Lifestyle influencer left woman $10,000 in debt

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  • The dream of pursuing a lifestyle of influence left Lissette Calveiro in debt of $10,000.
  • She started buying decadent brunches, outfits and vacations with credit cards when she moved to New York, she wrote for Metro’s Debt Diaries Series.
  • Despite having 37,000 Instagram followersCalveiro felt like he was “living a lie”.
  • After a financial “wake-up call”, Calveiro made cutbacks and began to pay down his debt. She managed to get out of the red at the end of 2018.
  • Now she’s more honest with her followers about her financial situation and the “realities of being an influencer — including what’s ‘real’ and what isn’t.”
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The dream influencer lifestyle isn’t always what it seems, according to Lissette Calveiro, who wrote a blog for The Metro’s Debt Diaries series. Calveiro has 37,000 Instagram followersbut ended up in $10,000 debt buying decadent brunches, outfits and vacations.

Calveiro moved to New York in 2013 to begin his internship at a news agency. At first, she would just watch influencers on social media to see where they were hanging out, but she soon found herself absorbed by the need to pursue the life of an influencer herself and buy whatever they bought.

“Having a small but mighty social media presence meant I could attend events for free and occasionally receive gifted experience, but my entry-level salary was minimal,” Calveiro wrote. “So I was paying my rent and my increasingly extravagant lifestyle using a little savings account and a handful of plastic.”

Her expenses included: “constant online shopping for a closet that allowed me to ‘never repeat an outfit’ for a photo, endless acai bowls and brunches and a need to feed my newly acquired without considering the potential risks of being in debt – all to show my new subscribers.”

After three years of never paying more than the minimum on her credit card, Calveiro found herself with $10,000 in the red. She said it was a “financial wake-up call” when she finally counted it all – like a scene from “Confessions of a Shopaholic”.

“With all this debt hanging over my head, I felt like I was living a lie,” she said.

The only way to make a dent in all the credit card bills was to cut down, which meant not going out with friends as often and finding a cheaper apartment. Calveiro said it made her sad that the view she had of her life that she described on social media was “far from reality”.

Making payments, a little at a time, gave Calveiro a “high”. She managed to pay off her credit cards at the end of 2018. Then she decided she needed to be more honest with her followers.

“I started sharing these hacks with my audience and changed my voice online,” she said. “The lifestyle I was flaunting got a little more personal, and without explicitly talking about debt, I started talking about the realities of being an influencer – including what’s ‘real’ and what’s not. ‘is not.”

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