She Plunged Herself In A $10,000 Debt To Show Off An Instagram-Worthy Life
She was just 23 then back in 2013 when she moved to New York for an internship. She wanted to tell the story of a young and beautiful millennial living in New York. So she traveled, ate everywhere, and shopped for clothes to “take the perfect ’gram.”
Lissette Calveiro, now 26 years old and with 34,000 followers on Instagram, shares the story of how she racked up $10,000 in debt to finance her stardom on Instagram.
It all started when she started living in New York, aiming for a gorgeous-looking life. As an intern, she only received transportation allowance so she relied mostly on her savings and a part-time retail job to finance her Instagram-worthy life.
Earning only a low five-figures, Calveiro would spend $200 monthly on shopping for clothes so she wouldn’t post a photo of herself wearing the same dress. She would also splurge on a designer item—something as much as $1,000 for a bag—to show off to her followers.
“I was living a lie,” Calveiro said. “Debt was looming over my head.”
On top of her monthly shopping spree are her constant traveling to look like a “jet-setter.” She would travel to a unique location every month for a year just to be able to collect at least 12 geo-filters on Snapchat, showing off where she’d been for the year. She shares that one of her biggest travel spends was a $700 round-trip ticket to Texas for a Sia concert in 2016.
“Nobody talks about [his or her] finances on Instagram,” she said. “It worries me how much I see girls care about image.”
When she finally realized she was living beyond her means and she was getting more and more bankrupt every day, she decided to change her life and start setting financial goals for herself. She went into a “mini-isolation from the world,” moved in with a roommate to cut down on rent, and gave herself a weekly grocery budget of $35.
After 14 months of her new life, Calveiro paid off her debt. Now, she works with a financial coach to make sure her finances are on track, and she uses a savings app to funnel money from her paycheck directly to a savings account.
But leading a more financially conscious life does not mean she is ready to give up her Instagram stardom. To keep her feed beautiful, she now recycles old photos and old clothes, and spends $159 monthly on a clothing service called Rent The Runway. The company’s rental service lets Calveiro have access to an unlimited selection of designer clothes without shelling out above her means.