KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES

Have you ever thought about how different your life would be if social media had never been invented? Do you ever think about how much time and energy goes into making your life appear a certain way to others? Living in an Insta-Society, filled with take-away coffees, smashed avo and perfectly pastel Acne shopping bags is simply exhausting. 

Almost a year ago today, my partner and I bought a house and the first thing I thought wasn't "okay, now I have to start being more careful with my money", it was "okay, now I have to make my house look super stylish". Which, let’s be honest, for a 25 year old with a relatively junior marketing job, was just plain stupid. But, can you blame me for wanting my house to look Insta-worthy? Isn't that what we all want? For people to see / step into your home and think "wow, she has amazing style". It’s not enough to have "trendy" outfits or the coolest new pair of shoes, now that social media has infiltrated our day-to-day life, people have an all access pass to your life - a life that you want to portray as being perfect. 

THE PERFECT INSTAGRAM LIFE

Living during a time when your entire life is posted online naturally means you aim to present an aesthetically pleasing image of your existence. Starting the day off with your boutique coffee, sitting down to work at your perfectly chic desk (with gorgeous stationery), showing your healthy, delicious lunch at your desk (or out at a cafe), then showcasing your perfectly styled home at night. On weekends, you're out at the hottest new bar or restaurant, sipping on your $25 cocktail and spending your days at a winery… this is why we don't have any money (well, that’s why I don't have any money).

When my parents were first married and owned their first home, they didn't pay crazy amounts for "cool" interiors, they didn't go out to fancy restaurants… they had to grind away at crappy jobs, work their way up to a position where they could afford these things. So why do we think that we can just skip this phase all together and get the perfect life we want straight off the bat?

THE RECKONING

At the beginning of 2017, I snapped out of whatever cloud of ignorance I was in that had me spending recklessly and had led me into a situation where I was paying the price. It dawned on me that I didn't realise who I was anymore - I had just been throwing money away and mostly to make myself feel better, trying to cover deeper emotional problems with a new item of clothing. 

I had to get serious. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't purchase any new clothing for at least 3 months (I wanted to do a year, but honestly it felt unrealistic to me). I sold my bike and camera on Gumtree and started sorting my wardrobe to sell at local markets. I made a strict budget for myself and have been slowing working off my credit card debt. This was my do or die moment, if I didn't make the change now it was just going to get worse and worse. 

WHERE I'M AT NOW

Okay, so after all that I do still try to present the best version of myself possible online. I still wish that my hair / wardrobe / house were cooler. But I'm happy to say that I no longer feel a need to throw my money at stupid fashion-related purchases… going out, eating and drinking are another story, but hey I'm trying. 

Now I want to hear from anyone who reads this post. Please comment below. Tell me your thoughts! Do you love the Insta life? Hate it? Have amazing money-saving tips? Talk to me, I'm always keen for a chat!

- CAITY X

*Yes, I had for a brief moment thought about naming this piece Keeping Up With The Johnses, but I decided against it, assuming people would just think I had gotten the phrase wrong.