I’m aware of the increased societal pressures to keep up with the ever-elusive Joneses, so it broke my heart when a reader asked for advice on how to survive this image-conscious world on a budget. This is relevant to those embarking on the University/campus experience soon, or those who’ve newly graduated and are finding their pockets empty month-after-month without any real proof of the spend. I am aware I critique this hyper-social millennial generation to a fault, but hardly ever do I advise my readers on the best means of manoeuvring this.
First and foremost, I urge you to care not for the wants of the world. That’s right, its time to prioritise; wants vs. needs. Create a budget for your spend so you can rule out whimsical splurges and put your foot down to invites that’ll end in frivolity and nothing more. Write down lists (y’all already know I’m a big fan of lists, so this piece of advice should come as no surprise) of what you want, and give yourself time to ponder that spend so you have wisely weighed up its benefits and purpose. This saves you from impulse buying (which I strongly urge you to stay away from) and changes your mind-set to invest in key pieces/ items that’ll last a longer time instead. Differentiating between the two will keep that coin where it needs to be…in the bank!
Secondly, regardless of what that inane price-comparison advert will have you singing, don’t compare. I’ve preached time and again about the perils of living a dissatisfied life. I was reminded of this point after a friend bleated on about her envy over my socially enriched life, bearing in mind I’d secretly pined after her life of casual indulgences. Covetous living is sinful, but a better deterrent is that its an illusion. Long not for greener grass, or you’ll be woefully disappointed upon venturing there, as it was a matter of perspective. Take what you see with a pinch of salt, and use what you’re pining after as inspiration instead.
Lastly, fall in love with the filter. I love social media and I embrace the good along with the bad. The good? I get to share my best or important moments in my life with the world/ nearest and dearest (it’s a matter of perspective), and vice versa. The bad? Well, the preeing of naysayers & dream-killers; the thirst for likes that some obsess over; not to mention the pressure to keep up a façade at a cost one cannot afford. I bid you instead to fall in love with the filter, the purpose of which was created to glaze over the flaws and highlight the best assets. Show the world your best you, but be careful not to get swept up with living up to that façade as it can inadvertently lead you right back to the initial problem of keeping up with the Joneses i.e. the fake you.
"Behind that social mask is a personal truth...who we are and what we're capable of"