram, has opened up about how trying to keep up with the online persona she created for herself, ultimately left her in $10,000 worth of debt (roughly R146741).
Writing candidly for The Metro‘s Debt Diaries series, Lissette revealed how she first became hooked on the Insta-world after moving to New York to become an intern at a press agency. “Every day, I found myself refreshing my social media news feeds to see what the next trend was, where were the latest influencers eating and hanging out, and what were they wearing?” She then started adopting that lifestyle herself and growing her own following.
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But her influencer lifestyle came at a cost, explains Lissette. Her expenditures included “constant online shopping for a closet that enabled me to ‘never repeat an outfit’ for a picture, endless Açai bowls and brunches and a need to feed my newly acquired travel bug without consideration of the potential risks of being in debt – all to show off to my newfound followers.”
Despite having a seemingly glamorous, jet set lifestyle, the social media favourite was funding it through her internship salary, savings and credit cards (as well as posting about any free trips, events or products she received), giving little thought to the consequences. It was only after three years that Lissette says she stepped back and realised exactly how high a bill she’d run up, saying she was “shocked, scared, and disappointed”.
Realising the extent of her money woes forced Lissette to scale back and move to a cheaper apartment, until she was able to pay off the debts. She also changed her online persona to be more honest about her financial situation, sharing money-saving tips along the way, while making use of the brand endorsements, to live a debt-free, more authentic life.
To read Lissette’s full story, head over to The Metro.
This post first appeared in Cosmopolitan.com/uk