Is "It" Worth It Or Are You Just Playing Social Media IRL?

these days many of our purchases are a reflection of our online persona

Let me work it. I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it. K — I'm done.

How many hours per day would you say you spend scrolling? I'm embarrassed to admit that if I had a dollar for all of the time I spent on Instagram alone, I'd be facing lifestyle inflation rather than how to inflate my guest air mattress.

Social media (whether we'd like to admit it or not) costs us a ton of our hard-earned money.

When I was growing up I feared someone may see me in the same outfit one week later at the bar, but these days, many people I chill with are more fearful that we might be seen at the same restaurant, or the same holiday destination.

Times have changed and with that time has come an increased cost of living -- and a higher social expectation that is truly unattainable for the average millennial.

In the past month, how many purchases have you made for the 'gram? 

If you can think of even one, this blog post is for you.

And trust me, you're not alone here. Just last week, I spent $65 on a t-shirt because I wanted to look good in our girls' night photos. I'm still kicking myself for doing something old Alyssa would do -- but it's in the past now. If I've learned anything from money mistakes, it's that you need to move on.

So, where do you start?

The majority of the time when we go to buy something, we compare and ask ourselves the same few questions:

  • How much is it?

  • Do I need it?

  • Do I have something similar?

And my personal favorite -- is it worth it?

Groceries, clothes, makeup, cars, homes -- everything comes with another million options that you could also consider (if they fall into your list of desires that is). The reason I call this one my favorite is because it's the only question that covers everything I ever want to ask about spending my money.

Organic fruit for instance. Is it worth it for me to spend an additional 50-60 cents per piece? Is it worth it in cost? Health? Flavour? Each one of these "is it worth its" matter.

These days, I do most of my shopping online. The reason for that is because I can do a quick cost comparison, review search, and check social media for peoples' day to day thoughts on the matter.

I've become so dependent on YouTube unboxing videos, Facebook reviews, and Instagram locations or hashtags, that I've found it difficult to make these decisions on my own.

So, how do you (and only you) know if somethings' worth it right away?

You've been thinking about purchasing this item for what you would consider a significant amount of time.

Whether it's been a week, a month, or a year, and the item is still sitting in the back of your mind -- it's probably worth it. The next step is being 100% sure that you can afford that item without going into debt, busting your budget, or avoiding taking money from another financial goal.

You honestly feel that purchasing this item will benefit your happiness, health, and overall wellbeing.

I've come to learn that when it comes to physical or mental health, it's normally always worth it. There is no reason to turn down a purchase that you might consider far from a need. The fact that you're considering it at all proves to me that it's important. Try not to confuse this feeling with the "had a bad day, need treat" mentality. They are two very different things.

You need to purchase the item, but you've been holding off because you want to hit your savings goals quicker.

Personally, I used to avoid buying anything and everything while paying off my debt. If that meant I'd wait a couple days longer to buy groceries, deodorant, and toothpaste -- I would do it. However, needs shouldn't even been a question revolving around the "is it worth it" debate. Be sure you are taking care of yourself, as financial success and personal success go hand in hand (at least for me).

And most importantly -- you are okay with the cost, regardless of what others might be saying online.

Whether we like to admit it or not, these days many of our purchases are a reflection of our online persona. There are those of us who merely purchase expensive juice cleanses, makeup, and clothing because of something or someone we saw in a photo. It's the one thing that pushes many to cross the line in buying something that would normally be a "no" in their financial life. If you wouldn't buy a $100 foundation normally -- is it worth it without all of the hype?

Our money mindset has definitely flipped since social media came to play. We now focus on high cost products (including fruits and vegetables), that while we were growing up our parents would scoff at.

When it comes to deciding if something is worth it -- think back on on those four things you might have thought about, or still need to ponder. Purchasing anything doesn't have to come with an instruction manual or a stamp of approval from your Internet followers. The only thing that matters are your financial goals and needs.

Don't let social media star in a role in Your Finances that it never got cast for. Your future might end up being a flop, rather than a box office hit.

What's something you recently bought without considering all of the "worth its" and "needs it"? Let me know in the comments!