Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook are more or less an invitation to spend money. As if tempting branded content and ads weren’t bad enough, the entire sharing ecosystem is designed for consumerism. You see a photo of friends out on the town or traveling to an exotic location and you can’t help but want to throw down the money to join in. By the same token, social media is a snapshot into the lives of celebrities and other wealthy well-knowns whose lavish lifestyles most of us would like to emulate.
So does going on a budget mean giving up social media (along with so much else)? No. Just try adding a few of these financial heros to your feed to replace some of the spending envy with savings envy.
1. Mr. Money Mustache
Mr. Money Mustache is a finance guru whose frugal lifestyle led him to retire in his thirties. Yes, his THIRTIES. Now he’s on a mission to get people off what he calls the “debt-powered treadmill,” while still leaving room for the good things in life. Among other things, he’s a big proponent of driving less (and biking more), buying fewer unnecessary things, and “badassity.” We can’t help but love him.
2. Buy Nothing Year
A site that’s a bit out of date now but still worth a look is Buy Nothing Year. It’s the story of two friends and roommates who made a pact to cut all eating out, shopping (beyond groceries), and other luxuries like travel and haircuts out of their lives for one year. The result was thousands of dollars in the bank and lifelong tips for living with less.
3. The Budgetnista
The great recession left Budgetnista founder, Tiffany Aliche, $35,000 in debt and without a job. Today she’s a best-selling author, speaker, and financial educator who focuses on helping women achieve their money goals. She also gives back—Tiffany’s curriculum is free and in her spare time, she helps people in under-resourced areas learn budgeting and finance skills.
4. The Krazy Coupon Lady
The two women behind The Krazy Coupon lady are worth a follow for their almost manic posting of ways to save on everyday essentials like shampoo, toilet paper, and groceries. You don’t need to start carrying an embarrassing binder of coupon clippings around the grocery store to reap the benefits — just take a few tips that can practically fit into your life.
This one’s for the ladies. DailyWorth is a female-focused guide to making smarter financial and career decisions. Their content is well-curated and full of actionable daily tips. For those of us who love an inspirational quote or two, DailyWorth has you covered on that front.
6. Young House Love
If you have home-buying fever Young House Love will raise your temperature even higher. The site is run by a married couple who began blogging to document the fixer upper they purchased. Since then, they’ve made over two other houses, written books, and collaborated with big brands on product lines. Most of their content is about home renovation, but they have a great budgeting section on everything from DIY haircuts to avoiding buyer’s remorse on furniture.
7. Afford Anything
Quite a tempting name for a blog, right? Afford Anything is the brainchild of Paula Pant, who started her career making $21,000 per year, saved like mad, traveled the world, then achieved financial freedom through some smart real estate investments. If that sounds like path you’d like to follow, you’ll love Paula’s tips and guidance on how to afford anything (but not everything).
8. Go Curry Cracker
Like Mr. Money Moustache, the couple behind Go Curry Cracker retired in their thirties. Now they have an adorable baby and spend 52 weeks per year (instead of the standard cubicle worker’s 2) traveling the world. Their site is a great resource for general budget tips, with a specific focus on how to travel affordably.
Once you start following a few of these inspirational budgeters, share your own successes. With so many of us in debt, part of the solution is to have everyday people have unabashed conversations about their finances.