Check out these four tricks retailers use to get you to spend more (without you knowing it).
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Do you have Facebook envy?
When you’re trying to get out of debt, Facebook can be one of your greatest enemies.
You’ve trimmed your budget to bare bones, eating rice and beans and working three jobs. All you do is work, eat and sleep.
When you have a spare 10 seconds in between bites of your tuna salad sandwich, you might hop on Facebook and see what your virtual friends are up to.
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Usually, that’s a bad idea.
Why? Because you’re setting yourself up for a mean case of Facebook envy. Have posts like the following ever annoyed you while you’re trying to get out of debt?
The vacation photos
Your friends Jim and Jane went on vacation last week. You know that because Jim posted 47 photos each day during their eight-day vacation, and you’ve pretty much had your fill of beach sunset photos for one week. And how many photo angles can you really take of the same palm tree?
While on vacation, Jim and Jane often post about their fine-dining experiences. The yellowtail sushi looks marvelous, as does the prime cut of filet mignon, and the 14 other entrees that you can’t even pronounce. Jim and Jane do love some pricey food.
Wouldn’t you know it? Jim and Jane just love to go out. Last week, it was the Elton John concert. This week, it’s front-row seats to the symphony. And next week, it will probably be an NFL game. Do Jim and Jane even have a home, or are they social nomads who jump around from social event to social event every night?
Jim and Jane are the king and queen of social media. So when they go to these popular events, they’ll be sure to let you know about it. Not only do they “check in” at places like the Ritz Carlton Paris, but they’ll add a fun little comment: “10 days at the Ritz Carlton Paris! We’re in paradise!”
Jim and Jane are both in their 40s. So it’s a little odd when they take “selfies” of themselves posing in designer clothes. It’s even more odd that Jane’s photos seem to be taken in a department store’s fitting room. Is Jane really buying that dress, or is she just showing off for social media? That’s a little strange.
The group shots
You’re in the same social circle as Jim and Jane. But apparently, everyone else in your circle is either out of debt or living a lavish lifestyle thanks to Mastercard. You saw that group photo at dinner a few nights ago. Everyone had big smiles and seemed to be having so much fun, but you couldn’t go because, well, you would spend your entire week’s food budget at that one restaurant.
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So what’s our point?
We’re not bashing people who might “show off” on Facebook. After all, those people might be out of debt and able to fully afford all of it.
The point is to not let envy get in the way of your financial goals.
You have two options. You can either let those posts inspire you and remind you that, one day, you too can check in at the Ritz Carlton Paris. Or you can stop spending so much time on Facebook and letting your Facebook “friends” get in the way of your journey to financial peace.
If you go green with envy every time you log on to Facebook, then it might be time to take a break.
Do you have a case of Facebook envy? Tell us your tips for overcoming this in the comments!