Because of Instagram, this woman ended up with PHP500K debt

by Charlene J. Owen
Mar 30, 2018
It took 26-year-old Lissette Calveiro 14 months to fully pay her debt.

We've stressed the importance of living within your means many times over, but one millennial had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Lissette Calveiro, a 26-year-old aspiring social media influencer, just recently got out of a $10,000 debt (about PHP 500,000), after trying to keep up with popular influencers on social media.

In her interview with the Post, Lissette said that she regularly spent $200 on shopping sprees to avoid repeating outfits, and thousands of dollars on designer bags and accessories.

Aside from that, she also traveled to a new location every month for a whole year to collect Snapchat geofilters.

One of the biggest purchases Lissette made was in 2016 when she bought a round-trip ticket to Austin, Texas, U.S.A. for a Sia concert. That trip set her back $700, which is about PHP37,000.

Luckily, Lissette's move to Manhattan in New York City gave her a much-needed reality check.

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She met a financial coach, and 14 months later, after an intense lifestyle change, Lissette was finally able to pay off her debt in full.

And while she's happy to be back on her feet, Lissette also shared that one of her regrets was not saving for the future. “I had a lot of opportunities to save... I could’ve invested that money in something.”

Whether you want to be an IG star or not, you can probably relate to social media envy.

Worried about how you've been spending your money? Here's how to make sure you're not making the same mistake:

1. Stop comparing yourself to others.

After her challenging experience, Lissette now encourages girls everywhere to be more financially literate, and not to let social media pressure them into a lifestyle they can't afford.

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

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As a study from the University of Copenhagen reveals, it's important to note that going on Facebook too often can cause you to feel miserable about your life.

So the next time you find yourself hating on your batchmate's travels while simultaneously checking for seat sales to expensive destinations (See the irony?), keep this quote by Steven Furtick in mind: "The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."

2. Stop adjusting your lifestyle based on how much money or credit you have left.

Don't base your purchases on the cash in your account or the high credit limit your bank set. Sure, a dinner splurge after a long work day can be tempting, but remember that debts often start small.

For every salary cut-off, pay yourself first, and go from there. It also helps to set strict, personal standards.

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3. Set a realistic monthly budget.

Be as detailed as possible when creating your monthly budget, and don't just set aside money for basic necessities and utilities.

Include a shopping allowance, a leisure budget, and even a category for miscellaneous home expenses. If you don't know how to compute for it, start by logging your daily expenses, then observe your behavior week-to-week.

Trust us, by the time you're done, you'll be shocked at how much those spontaneous purchases add up and you'll know exactly where you can start cutting costs.

Good luck!

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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