This post is about the competition within social media. We all know it, we all feel it. Our parents and elders comment often on the competition within social media to have a certain body type, a certain lifestyle, status, money, etc. Today, I asked my friend Alli from Financialli Focused to talk about the competition within social media for personal finance bloggers, influencers, and consumers. It’s easy to feel like because we don’t save as much as others or make as much as others, we’re not doing it right. That’s not true.
I saw Alli’s post on Instagram (social media, it’s everywhere!) entitled “I haven’t saved 50k in 8 months and that’s okay” and loved her honesty and openness. As inspiring as it can be to see the accomplishments of others, at times, it can also feel like because tiy;re not achieving the same accomplishments, you’re therefore failing.
On the competition within social media
Alli, I found your blog from your awesome post entitled I Haven’t Saved 50k in 8 Months and That’s Okay. What inspired you to write a post like this and can you tell us a little more about the post?
So, I have been blogging a little less than 6 months. and in that time frame, I have seen many posts on social media about how much money people have saved or paid off. That is WONDERFUL, but I couldn’t relate.
I have spoken to friends and family about how social media is pretty depressing at times. You end up comparing yourself to these people you don’t even know and just thinking why can they do that but I can’t. Some months I save $500 a month and others I save $0. Sometimes I feel like I should be saving more when I see others post about how they saved $1,000 in a month. There were so many times I told myself how can I be a personal finance blogger if I cannot do what they do. There are people that save way more than I do so how can I tell people how to save or manage money.
After sulking for a while and I decided that I can provide another voice. I actually had this post started for about 3 months. I started it on my phone. Finally, I decided I needed to post it because there are definitely other people out there who feel like I do. Personal finance needs to be personal. Yes, we can all learn and take advice from others. We need to remember that there is not only one way to manage finances. There is not only one way to manage your life in general. I was hoping this post would help people who felt they couldn’t do it or they weren’t good enough.
What are ways social media influencers and users alike can still use platforms for motivation and growth while weeding out occasional feelings of failure?
I have found that being vulnerable and telling people your insecurities or what you struggle with has been really helpful. We all just need to be real. I try to keep my blog and my social media accounts as real as I can. I do not post anything that I haven’t done or that I don’t believe in.
My personal finance views might not be the same as everyone else but they are mine and. I just hope they will help at least one person. We also need to remember that social media is what people want others to see. I talk about this in my post but it is very important to remember. Most people don’t post their coffee-stained shirt with their hair in a ponytail on Instagram. Or the fact that they went over their budget and ate out all week.
On personal finance blogging
You yourself are a personal finance blogger- a powerful but yet saturated niche. What has been the most rewarding part of your blogging journey?
It is DEFINITELY saturated! It hasn’t bothered me yet. I think I have learned that my personal finance views are unique. I do not follow Dave Ramsey or any other specific personal finance guru and over time, I have developed my own strategies that have worked so far.
For example, I use credit cards for EVERYTHING which is frowned upon by a lot of personal finance bloggers (I don’t have any credit card debt just an FYI). I wrote a post early on about why I use credit cards and I was so scared to post it. Honestly, I thought I was going to get shunned from the personal finance community. I am so glad I posted it because I got so much support.
I have learned, so far, that I just need to be me and my own voice. One of the most rewarding parts so far has been the people I have virtually met through it. The other part is how I have found my own voice. I have always been pretty loud and outspoken but I never thought I would start a blog. I am so glad I did and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.
What money motto do you have that you want to give others working on personal finance, especially those paying off debt?
PLEASE do not blindly follow.
I understand there are personal finance gurus out there who might entice you to trust them but do your research. Find what works best for you. It is ok to be different. Like I said earlier, I use credit cards for pretty much everything. I have never had credit card debt but I have gotten amazing reward points. Currently, I have about $900 of travel rewards I can use for any flight, hotel, car, etc.
I also believe you should pay off the highest interest debt first because that interest will kill you if you don’t. If you believe you should only use cash and pay off the smallest debt first that is great. We definitely do not have to agree. The important thing is to do your research and find what works best for you.
Do you have a particular personal finance goal you’re working toward right now?
I am hoping to have my car paid off by the end of the year (stretch goal!) I have a little less than $5k left which to most might seem like nothing but I don’t plan on eating just PB&J the rest of the year. My interest rate on it is around 1.5%, so I don’t pay much in interest.
After that, my plan is to open a Roth IRA to supplement my 401k and try to figure out investing.
On side hustling
My blog is all about side hustling and building multiple sources of income. You are working full time and earning your MBA (superwoman!). What advice do you have readers about making time for a side hustle?
Gosh, life is SO hectic right now!
My advice is you will never have time for it.
Life will never slow down. You just have to go for it. Dive right in and figure it out as you go.
When I started my blog I had no idea what I was doing. My friend started one and she helped me set it up and then I just dove right in. If you look back at my beginning Instagram posts you will see how much I have learned! The time is now. Just do it. If you need someone to talk to about it, just let me know! Always here to help.
What motivates you to keep up with your blog and other side hustles while juggling so many other projects?
The biggest motivator is the fact that I do not want to be confined to an 8am-5pm job for the rest of my life. I have spoken to so many people who just accept this is life and I just will not accept it. I also see other bloggers and other influencers doing it and making money so if they can do it so can I. Just remember everyone had to start at square one. Don’t think anyone is smarter or better than you. It might take more time or more research, but you got this. Stick with it.
On life and growth
What piece of advice can you leave us with, whether about money, time management, or just self-care?
My other two pieces of money advice (that I have not already discussed) are:
- Start a 401k (or any retirement fund) ASAP, even if you have debt. Seriously, you will be so far behind if you don’t start it as soon as possible.
- If you are looking for an online savings account, choose Ally (I am not an affiliate so this is not a scam). That was my best money decision I have made recently. Their interest rates are amazing and there is no minimum balance.
For self-care, I would say just try your best to not rely on social media. I mean, I struggle with that all the time but put your phone down. Enjoy time with friends and family. Read a book. Go for a walk. Learn a language. Your health is very important.
Anything else you want to share?
Thank you so much for interviewing me! Just remember you are your own person. Reading blogs and listening to others is great and super helpful but at the end of the day, you need to take what you learn and do what is best for you. Be vulnerable and ask for help. You are not alone in this journey.